Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Media poll reveals popular papers

MOST READ The nation's news media preferences were laid bare following a university survey that revealed the `Liberty Times' was the most popular Chinese newspaper

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A poll center yesterday, releasing the results of an annual survey that assesses Taiwan's media, said that the most-read Chinese-language newspaper in the country is the Liberty Times, followed by the Apple Daily.

The Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) was read by 22.91 percent of those polled while the Apple Daily trailed by one percentage point, the survey revealed. The rankings last year produced the same results.

The survey polled a total of 1,100 people between the ages of 15 and 64 nationwide and was conducted via face-to-face interviews by Shih Hsin University's Institute of Public Opinion in April and May. The survey this year was the third of its kind, though some new indicators were added.

For the top newspaper in the categories best quality, most professional knowledge, most international perspective and most local features, Liberty Times ranked first, with the Apple Daily ranked highest in categories such as most diverse content and most influence on the public.

Negative influence

However, more than half of the people polled believed the Apple Daily to have a negative influence while 78.48 percent polled thought the China Times had the most positive influence out of all the papers.

The United Daily News was dubbed as the paper that offered the best educational and cultural information, the Liberty Times as the best source for hard news, the Apple Daily was tops for lifestyle and entertainment information and the Economic Daily News was the best source for investment and financial news.

In terms of television media, the three most-viewed channels were the news channel FTV, the English movie channel HBO and CTV, according to the survey.

Discovery popular

Meanwhile, the Discovery Channel was thought to be the channel with the most in-depth and diverse content.

Su Chien-chou (蘇建州), a journalism professor at Shih Hsin University, said that compared to last year's poll, the overall rankings for each category did not change drastically.

However the most notable change was that newspaper readership was on the decline, dropping almost 7 percent from last year to 61.98 percent, while the percentage of people who obtain news from the Internet increased to 62.06 percent this year, surpassing newspapers, Su said.

Su said that the center decided to conduct the survey to offer rankings for different indicators instead of just the readership numbers provided by AC Nielson.

Cheng Tzu-leong (鄭自隆), chairman of the Broadcasting Development Fund, said that although the survey was meaningful in providing guidelines for the media and pointing out what to improve, it was still problematic in that it did not take into consideration whether those polled read all four major Chinese-language newspapers or not, Cheng said.

Bias

Whether those respondents only read one paper or four different papers made a difference because it affected their ability to compare between the papers or merely answer the survey with a certain bias or the impression they have of the media concerned, he said.

Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉), the director of National Taiwan Normal University's Graduate School of Journalism, said the survey also showed that although the public knew which media was the best quality-wise and provided the most information, most people still chose "entertaining" channels or media publications over quality ones, possibly because the entertaining ones helped them relieve the stress of everyday life.

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