Author: Brian Canave

TAIWAN: Plurk – or Tweet?!

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES — Taiwanese netizens are obsessed with social media and social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, do not fail to recognize this. This is in lieu to Facebook and Twitters announcements to further tap into the potential of Taiwanese markets. But why are these companies so eager to have presence in this particular island? It’s no surprise they are because according to Digital Media’s Taiwan Social Media Fast Facts presentation “internet growth has been phenomenal. The proportion of the population who are internet users has exceeded 70.1%.” Of the social media avenues out there in Taiwan, Facebook and Wretch are the top social networking sites. Facebook, a common site used by the West, claims to have a 62% penetration to the online population in Taiwan. And Wretch is a popular, Chinese based community website, where users post, blog, and share photos. Out of all the great, rising regions of Asia, why Taiwan? Simple. According to Focus Taiwan News Channel, “Facebook’s penetration rate in Taiwan is higher than in any other Asian market…” and, comments Dan Neary, vice-president of Facebook’s Asia-Pacific marketing team: Taiwanese users are “especially fond of” sharing gourmet food photos [and] using the check-in function.” ZDNet reports these news and adds that more and more Taiwanese checks updates, read news, and organize street demonstrations all through Facebook. Digital Media cites the top three reasons Taiwanese go online: sharing/collecting information; e-mail;...

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THAILAND: Give this Director an Oscar

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – Hey Hollywood, want to learn how to make an emotionally charged film? Check out this three-minute commercial from Thailand. The ad has awed netizens seemingly overnight, showing up in countless reposts on Facebook and Twitter, and praised as more moving and poignant than most Hollywood films with far bigger budgets. What is this commercial about? Who made it? And why is everyone talking about it? It began circulating around the net after popular blog Gawker granted it rave reviews. From then, Facebook users shared it and the Twitterverse tweeted about it. The commercial is a TV spot entitled, “Giving” developed by the Thai telecommunications conglomerate True Corporation. It tells the story of a man receiving a great deal after years of generously giving without expecting anything in return. True Corporation operates telecommunication services, providing fixed-line, broadband, mobile, cable TV, internet cafes, and online gaming. It is currently #1 in Thailand on many of the provided services. Despite its obvious huge success,  its subdivision TrueMove too says that it “[believes] in the power of giving without expecting a return.” Being the #1 service provider in Thailand, I beg to differ. However, the TV spot is an amazing piece of work. All that’s left is for you to watch and be the judge on whether it is Oscar-worthy. For more information, please visit:

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TAIWAN: Does Taiwan Media Need Reform?

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – Taipei Times highlights the lack of a more diverse and critical media system. But wait, isn’t it one of the biggest newspapers in Taiwan? Recently, Taipei Times has published two articles stressing the media’s important role on uncovering news the government may have covered up, as well as the need for media reform. Although Taiwan has many news outlets, is Taiwan’s media doing a good job reflecting all the stories out there? According to National Chung Cheng University’s professor Kuan Chung-hsiang, it is not. According to him,  the mainstream media’s portrayal of social activism is not truthful and often maligned. Kuan believes that media reform should let society’s diverse voices be heard. Without reform, the mainstream media remains devoid of many organizations’ voices and opinions. Kuan implemented a project to address these needs, creating a civil media archive where students have helped record and preserve more than 1,500 pieces of news. Meanwhile, another article highlighted the importance of uncovering news considered unimportant by mainstream media or covered up by the government. Focusing on independent outlets, it praised electronic magazines and social media sites, such as Twitter, for making obscure stories known. For example, in 2009, Chinese rights activist Xu Zhiyong’s arrest triggered heated discussions by netizens on Twitter. Editor of an online magazine “1510,” Beryl Liu, broadcasted the Twitter discussions live, documenting people’s thoughts and...

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TAIWAN: Yes, Young Man, You Could Be a Rape Victim, Too

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – Men are surprisingly alarmed to learn that they too can be victims of sexual assault. Taiwan’s Ministry of Education released a video three years ago entitled, If I Knew Boys Could Be Sexually Assaulted as Well. Uploaded to the internet about a month ago, the video became an insta-hit with netizens causing heated discussion and spurring parodies. In the video, a teen skips school and hangs out at an Internet cafe. An older man lures the teen home, gets him drunk, then rapes him. Afterwards the teen seeks help from a social worker, reports the rape, and receives counseling. National Academy of Educational Research Secretary-General Kuo Kung-pin claims the video has achieved its purpose-to become a topic of conversation among youth. It serves as a reminder that men can be raped as well. The video went viral on Youtube reaching over 800,000 views. Popular lines being repeated include, “Stop, Brother Jay!” and “Oh come on, you’re blushing.” Although many humorous videos have been uploaded, the subject matter is of actual importance. According to Want China Times, Taiwan counted 12,066 victims of reported sexual assault in 2012, including 1,335 men. For more information see:

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TAIWAN: Is It Only ‘Transparently’ Corrupt?

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES –  Transparency International has released its 2013 findings on official corruption and this year Taiwan took it on the chops. The annual assessments are widely respected, and can influence investment by foreign firms and the evaluations of other international agencies and nonprofits. For 2013, Taiwan’s politicians and media topped the list of institutions that were considered ‘corrupt’ or ‘extremely corrupt’. According to the NGO’s annual report, 75% of respondents in Taiwan felt that the parliament/legislature was corrupt. Nearly the same number found political parties to be corrupt, while 62% felt the media was corrupt. Overall, Taiwanese people feel that the level of corruption in their country has decreased only a little. But one survey result in particular sparked protest from the Taiwanese government. According to the results, 35% reported paying a bribe to the Judiciary. Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Kao claimed the results were a “blatant error,” and pointed out that Taiwan had received good rankings in earlier surveys. Compared to previous years, the bribery index  jumped from 7% to 35% from 2010 to 2013. Despite the push-back, Transparency International has stood by its findings. Finn Heinrich, research director of Transparency International Secretariat, said “We have full confidence in the results of the GCB survey, including those for Taiwan.” So do many others around the world. For more information see:

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5 Must See Asian Films on Netflix

Asia Media Podcasts

Asia Media International Staff

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), in an alliance with the university's award-winning Dept.of Political Science, and with the influential Pacific Century Institute.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief:
Jay Seo

Aashna Malpani, Yi Ning Wong

Savannah Nunez

Katrina Crosby

Staff Writers [Beat]:
Nadia Aljojo
Kate Barkley [Australia]
Murad Basrawi
Alexis Cruz [Qatar]
Truman Daly
Jacqueline Dilanchyan
Bobby Fretz
Ephiphany Hulburd
Diana Jablonski [Malaysia]
Matthew Lange [Asian Profiles,Anime]
Frances Magsalin [Korea/Kpop]
Beth McLaughlin
Rachel Oakes
Hiromi Ochi [Singapore]
Dylan Ramos
Fassa Sar [Film]
Tiara Salvabilla
Gloria Santillan [Korea]
Sebastian Segura [Russia]
Elizabeth Soelistio [Indonesia]
Nicolas Swaya
C.J. Stone [Japan]

Special Correspondent:
Clementine Todorov

Curriculum Coordinator:
Evan Sun

Video Team Editor:
Momokoo (Yuchan) Deng

Emeritus Managing Editors:
Savannah Nunez
= Sabrina Verduzco
= Mary Grace Costa
Kelcey Lorenzo

Contribuing Editors Emeritus:

Robert Dylan Fields
Eriko Lee Katayama
Ryan Lippert
Adrian Narayan [India]
James Royce [Australia]
Miranda Pak [Hong Kong]
Lamiya Shabir [Pakistan & Islam]
Yunfei Suo [China]
Erisa Takeda [Japan Politics]
Ryan Urban [Singapore]

Emeritus Associate Publishers:
Jeremiah Fajardo
Brian Chris Canave
Peyton Cross

Emeritus Executive Editor:
Lexie Tucker

Emeritus Executive Senior Editor and Senior Writing Instructor:
Ben Sullivan

Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Prof Tom Plate


Gareth C.C. Chang, Tom Plate, Jennifer Ramos, Kal Raustiala, Jeremiah Fajardo, Ben Sullivan, Greg Treverton