Author: Brian Canave

TAIWAN: Words Can Hurt

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES– Someone find Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je a public relations specialist pronto! The newly elected official is getting heat from Taiwanese and international media for tone-deaf comments made in the past week. On January 29, Foreign Policy magazine published highlights of a January 20 interview with the former trauma surgeon-turned-mayor. In his first high profile interview by Western media, Ko Wen-je was asked his opinion on topics like Taiwanese democracy and mainland-Taiwan relations. His gaffe came when he “praised colonization which he claimed produces superior cultures.” In regards to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, Ko Wen-je...

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TAIWAN: Media Gets Burned With Cooking Oil

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – Media lesson learned in Taiwan this week: don’t let tainted cooking oil taint your responsibility in reporting. In light of recent reports on the sale of bad cooking oil in Taiwan, the media had a frenzy covering this controversy, including speculation causing an increase in worry for the Taiwanese public. This did not impress US journalism expert Kathleen Culver. Culver, who was visiting Taiwan to conduct workshops, talks, and professional exchanges on media issues said, “If Taiwan media are increasing fear and uncertainty, that ultimately works against the public’s interest.” What prompted these comments to begin with? Culver’s...

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TAIWAN: Red Shirts, Goodbye Skirts, and Other Taiwanese Media Quirks

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES — The media in Taiwan has been buzzing these past weeks, so here’s a quick rundown starting with Hong Kong.  Although the media focuses on the events unfolding in Hong Kong, many sources such as The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), New Tang Dynasty television (NTD), and BBC, reported on Taiwan and why Taipei is keen on what happens. According to WSJ, the protests have been the top news item this week in Taiwan. That’s no surprise, since both regions have similar plights. Since the return of Hong Kong, Beijing has boasted in its policy of “One Country, Two...

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TAIWAN: Sunflower Student Movement Shines All Over the World

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – It appears that Taiwanese students learned a thing or two from the movements of their American and French counterparts in the 1960s. Instead of simple protest demonstrations at Cal Berkley, students in Taiwan had a larger stage in mind: the Legislative Yuan and Executive Yuan of the Republic of China. The movement, dubbed the Sunflower Student Movement or Occupy Taiwan Legislature, garnered heavy media attention worldwide. From Asian news sources such as The Straits Times and Taipei Times to the western Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the month long occupation received a phenomenal amount of coverage.  But, what exactly was their message?  Beginning in the early morning of March 19, students occupied the Legislative Yuan in protest of the Cross Straits Service Trade Agreement with China.  This movement marked the first ever occupation of the Legislative Yuan since the retrocession of Taiwan in 1945. Thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, the protest, which started with only 400 students, sparked a gathering of over 10,000 people. Even NGOs, such as Amnesty International, called for restraint by police through an immediate press release on March 19th. The student group cleverly used the web to garner support through Facebook and Twitter. In addition, their website,, kept an up-to-date timeline of events including photos, a collection of news coverage, and links to share the movement. A lesson we can learn...

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TAIWAN: News Media is a Bit too Starry Eyed

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES — The English-language newspaper The China Post recently criticized local news media in Taiwan. At Asia Media, we couldn’t agree more with what it had to say. In a recent editorial, the Post laments over local coverage of the second Taipei International Comics & Animation Festival. Their complaint centers on the portrayal of otakus – die hard fans of comics and anime who visited the festival. Some news outlets suggested otakus stay at home all day because of their inept social skills. Others commented on how “many geeks rushed into the building when the door was opened and said it was a good way for them to exercise.” Additionally, when attractive female entertainers showed up at the event, the media referred to them as “goddesses of otakus.” The central point of the editorial highlighted that news is becoming more subjective and entertainment-oriented. Instead of researching about otakus or interviewing them for their opinion, the media resorted to low jabs at the attendees of the festival. The editors went on to argue that media should be more conscientious about the reports it publishes. It should not just rely on YouTube and social media trends for articles. Ultimately, the news media of Taiwan is turning into entertainment media. We here at Asia Media noticed this trend as well. Out of our past ten Taiwan articles, half have been related to...

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Weekly Graphic Opinion

US and China need more soft power, not military hardware, to resolve their differences

US and China need more soft power, not military hardware, to resolve their differences

Tom Plate says history is moving in the direction of China and Asia, and America would do well to favour understanding over grandstanding read more...

Editorial Cartoon by David Humphries




ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University's Asia Media Center - a vital part of LMU's Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS)

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