"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The simple truth: Taiwan is a nation

Dan Bloom reveals The New York Times' codified bias against Taiwan

While telling us about a NYT article on Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming, former Taipei Times writer Dan Bloom reveals some details in an op-ed today of how the international media goes about belittling Taiwan's status:
Most news outlets around the world continue to play the game of appeasing China by pretending that Taiwan is a mere island and not a nation, and they routinely send out news bulletins, editorials and multipage feature articles referring to this bustling nation as a mere "island." From the Associated Press to Reuters, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from BBC to Le Monde, Taiwan is just an island, and never a country.

When asked why, a high-placed editor in New York once told this writer: "We must remain neutral and not take sides."

But one must counter that argument with this question: Just how does referring to Taiwan as an island and not as a nation in print make an international news agency "neutral"?


According to the copy desk at the New York Times in Manhattan, Taiwan is not to be referred to as a country or a nation or even an island nation, except in a quoted comment by a person being interviewed. The Times' reporters themselves are commanded to refer to Taiwan in every instance as an island and never a country. It is a written rule of the newsroom, re-examined every few years, but never changed.
The context about Wang Chien-ming in which the above was contained was that NYT writer Tyler Kepner managed to say of Wang in his article, "At 26, he is a national hero in his home country, where he endorses computers and potato chips." In these times, small things can still mean a lot.

Thanks, Tyler! Thanks, Dan!

Matters at hand: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!
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