The most basic job for news media is to provide important facts to the public. However, it seems like Taiwanese media is doing a fairly good job going the opposite way. Here is some evidence exposing the darker side of media in Taiwan.
1. Too Much Emphasis on Entertainment
Despite the fact that there are probably ten or more entertainment channels on Taiwanese TV already, the media still thinks it is not enough. In places where people should find news about serious events, they end up finding gossip about movie stars going out with rich, spoiled kids.
One of the biggest reasons for this bad coverage is because Taiwanese people enjoy this kind of gossip. Therefore, the media produces more and more pointless entertainment for better television ratings. And it’s getting worse.
Since this gossip is just pure stupidity, there is no doubt it will deeply affect people’s minds when they are watching it as news.
2. Repeats News Very Frequently
Taiwanese news reports tend to repeat every hour. A single piece of news can be repeated about ten times per day, which is absolutely unnecessary.
Plus, every news channel is reporting similar news, so it doesn’t help if you change the channel; you still get the same thing. Sometimes, these news channels could be reporting the same unimportant things at the same time, which is annoying and only shows the laziness of the TV producers.
3. Fake Information
Last year, a report claimed a 10 million NTD piece of art was stolen. The anchor said this: “The artist, Chen Cheng-Bo, is also very nervous.” This sounds like a reasonable claim, but actually, the artist is already dead; he was killed by Kuomingtang in 1947 during 228.
It is fine not knowing who the artist is and that he has passed away. However, the example above not only shows the media’s lack of knowledge, but also the fact that it is faking news.
Unproven, false information is always hidden in small parts of the news. People rarely find out about it, because it “sounds” right, but the truth is, it is nonsense, probably added randomly by the anchor or the writer, who is just too lazy to put effort into doing research.
4.Copies & Pastes
The media’s laziness raised the problem of copying and pasting from the internet, or even from foreign news. Of course, the biggest reason is due to money, because sending journalists to investigate news around the world costs a lot, so instead, media organizations in Taiwan just simply paste other news into theirs. This shows laziness in the media and could involve copyright problems.
Defamation is overflowing in Taiwanese news. The media attacks people using words against them on headlines. For example, in a murder case, the media often makes conclusions too early by calling suspects murderers, using public pressure in the wrong situations.
For example, on January, 2012 two students from Taiwan were killed in Japan. Immediately, the media in Taiwan was furiously searching for the murderer, so they targeted one suspect. They started reporting about him, putting his Facebook page all over TV, giving out his personal information, then causing people to hate him and attack him. However, he was only a suspect according to officials, not a confirmed murderer yet. In the end, he committed suicide, probably because he was unable to bear the pressure against him.
Media in Taiwan really needs to be changed. The best way to do it is to limit the media’s freedom in making up their news by making laws. Without changes, it is a shame on journalism, and a shame on Taiwan.