Due to Taiwan’s unique ecosystem of media outlets, frequently content that might not be considered newsworthy elsewhere makes it into the national news. This excerpt from Wikipedia explains just how crowded the Taiwanese media market really is:
In a population of 23-million market, the country has 7 twenty-four-hour news stations (compare to 3 in the US, 3 in UK, and 0 in Japan), more than 4,000 magazine publishers, and approximately 200 radio stations, and about 2,500 newspaper publishers.
The result is that news is often exaggerated and sensationalised, take the following example:
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人家都说西方人比较有礼貌，但是接下来的独家画面，要带您来看到，有两个法国女子坐高 铁，却把脚踩在餐桌上，没有公德心还很不卫生，在场目击的民众上前询 问这两名法国女子，她们表示不知道脚踩的是餐桌。高铁表示，面对这样影响到公共卫生的乘客，只能劝导无法可罚，但是屡劝不听就要劳动高铁警察请她们下车。
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fǎ guó nǚ dā gāo tiě bǎ cān zhuō dāng jiǎo tà diàn !?
rén jiā dōu shuō xī fāng rén bǐ jiào yǒu lǐ mào, dàn shì jiē xià lái de dú jiā huà miàn, yào dài nín lái kàn dào, yǒu liǎng gè(ge) fǎ guó nǚ zi zuò gāo tiě, què bǎ jiǎo cǎi zài cān zhuō shàng, méi yǒu gōng dé xīn hái hěn bú wèi shēng, zài chǎng mù jí de mín zhòng shàng qián xún wèn zhè liǎng míng fǎ guó nǚ zi, tā men biǎo shì bú zhī dào jiǎo cǎi de shì cān zhuō. gāo tiě biǎo shì, miàn duì zhè yàng yǐng xiǎng dào gōng gòng wèi shēng de chéng kè, zhǐ néng quàn dǎo wú fǎ kě fá, dàn shì lǚ quàn bù tīng jiù yào láo dòng gāo tiě jǐng chá qǐng tā mén xià chē.
The translation is as follows:
French girl takes the high speed train, uses the meal tray as a foot rest!?
People always think that westerners are more polite, but here is an independent view, let’s take you to see. There were two French girls taking the high speed train, but put their feet on the meal tray, uncivilised and very unhygienic, a witness on the scene approached the two French girls who said that they had no idea that it was a meal tray. The high speed rail company said that when facing the type of passenger who would affect public hygiene all we can do is advise them as there isn’t a law they can be punished under, but if they continue even after being advised to stop then the high speed rail police can ask them to leave the train.
I’ll leave analysis of the news article to the reader, but something worth considering is would the report have made the news were the two girls Taiwanese and not French?
To be fair it’s not only foreigners that make the news in ridiculous reports. A few weeks ago a national news programme featured a story about a woman who changed a price label in a shop to buy something for cheaper. The moral of the story is – in Taiwan, the media is watching you, and one wrong step and you’ll be the next nightly news sensation!
News Source: Yahoo Taiwan
In true Chinese Hacks fashion, here are the keywords from the news article above should you want to read it over: