Monday, October 4, 2010

Taiwan's English-language newspapers

For decades, Taiwan had two English-language newspapers, the China Post and China News. Both were pro-Chinese Nationalist (KMT), as was all media until political liberalisation kicked in in the late 1980s. In 1999, the China News was bought by a local conglomerate, renamed Taiwan News, and changed its political orientation. In the same year, Taipei Times - now Taiwan's best and most popular English-language newspaper - was launched. Taipei Times has always expressed 'Taiwan First' viewpoints and so is close to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

For a decade, these three titles served a tiny pool of readers. They've suffered, like newspapers around the world, from the rise of the Internet and shrinking advertising revenues. It's no surprise that one of them has just gone under. Taiwan News recently scaled down their print operation to the point you're very unlikely to find a copy; they've revamped their website but it's slow and useless. The print edition of the China Post, which remains pro-KMT, is still available islandwide. Sometimes it carries worthwhile reports on local events. Taipei Times is the English-language newspaper you're most likely to come across.

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