Tor lists Taiwan
For the past 10 years or so, Taiwanese science fiction fans were not allowed to join the sci-fi Web site Tor.com as citizens of a country called Taiwan. Until recently, Taiwanese fans had to register at the free Web site as either being from “China” or “Taiwan, Province of China.” On the Web site’s drop-down menu of countries, there was no Taiwan, not even a Republic of China, the nation’s formal name.
Recently, the editors and webmaster at Tor were lobbied by Taiwanese sci-fi fans and fans from around the world to change the wording on the drop-down menu from “Taiwan, Province of China” to just “Taiwan.”
To see the new and improved drop-down menu at Tor, go to www.tor.com/register.
Taiwan is in the alphabetical listing of countries under “T,” at its rightful place. Kudos go to the editorial staff at Tor who took into account the letters from Taiwanese sci-fi fans asking the webmaster to change the drop-down menu.
Taiwanese sci-fi fans are happy about this turn of events. Many countries have in the 21st century found themselves bumping up against China’s propaganda shenanigans, but many are now fighting back.
The good news is that the change to Tor’s drop-down menu on its registration form is very welcome.
Media oversight appreciated
When I started working in the media industry, there was no National Communications Commission (NCC) to monitor the media. At the time, I encountered an unbelievable piece of fake news: A reporter hired two actors for NT$1,000 to have them act out looking for a one-night stand online to be able to get an “exclusive.” When I asked why, the reporter told me that many media outlets would do the same to get an exclusive report.
Every time a friend asks me which news station can be trusted, I bring up this example to explain that at that time, it was very likely that no media outlet could be trusted, unless they had actually witnessed the event with their own eyes.
In recent years, the NCC has been monitoring the media, and although it cannot be denied that fabricated news still exists, at least there is a lot less of it than there used to be.
Commentary on the NCC’s decision not to renew CTi News’ operating license has been polarized, but as a media worker, I approve of the NCC and acknowledge the necessity of its existence.
At the very least, the knowledge that they are being monitored has made media outlets pay much more attention to self-regulation, and managers are telling reporters that they cannot hire friends to act out a story for them.
Surely this must be the kind of media environment that all Taiwanese want.
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