Taipei Times on Taiwan blogs

Stream in BeitouToday's Taipei Times featured an article by Ron Brownlow about Taiwan blogs. It includes quotes from Michael Turton and myself. The article also mentions larger Taiwan community or portal websites, Forumosa.com, Taiwan Ho, Taiwan Fun and Taiwan Nights.

The article notes some of Michael Turton's thoughts about the role of blogs in reporting news from Taiwan.

"I like to see myself as presenting sides of Taiwan that most people ordinarily wouldn't interact with, especially overseas," Turton said. His Web presence has earned him a small degree of fame and notoriety that, in his words, "reflects a tremendous hunger for knowledge about Taiwan that's going unfulfilled in the traditional media." 

I also think blogs have an important role to play. While I don't think they will necessarily replace the mass media they can fill in many gaps. Blogs are not subject to the same constraints of style, commercial interests or deadlines as the mass media. Although they may not reach as many people they can reach an audience that is seeking specific information. 

For people that cannot read Chinese it is often difficult to get good information about Taiwan. I hope I can make a small contribution to increasing the amount of information about Taiwan available in English. That way others can also enjoy some of the things in Taiwan that I have. 

Recommended website #2: Taipei Times

Taipei Times

Of Taiwan's three English-language daily newspapers the Taipei Times is by far the best both in print and on the web. While the website is a bit dated in its design it is clean and easy to read. All the articles from the print edition of the paper go online at midday (Taiwan time) every day. 

A great feature of the website is that all the articles dating back to 1999 are archived and freely available. This makes the website a great place for researching Taiwan's recent history. The site also has an RSS feed so you can easily keep up to date with the latest headlines.  

The photo news section displays all the photos published in the paper. There are often some very interesting photos, but sometimes these appear with only a short caption and no background story. 

The Taipei Times is the sister paper of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (自由時報), Taiwan's most popular daily newspaper (it may have recently been overtaken by the Apple Daily in sales). The editorials in both papers generally favour the Pan-Green Coalition (DPP and pro-independence parties).

In some ways it offers an antidote to the biased coverage in just about every other media outlet. However, the best analysis (in English) of Taiwan's political situation these days can be found on a number of excellent blogs. I suggest Taiwan Matters, a group blog on Taiwan politics, as a good place to start reading.