Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - Page 4 News List

City-published journals a waste of funds: councilor

CANCELATIONS?An academic panel is to conduct a review of all publications run by the city government and decide which ones to axe, a Taipei official said

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government wastes more than NT$43 million (US$1.38 million) each year publishing magazines that no one reads, Taipei City Councilor Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“The volume of magazines printed by the city government last year would have been enough for every city resident to get their hands on one, but almost no one knows about these publications,” he said.

Lin cited figures showing that 18 magazines and journals published by the city last year sold only 658 copies out of the more than 2.8 million printed.

He cited as particularly egregious the Department of Civil Affairs’ Chinese-language Insoul (心鏡宗教季刊) magazine.

Despite the magazine’s religious theme, it has served primarily to promote city government figures whose photographs dominate its pages, he said.

The magazine’s budget for this year is the same as last year even though the allotted number of printed copies has been halved, he said.

He urged the city government to concentrate its resources on publications that can truly promote the city.

Taipei Research Development and Evaluation Commission Deputy Chairperson Huang Ming-tsai (黃銘材) said that the city-published magazines and journals are mostly provided for free and are not aimed at the commercial market.

Aside from publications aimed at the general public, there are also academic journals, he said.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has already instructed the commission to form an academic panel to review these magazines and journals, with plans to cancel any publications that receive low marks.

The Department of Civil Affairs said that publication of Insoul magazine is to be canceled next year.

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