Monday, October 09, 2006

More Bad News for Taiwan Media Climate: Free Metro Apple Daily

As if the pay version of Apple Daily isn't disgusting enough, Taiwan's media environment is going to take another blow with Hong Kong Chinese Jimmy Lai's decision to launch a free version of the tabloid Apple Daily for the metro:

According to report by TVBS in Taiwan, Next Media, a Hong Kong-based media tycoon decides launch a toll-free tabloid in Taipei in this month. Jimmy Lai, boss of Next Media sold 12.07 % share of the company, decide put 3.3 billion New Taiwan Dollars on scrabble for the daily newspaper market in Taiwan.

When you take metro in Taipei, you may get Metro Edition of United Daily News or China Times, two of most popular newspaper in Taiwan, these papers were toll-free. When Next Media decide publish Metro Edition of Apple Daily, the news is no less than a hard blow for 2 newspapers above.

Lai behaves ambitiously these days. He assume personal command in Taipei recently , in order to the come out of new toll-free tabloid.

Just what we need: more sensationalizing, more gossip, and more fiction, and more foreign-owned, pro-Blue media mouthpieces. *sigh*


Biomed Tim said...

If people didn't want them, he wouldn't be selling them.

Sometimes I fantasize about lifting Taiwan out of political plight--by single-handedly reforming the media and empowering people with good information...

But I'm reminded of the fact that no matter what country you live in, (with the exception of maybe Japan) people really don't want unbiased objective news--it's boring.

We have only the people to blame.

Anonymous said...

"We have only the people to blame."

That statement I think is somewhat unfair to the people on this island.

When I first arrived here 30 years ago, the only English newspapers were the China Post and the China News (now Taiwan News). China News was almost totally devoted to business, while the China Post was the voice of the 49ers. That fact at first evaded my knowledge, and I lapped up what they wrote. What a grand place this was because it had wonderful governance!

But, I learned through teaching, and that included the Chiang family, that all was not as it appeared. Years later the Taipei Times came along, and that offered an alternative view.

For the locals who do not read English they have been dependant on 49ers' newspapers until the Liberty Group came along, and how successful are they to this day in terms of cirulation?

Therein lies the great danger of this situation. People generally here are not really educated with the tools to sift through opposing views and form their own opinions, even when they now have more access to information compared to the past.

One can only hope that the last ten years has opened the minds of enough people here that Apple's blatant attempt to contorl minds as they often are under control in China will fail.

Those who post here are basically observers, including me, but we must remember that Taiwan existed before we arrived here. All of us are a product of some collective history, and those who were born here and grew up here are no different.

Biomed Tim said...

Thanks for responding to my comments.

Perhaps I was being a bit too cynical; the use of the word "blame" was inappropriate.

What I should've said was that the "onus" is upon the people of Taiwan to demand more.

After all, we can't expect someone else to come along and tell the Taiwanese people, "here, let me educate you with the tools to sift through all this information," or "here, let me teach you what logic is, what evidence is, and what tools you'll need do decide if someone's corrupt or not."

No Taiwanese, and no foreigner, can indoctrinate the mass about the value of good information; the people have to demand it themselves.

And that, is a rare occurrence by any country's standards. People in general, will believe what they want to believe, and not necessarily what is true.

Ask any religious person why they believe in God and many of them will unabashedly cite multiple reasons and evidences, as if those evidences actually justified the existence of superior power. Only a select few will answer, "simply because I want to."

I believe that politics is no different. The mob will believe what it wants to believe; and read Apple, China Post...etc.

Only when people start demanding the objective truth, will unbiased media thrive. Until then sensationalism and sexy stories will always sell more whether it's Taiwan, Thailand, France or U.S. (unless you live in N.Korea, then you're just SOL)

Anonymous said...

Actually, these pro-China pro-Blue propaganda publications have been taking advantage of the "politically correct" and "fear" factors, which means that people have been educated in a way that suggest these KMT voices being "safe" and "approved." Likewise, businesses are "playing safe" by placing ads in these papers.


Anonymous said...

We all opereate from the news that we have access too. What sells to the public is most certainly related to what they had accesss to in the past and their education.

For biomed tim, do you think that in North Korea Apple would sell, and I mean that not as it would be banned, but that the poplulace itself would be horrified because of their education.

Taiwan is less extreme, but the principle holds.

In your response, you are yourself thinking and acting out of your on past.

We all cannot comment without first having immersed so thoroughly in the culture that we cannot think otherwise, while yet retaining some of our origins.

I think I protest most in your post the assumption that all the people in the world think as you do, but that is your upbringing.

In my original post on this subject, that was my point, few people find a way of escaping the thought of their own upbringing.