Occupiers had to overcome many of the limitation of traditional media in the movement, leading occupiers to develop new and innovative ways of keeping the world updated about the constant going-ons of the movement. Many of these involved the Internet and social media.
Namely, Taiwan’s media environment is highly polarized between the pan-Green camp and the pan-Blue camp. Oftentimes, major events are left out of the news by one political camp or the other if it goes against their worldview, and this situation has gotten worse since Taiwanese media company began to be bought up by Chinese companies under conditions of “media monopoly”. At other times, whether pan-Blue or pan-Green, Taiwanese media simply proves highly vacuous in nature, choosing to focus on gossip instead of the significant political events of the day.
Photo credit: billy1125/Flickr/CC
This was certainly the case with the Sunflower Movement, in which major media outlets, particularly television outlets, sometimes ignored major events within the movement. Chung Tien Television (中天電視), which belongs to the Want Want Group (旺旺), was a major offender. Likewise, of Taiwan’s major newspapers, most inflect a pan-Blue political bias. The United Daily News (聯合報) and China Times (中國時報), for example, were mostly critical of the student occupiers in their coverage and pushed for the passing of the CSSTA. On the other hand, the Liberty Times (自由時報), the major newspaper of the pan-Green political camp, could be reliably counted on to support students.
In part, however, we can account the differences in political views between traditional forms of media such as television and newspapers and online media to a generation gap between the older generation and the Internet-savvy younger generation. This is part of the reason why young people oftentimes turned towards “new media” in place of traditional media.
Read More About the Media and the Sunflower Movement: