Independent media organizations could serve as an important source of information for the public, especially when some events are purposely covered up by the government or considered unimportant by conventional news outlets.
Aiming to “publicize stories that have disappeared, restore the stories that have been edited and attract public attention to issues that do not have public attention,” Hong Kong-based 1510 online magazine editor and co-organizer of the Co-China forum Beryl Liu (劉垚) and a few friends have founded the electronic magazine to penetrate censorship of the Chinese government.
“The idea to found an electronic magazine came up when a few friends and I decided to organize a forum to discuss the arrest of Chinese rights activist Xu Zhiyong [許志永] in 2009,” Liu told a conference organized by the Association of Taiwan Journalists in Taipei yesterday.
“Xu’s arrest triggered much concern and heated discussions by netizens on Twitter. However, the incident was not reported by any media in China,” she said. “We broadcast the discussion live on Twitter and it was surprisingly popular among netizens.”
“The broadcast gave us the idea that it’s actually not that hard to create a media outlet and report things that the government doesn’t want you to report, or in which conventional media outlets are not interested,” she added.
The idea later gave birth to the online magazine “1510” — which is a Chinese homonym meaning “complete and honest.”
However, online magazines face obstacles because of Chinese government Internet censorship.
Liu said that often the magazine receives telephone calls from government agencies asking it to take down some reports, saying that otherwise, its Web site or Twitter account may be blocked.
“When this happens, we have to cooperate at first and think of another way to spread the message — such as changing the title or taking out sensitive words, but of course we will make sure our readers still know what we are trying to get across,” Liu said.
One of the biggest challenges for independent media outlet is the funding, and this is why the online news source News&Market made itself not only a news platform, but also a platform for selling reliable agricultural products.
“We have a news department and a marketing department. The marketing department sells products to support operation of the news department,” News&Market co-founder Feng Hsiao-fei (馮小非) said. “But do not get us wrong — we do not sell news.”
Feng said that the objective of the marketing department is to help small farmers and allow consumers to buy reliable, organic and non-genetically modified produce.
News&Market also invites the public to make small donations.
“So far, we have 700 individual sponsors, who donate NT$300 a year,” Feng said. “We are fortunate that, so far, we are still self-sustainable, and are able to make reports uninfluenced by the government or by news corporations.”
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
NEW RECRUITS: Nearly 9 million students are to graduate from university next month, and Beijing plans to use incentives to convince them to join the military, an analyst said Rising unemployment in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic could benefit the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by allowing it to attract new, better educated recruits, a Taiwanese security researcher said on Friday. Chen Ying-hsuan (陳穎萱), a policy analyst at the Division of Chinese Politics and Military Affairs at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, a government-funded think tank, made the remarks in an article published in the Defense Security Biweekly magazine. About 8.74 million university students are expected to graduate in China next month, while Chinese companies’ demand for fresh graduates fell 16.77 percent annually in the