By YingTing Tseng (YXT5059)
In Taiwan, the role of media has been dramatically changed in recent decades; the value of journalistic professionalism is also being questioned by the society.
(Are you short sighted?) Yes…
In 2005, Mark Magnier published an article, They Can’t Handle the Truth, in the Los Angeles Times: “Part of the Taiwanese media’s character reflects its evolution, what some refer to as the transition from lapdog to mad dog. Until 1988, major newspapers and TV stations served as government mouthpieces controlled by the ruling Nationalist Party, which had maintained an iron grip for decades. Less government control has led to privatization, but several important stations are still owned by political parties. In a polarized society where politics is a blood sport — fistfights in the legislature were not uncommon up until a few years ago — media objectivity is spotty at best”. Magnier used the term “from lapdog to mad dog” to describe the environment of Taiwanese media. As a Taiwanese, I accept all the advices from Magnier; unfortunately, eight years later, some Taiwanese now call journalists 記者 “prostitute” 妓者, because this profession lost all the respect and credibility from the public already.
Since 2012, a Hong-Kong based Next Media Ltd. announced its decision to sell its Taiwan print and television operations to a number of Taiwanese corporations. This news provokes a huge conflict due to one potential buyer, Tsai Eng-Meng 蔡衍明 who owns multiple businesses in China and has been advocating closely with China. It is because of the threat of media monopoly, ever since the year of 2012, a series of non-stop protest events continues to bring more attention to the society. This March, the founder of Next Media Ltd., Jimmy Lai, decided to stop the sale. Although this result is what most of us expect, media scholars and related associations still keep an eye on the further regulation and lawmaking process.
In Magnier’s article, “We have a poor democracy and a poor medium (in Taiwan),” said Chen Hao, senior vice president of CTI Television. However, to me, we are immature because we are still young; in other words, we have a young democracy and a young medium. This is why we need some encouragement and improvement in order to move forward, and also we need more time.
Lam, Oiwan. “Taiwan is Sick: Student Protesters Tell the Minister of Education · Global Voices.” Global Voices · Citizen media stories from around the world. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/12/10/taiwan-is-sick-student-protesters-tell-the-minister-of-education/>.
Magnier, Mark. “They Can’t Handle the Truth.” Los Angeles times 28 Feb. 2005: n. pag. Los Angeles Times. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.