Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) launched a fund-raising campaign yesterday, hoping to start an afternoon newspaper targeting those who do not favor closer ties with China.
Lu said she hoped to raise at least NT$200 million (US$6.25 million) in a bid to launch the Formosa Post (玉山午報), the Chinese name of which means “Jade Mountain afternoon paper,” on July 1.
Formosa Post spokesman Loh Chih-cheng (羅致政) said the newspaper would focus more on in-depth analysis than daily news. The paper will have its own reporters, but also welcome public contributors, he said.
Loh said the Chinese-language daily would be available online and some articles could be translated into English.
In response to skepticism about launching the paper during an economic downturn, Loh said many donors felt the role of the newspaper was more important than its profit margin.
“They want to see a group of people helping to spread the voice of the Taiwanese people,” he said. “Even if the paper lasts three or four years, it is worth it.”
Loh said the Capital Morning Post lasted only 14 months but played an important role in Taiwan’s democratization and that no one could ignore the importance of the Independence Evening Post to the dangwai opposition movement.
Lu said the Formosa Post would be an “atypical newspaper necessary for those Taiwanese who want to be their own lord and master.”
The paper’s purpose will be to push for progress on many fronts, including Taiwan’s normalization and globalization, she said.
Lu called on the public to support the publication and “make the impossible possible.”
“If we cannot get a newspaper running, how do you expect us to build a new country?” she said.
She said her determination to start the newspaper had strengthened during her visit to Washington last month for US President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
“I was very concerned when my friends told me that the US government thinks it does not need to worry too much about Taiwan because the Taiwanese public seems to approve of what the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration is doing,” she said. “There are differing voices in Taiwan, but they are not loud enough.”
Lu also thanked former senior presidential adviser Kang Ning-hsiang (康寧祥), founder of the short-lived Capital Morning Post, and Lee Je-lang (李哲朗), former president of the Min Chun Daily News, for their encouragement.
Lu, who was vice president of Formosa magazine in the 1970s, said it had published only four issues before the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government ordered it to close. The magazine, however, played a historic role in the country’s democratization, she said.
Lu said some of her friends were opposed to her idea, but that “someone must take on hard tasks and be willing to sacrifice herself or himself when danger comes,” she said. “We are living in a time when we are losing our hope and feel confused about our future.”
Lu also encouraged the public to vote for Yushan in an online poll for the world’s new seven wonders of nature at new7wonders.com. The Web site lists Jade Mountain as “Yu Shan (Chinese Taipei),” Lu said, urging the public to send the organizer letters asking that the mistake be corrected.