Fatal earthquake fuels Taiwanese media’s obsession with news animation | Society News | SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

Fatal earthquake fuels Taiwanese media’s obsession with news animation

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 4.54.12 PM 1

The New York Times reports that on Tuesday, February 6, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Taiwan, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens missing.

When covering natural disasters such as this, responsible news reporters usually avoid portrayals of accident that seem amusing or be offensive to victims and their families.

However, this is not the case for some Taiwanese media outlets, which, with the tool of animation, have been honing their skills in blurring the delicate line between reality and imagination for many years. And the latest coverage of the fatal earthquake is just another abhorrent example.

Some of the unsettling graphics include:

A giant gorilla on a skyscraper, shaking the building to make the ground vibrate. It then falls to the ground.

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 4.48.30 PM 2

Four oxen in human outfits jumping up and down in front of the image of seismic waves captured by a seismometer.

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 4.48.47 PM 1

Two kids on oxen striking the ground due to the strong vibration caused by the earthquake.

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 4.49.02 PM 1

Another human-like ox panicking in what appears to be a theater as the ceiling is falling down.

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 4.49.40 PM 1

Cartoonifying news is not a novel idea, and Taiwanese media, led by Apple Daily, is no doubt the culprit that has exploited animation technology to its fullest. Next Media Animation, a Taipei-based video production company that created the animated reenactment of Tiger Woods’ 2009 car crash — a viral clip that so far has attracted more than 2.7 million views on YouTube — is one example that has been noted by a group of Western media, such as NPR, CNN, and the Guardian.

While these computer-generated animated videos often serve as a perfect medium for sensational or salacious news regarding crimes or celebrity gossip, as it’s extremely hard for journalists to obtain real footage of such stories, the usage of animation to illustrate the recent earthquake in Taiwan has been roundly criticized by internet users in mainland China. “They just can’t stop themselves from making every piece of news to be entertainment news,” one commenter wrote.

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.