After the lifting of martial law in 1988, the number of newspapers, TV stations, internet-based news sites, and magazines in Taiwan has increased due to the public eager to exercise its right to freedom of speech. Despite having numerous outlets, public media is criticised for the quality of their reporting. Especially when the coronavirus spreads rapidly around the world, lack of science journalists and the urgent need to cover Covid-19 news together aggravate the problem of poor reporting. Researchers noted that science news in Taiwan is heavily relied on international news, including credible news sources, tabloids, and content farms (Huang, 2014; Wei & Chen, 2010). Yet, the main issues and frame types of news reports related to Covid-19 remain unknown. More importantly, the amount of misinformation in these news reports and their spreading routes have not yet been investigated. To better understand the content the public consumed in this critical period, we aim to examine this vast amount of news reports related to Covid-19 pandemic, to identify types and patterns in the news, and to understand how the media system failed to have a positive impact on society.
Chia-Jung (Galong) Lee
Researcher, National Taiwan University