One of Taiwan’s biggest struggles is getting its voice heard in a noisy world. That’s partly because so few global news companies have offices here staffed with full-time, seasoned correspondents. Many of the big-named media brands – AP, Dow Jones, Reuters – slashed their budgets and started closing or drastically downsizing their bureaus in Taiwan more than a decade ago. Consequently, Taiwan doesn’t get the coverage it deserves and needs.
We think this is wrong and deeply problematic. A major economy demands in-depth, quality coverage in English – the global language. That’s one main reason why AmCham Taipei publishes this magazine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We humbly contend that Taiwan Business TOPICS is the best English-language source of in-depth journalism about business, trade, and the economy in this country.
The magazine is a huge investment. Maintaining a top-notch staff of editors, hiring the best writers, and buying photos shot by professionals every month is expensive. Very few other business organizations in the region do it. But we believe reliable information is absolutely essential to doing business.
We also believe we must help share Taiwan’s story with the world. In the digital age, this has become much easier. TOPICS moved online years ago, greatly expanding its audience. Every year, we’re seeing eye-popping growth in traffic to our website. This year, it’s already up 65% compared to the same period last year. A big chunk of this audience is in Washington, where TOPICS is read in think tanks, Congressional offices, and at the desks of key figures in the Executive Branch. “Oh, I read about that issue in TOPICS,” is a common remark we hear when we visit Washington each summer for our CEO Mission.
As I read Don Shapiro’s story in this issue about the magazine’s 50 years of history, I couldn’t help but notice that he left out something important: himself. Being the professional that he is, Don kept himself out of the story. But he deserves a prominent mention because he played a key role in making TOPICS a serious magazine and maintaining the quality for the 18 years he’s served as the editor-in-chief. Another unsung hero is Caroline Lee, a tireless saleswoman who sells the ads to our generous company members that help pay for this editorial enterprise.
As we celebrate our past 50 years of publishing, we’re also thinking about the next half century. As Don’s story highlights, TOPICS has done a masterful job evolving over the years – adjusting to the market and its audience. Being nimble and agile is even more important in the digital age. There are new tools and platforms that enable us to tell stories and share information in exciting news ways. We’ll make the most of the technology.
As our content strategy evolves, one thing will stay the same: We’ll continue providing the information that you need to do business in Taiwan.