Reflective Analysis: How Taiwanese Young Adults React To News Media And Its Impact On Public Opinion

Demographic and Attitudinal Factors Influencing Young Adults’ Exposure to Different Types of News Media

Taiwan relates to one of the states which are located in the eastern part of Asia. Officially, it is referred to as the Republic of China. Before the 17th century, Aborigines inhabited the island. Currently, various ethnic groups such as the Han Taiwanese, the Hoklo as well as the Hakkas constitute 95.8% of Taiwan’s residents (McCombs 2018). The Qing dynasty annexed the region in 1683. The estimates provided in 2018 indicate that ROC is populated by 23,577,271 individuals. In comparison to other global regions which are densely populated, Taiwan is ranked 7th. The paper aims at presenting a reflection analysis in regards to the reaction of young adults residing in the Republic of China to news media and the impact of the selectivity on public opinion.

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The Taiwanese youth influence their country’s politics particularly after the 2014 formation of the Sunflower Movement (Bäck et al. 2018). While groups constituting the elderly have attitudes which are fixed concerning political candidates, Taiwan’s young adults are not as easy to predict. The issues evident in their nation economically are among the factors that pave the way for political involvement. Election outcomes are often dependent on the youth as they constitute a vast majority of Taiwan’s electorate. Moreover, partisan politics are among the provisions that youths seek to suppress while fostering conditions suitable for civic ideals which are inclusive (Skoric et al. 2016). Political activism is common among young people who show their support through various groups such as the Youth League as well as the Youth Unit.

Civic duties require citizens to fulfill their respective responsibilities. In most cases, the duties relate to engaging in voting and other processes which are politically inclined aimed at ensuring democratic governance (Han and Arpan 2017). In Taiwan, young people engage in activities which are voluntary. The objective is to improve aspects which influence the lives of young individuals. For example, college graduates in Taiwan are only able to obtain an income of $750 which is lower when compared to their counterparts in Hong Kong.

Moreover, the nation’s GDP growth is quite low regardless property prices in Taiwan which are considered to be the highest globally. Hence, youths consider their engagement in various political processes as a means to foster the desired transformation in their country’s affairs (Shim and Oh 2018). The involvement of a vast majority of youths was facilitated through the implementation of a 2014 poll to ensure that the age which was considered to be appropriate for voting was amended.

Overview of Taiwan’s Media Landscape

Interpersonal communication is either written or verbal. Access to the internet has revolutionized communication among Taiwanese young people. In total, 77% of the individuals living in Taiwan prefer Facebook to foster interactions with peers (Shih 2015). Moreover, other platforms such as Instagram are used to ensure that Taiwan residents stay connected. Online sites make it possible for interpersonal relationships to be formulated and even maintained. The different strategies used are endeavored to overcome space limitations or challenges with regards to finding enough time to meet with other individuals. Communication among young people is common, particularly where they use similar facilities (Liu and Zhao 2015). These include schools and places in which they work. Moreover, meeting s are often organized providing a forum to discuss issues of national importance while forming interpersonal connections. Where the relationships developed are positive, the result is that social work can be effectively supported while encouraging a cordial atmosphere.

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In Asia, the freedom granted to the media in Taiwan is considered to be the highest. The radio, internet, television, magazines, and newspapers are used to communicate different ideologies to the parties involved. In 1987, the state chose to divert from operating using authoritarian methods (Guo and McCombs 2015). The implication is that the sentiments communicated by individuals with opposing political views can also be relayed to the public. Initially, censorship was evident about national security and relations which had a cross-strait affiliation. The National Communications Commission, as well as the Government Information Office, were charged with the responsibility of overseeing the activities of the media. For example, some videos were being circulated in the wake of the elections conducted in 2005 (Chen et al. 2016). The aim was to sway the perspective of the Taiwanese with regards to respective candidates. However, the Election and Recall Act was used to ensure that the materials were not offered to the intended publics.

Individuals residing in Taiwan rely on numerous sources such as The Journalist to ensure that they are continuously informed of emerging political as well as social issues. Also, some editorial criticism is also directed toward the government and its opposition.  The Taiwanese access to the reports prepared by various media houses indicates reduced satisfaction where the national government is concerned. The result is that the public is more inclined to act on the details offered paving the way for political as well as social unrest. For example, scandals which implicated President Ma Ying-jeou were communicated to the Taiwanese in 2013 (Relly et al. 2015). The outcome was the protests held in Taiwan to offer the indication that the Ma was becoming unpopular among the masses. Moreover, the 2016 elections were expected to be influenced by the upheaval.

The Role of News Media in Shaping Political and Social Issues

Country analysis and how the young audience reacts differently to the news media both traditional and online

The operators who dominate the telecommunications market in Taiwan are three in total. They include FarEasTone Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom in addition to Taiwan Mobile. The companies cater for more than 70% of the services availed to Taiwanese residents (Tsai and Zhang 2017). The system operators offering cable TV services in Taiwan are 62 in total. Moreover, there are three systems which are used for programme transmission. CNS, TOP, Kbro, TFN coupled with TBC are the multi-system operators whose operations are based in Japan. ADSL, cable modem in addition to FTTx offer clients access to internet services.

The news relayed to the youth serves as an avenue through which an identity that is collective can be fostered. The outcome is that efforts can be made to ensure democracy prevails to resolve issues present in the social or political sphere. Actions necessary to impact the lives of the Taiwanese can be undertaken owing to the acquisition of relevant information. For example, the nation’s young people can offer their opinion concerning the tense relations evident where Beijing and Taipei are concerned. Moreover, decisions concerning the news received from traditional as well as online sources can be used to determine the selection of Taiwan’s policymakers.

Over the years, numerous changes have been evident in Taiwan politically and with regards to the methods relied on for the achievement of democracy. However, the media has often served to highlight the tensions evident among different Taiwanese factions. Regardless of the media’s input, locals perceive media houses as proponents of Chaos. In 2006, it was estimated that the Taiwanese who relied on the media as a source of trusted information was 1% of the nation’s population. During the era in which the country was characterized by martial law from 1949 to 1987, the media’s actions were primarily aimed at supplementing the system politically established and the values that it advocated for socially (Chin 2016). Over time, the activities of various reporting houses have ceased to impact the activities undertaken by the public generally as a result of content which is inferior quality while focusing on trivial occurrences. In addition, the coverage rendered towards affairs of an international nature is often scant.

The theory focuses on an approach that is audience-centered. The emphasis is often on how individuals can utilize media.  The implication is often that users can determine their usage of the media for various purposes. Youths make up 20% of the population residing in Taiwan. In most cases, their utilization of media at their disposal is often with the aim of changing the course with regards to matters of significance to the nation. The issues that mandate improvement are communicated to various facets ensuring that they render their support to undertakings which are of a national significance. For example, first-time voters in 2016 were estimated at 1.29 million concerning the elections which were held in Taiwan (Liu 2015). Online sources were the platform used to ensure that young people could be integrated into the process of voting. Moreover, civic activism has experienced a resurgence owing the youths ability to use various outlets to ensure effective mobilization. The legislature was marked by student occupation in 2014 owing to the deal made between China and Taiwan relating to service trade which had not been subjected to adequate scrutiny.

Impact of News Media on the Youth’s Civic Engagement

The concept is based on classical literature of a sociological nature. Moreover, it asserts that media should be scrutinized alongside their audiences particularly about their social systems which are larger. Media dependency theory indicates that the messages communicated by the media can have various effects categorized as cognitive, affective or even behavioral. In Taiwan, the theory is evident where new people are introduced to the masses to engage in activities which are economically, socially as well as politically inclined even though they might be public figures.  For example, Freddy Lim is recognized for being a member of the Chthonic band (Dunwoody and Peters 2016). Through Guts United, his efforts are aimed at increasing the participation of youths in political undertakings. The implication is that youngsters are led into believing that politics are not only accessible for them, but also participation is an aspect to enjoy.

The concept emphasizes on the ability of news publishing houses to determine the depth that should be levied on topics whose agenda affects the public. Hence, some forecasts are made where the theory is relied on. The frequency of coverage particularly where specific news items are involved is considered as a factor essential in qualifying their importance. Instances, where the needs among the respective audience are pronounced, are often deemed appropriate for the media effects of agenda-setting to be heightened. Moreover, it is often a means through which social ambiguity or even changes can be addressed. In addition, the ease with which news can be accessed is determined by the prominence directed towards the coverage of specific provisions. In 2008, DPP established Freddy Action which was primarily intended for the youth (Tong and Lo 2017). The products which were designed to promote the party’s cause were intended to increase the focus rendered to encouraging youth involvement in campaigning for the nation’s elections.

The theory reinforces the tendency of individuals to incline themselves towards details that served to emphasize their views which are pre-existing. In most cases, individuals can evaluate the information presented to them resulting in an extensive inclination towards some evidence which might seem favorable (Schranz and Eisenegger 2016). The scene in Taiwan features the propensity of the nation’s young population to support provisions which are generally meant to improve anticipated outcomes for the local populace.

Social media is critical in facilitating how individuals can relate. Hence, the digital divide which might be evident between individuals in different global regions is effectively bridged. This fosters relationships among the Taiwanese.

The Use of Social Media for Civic Activism

Media serves as a channel through which the Taiwanese can communicate their concerns while seeking solutions which can be considered as viable. For example, the legitimacy of Taiwan has been a matter of national concern. Among the factors evaluated include the status granted to PRC as well as ROC legally and the implications of the laws which are internationally viable. Hence, the recognition accorded to the two nations diplomatically is among the factors that draw concern.


The youths in Taiwan have extensively gravitated towards the use of contemporary media to ensure that their actions support the achievement of common causes.  The result is that communication occurs effectively and the motivation for different causes can be understood to facilitate cohesiveness. Hence, media is a powerful tool which serves to influence the actions evident from the nation’s young people.

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