The Role of a Cultural Magazine


2020 / March

Ivan Chen /tr. by Phil Newell

When addressing the novel issues that compete for our attention, magazines by their very nature cannot compare with books in terms of depth and comprehens­ive treatment. Often readers will pick up a maga­zine with a headline that attracts them, and then just flip through the pictures and put the magazine aside. Sadly, this causes most magazines on the market to tend toward superficial reporting.

Moreover, what people most criticize about magazines is that they carry too many advertisements. Given magazines’ limited space, these ads sharply reduce real content—not to mention the number of sponsored articles that are really advertising. For some commercially operated travel magazines there is nothing inappropriate in this, for their chosen role is to introduce tourist attractions and itineraries through large, appealing images. But for magazines that focus more on in-depth reporting of cultural and societal issues, this would be disappointing.

Many magazines base their reporting on on-the-spot journalism, but they differ in their depth of coverage. When it comes to cultural and societal topics, Taiwan Panorama has a strong foundation in over 40 years of reporting from around Taiwan and from ethnic Chinese communities worldwide, which is reflected in our approach to and perspective on current issues and our understanding of government policies and Taiwan’s various economic sectors. This is why we deliber­ately limit advertising and devote more pages to reporting, so that each and every feature can offer unusual depth and breadth. With countless on-the-spot reports conveying the personal experiences of numerous interviewees, the magazine is worth reading not only for its beautiful photographs, but also for its dependable and credible content. This is where Taiwan Pan­orama’s value lies.

In our cover story this month, experts share their experiences of “Taiwan-style hos­pit­ality” from four different angles. We also visit Grand Courtyard, a historic site renovated as an art venue, and look at the creative power of the Golden Pin Design Awards, as well as the community impact of Yilan’s IBU Book Café. And we bring you a cycle tour through the Chianan Plain, and an exclusive interview with Chinese-­American presidential candidate Andrew Yang, bringing a sense of the capabilities of Taiwan and of overseas Chinese to readers around the globe.

However, no matter how much effort we invest in our reports, we still need the support and encouragement of our readers. If you think this magazine stands out from the crowd, please recommend it to your family and friends. We hope that more and more readers can discover Taiwan Panorama and share in its fun and enthusiasm.

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