Tabloid Journalism Trumps Politics in Taiwan

After reading the summary of Taiwan’s 2004 media space, make absolutely sure to read this translated article (plus comments) at the blog ESWN.

The most important thing to remember when reading this article, which is not made clear until the very end, is that the Libery Times (as well as its English languge subsidiary the Taipei Times) are ideologically in the pan-green, or pro independence, camp.

A detailed analysis of the Apple Daily-versus-Liberty Times consumer markets showed that the differences occurred in certain age groups and between urban-rural areas. Within the 30 to 34 age group, Apple Daily has 21.8% versus Liberty Times at 18%; within the 40 to 60 age group, Liberty Times is ahead. In the metropolitan areas, Apple Daily leads at 21.2% and Liberty Times only leads in the smaller towns and villages. Overall, the readership of Apple Daily is concentrated in the 12 to 39 age group, and that was the first time that Liberty Times got defeated in this group.

According to industry analysts, the traditional ecology of Taiwan newspapers has been thoroughly disrupted after Apple Daily entered the market two years ago. The two traditional large newspapers — United Daily News and China Times — were completely beaten by Apple Daily and Liberty Times in this survey. The “excellent tradition” of those two newspapers are slowly fading. The measures taken by the two newspapers in terms of editorial improvements have proven to be totally effective, so that the youth advantage of Apple Daily will continue to hold in the future.

2 thoughts on “Tabloid Journalism Trumps Politics in Taiwan”

  1. One should also make absolutely clear, of course, which ESWN’s cited article does not, that Apple Daily is basically a negative propaganda organ owned by interests inimical to Taiwan whose purpose is apparently to make the island look bad. It’s quite true that the Liberty Times and Taipei Times are pro-green. The reason this observation is important is because…..?


  2. Who would these interests inimical to Taiwan be? I was under the impression that the Apple Daily is nothing but a successful tabloid newspaper, devoid of any real politics or even journalistic or moral integrity. Isn’t the format basically the same as the parent newspaper in Hong Kong?

    And your question: It’s not so much important that the Liberty Times is pro-green as that it’s political, compared with the vacuous Apple Daily that’s taking over the market. The article that ESWN translated didn’t make this clear until the end, and I thought people reading it should know that bit of background before they started.

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