Television News in Taiwan

These days, I never watch television news anymore.  The reason is that the information payout is simply too meagre, as so little information of information is conveyed.  Deep in my heart, on days when nothing seemed to be happening, I know that I can always turn on the television and blog on how useless television news is.  But why would I even waste my time on this exercise?

Anyway, the following is a summary made by Lung Ying-Tai when she went back to Taiwan and spent more than an hour watching television news.  Let me say that I am gratified to see that the malaise is universal.

Here is my translation of the relevant part of her essay at New Century Net:

Taiwan-style News

I have not been back in Taiwan for quite a while.  I returned yesterday, and I attentively watched more than one hour of television news.  During that time, I switched among four to five different news channels, but they all seemed to be reporting the same news content.  Here is my summary for you:

  1. The weather has been very cold.  It is snowing in places where it has never snowed before.  People are going in groups up the mountains to watch the snow.  But because they don't know how to dress adequately for the snow, the clinics in the mountain villages are packed with cold sufferers.  So far, 46 people have died as a result of the cold spell.
  2. There was a magnitude 5.9 earthquake.  (Yes, it was shaking heavily.  I was awaken.  I waited under my blanket in the dark, and then I went back to sleep again.)  The television programs had extensive reports, including these shots: (1) Merchandise tumbling down in supermarkets; (2) Dogs, deers, cows and rats were uneasy because they seemed to be prescient; (3) A person with special gifts predicted that there would be an earthquake, but for the wrong day; (4) The nurses at the hospital were crying out of fright; (5) Some people ran out of their homes carrying their blankets and piggy banks.
  3. A burglar was in action, but unfortunately encountered the earthquake, fell down and was apprehended.  It was "bad luck" for him, beacuse he was holding a pair of female underpants in his hand.
  4. It is very cold, and people are taking hot water baths.  Seven people were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning  The camera shot: the bodies were being carried out.
  5. Two corpses were discovered at a hotel.
  6. A car lost control and crashed into a vegetable market.  More than a dozen people were injured.
  7. A four-year-old girl had been kept in the pig sty by her grandmother for two years.
  8. A legislator got married.  Several politicians went to the wedding banquet.  They took their seats but they were not talking to each other.
  9. There was a street demonstration against the Chinese Communists' "anti-seccessionist law."  The camera shots: an old man fainted, a little child was crying, pretty dogs wearing ribbons jumped back and forth.
  10. The media covered the two Congresses in China.  When the reporters rushed into the conference hall, they tripped and fell down.
  11. The lights were turned off at the lantern festival.

Alright, that was the news from Taiwan on March 6, 2005.  So what was the atmosphere at the two Congresses in Beijing?  How is the political system going to change in Hong Kong as a result of the resignation of its Chief Executive?  What else is happening in the international arena?  I did not see a thing.  I had to get on the Internet to find out.

For anyone who is genuinely interested in getting news, television is just not the way to go anymore.  Yet it remains true that television is still the principal medium by which the majority of the people get their news from.