Friday, May 26, 2006

KMT Closes Down Newspaper of 79 Years

Taiwanese media continues to slide away from the island's classic blue-green political divide. KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou has put the axe to a party mouthpiece of 79 years, the Central Daily News (中央日報), which will stop publication on June 1 (English story here or one of many Chinese writeups here).

Apart from a few aging Nationalist Army soldiers and other blue diehards, I doubt anyone will really care - which just goes to show how political bias doesn't move news anymore, though the media remains heavily politically invested. Of course everyone has known this for two or thee years, since Next Magazine and the Apple Daily appeared and blew the rest of the print media out of the water by chasing scandals at the cost of anyone and everyone, regardless of affiliation. Thankfully it finally put in the background a newspaper ecology where you had the China-friendly blues︰
China News and United Daily News; versus the independence-leaning green︰Liberty Times

This also extends to Taiwan's English press, with China Post blue and Taiwan News and Taipei Times green. Here the situation is even more unfortunate and less likely to change. For rich laobans, the political cred of owning even a small-run English paper easily sets off the losses, and those can be kept in check anyway through belt tightening. Expats hate this because competition never becomes a real issue, which keeps resources spread thin and leaves Taiwan with the three papers that are less than good.

The Central Daily News was establish on February 1, 1928 according to most reports, but for some reason Medianews Online writes it was established in September 1951.

Of minor interest, Ma Ying-jeou shows himself as progressive to some degree by pulling the plug; meanwhile his predecessor as KMT chairman Lien Chan, China-fucker extraordinaire, has said he'd prefer to keep the Central Daily News alive.


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