Competence and Heart
Noodles in hot broth for breakfast. Fantastic.
Then at 9:00 am I met Chi-Hsiang Yeh, General Editor of Taiwan Church News & Press (website in Chinese only). This is the Presbyterian church printing ministry, with a staff of 16, that introduced the first newspaper in Taiwan back in 1885, with a printing press brought over from Scotland. Today they publish books, pamphlets, serialized bible reflections, song books and other print material.
The weekly, ï¿½Taiwan Church News,ï¿½ has a circulation of 5,000 that goes to congregations to be picked up on Sunday and also to individual subscribers. The weekly keeps the church members informed about current affairs, from the point of view of the Christian faith.
This weekï¿½s issue, 24 pages, includes full-color stories of current events with feature stories that explore the stories in-depth. For example, there is a series of articles that explore the facets of the latest scandal in Taipei: a hospital refused treatment to a poor girl and sent her away to a rural hospital. As word about this spread, hospitals in Taiwan were taken to task by the general public. ï¿½Taiwan Church Newsï¿½ begins with coverage of this event, but then does a remarkeable job of adding these features:
–four prominent administrators of christian-run hospitals in Taipei recount what can causes such incidents and what health care policies the general public needs to look at
–A report about ï¿½St. Maryï¿½sï¿½ hospital that conducts regular workshops for their young doctors about medical ethics and patient respect: how to listen to and care for patients. These workshops integrate older doctors who tell stories about their experiences. ï¿½You canï¿½t tell them what to do because that is very difficult, but you can share stories about what experiences have been, and you can lead by example.ï¿½
–A book published by a Mennonite hospital, ï¿½The Angelï¿½s Eyesï¿½ is featured in one of the stories, a book that is a collection of short stories/case studies written by doctors who have had experiences with ethical decisions and how they resolved them.
The paper includes a section featuring aborigine communities. There are 12 languages spoken among the aborigine communities. Every week there is a section on the environment.
There is also a section written in Taiwanese, which is often the language that suffers from prejudice in comparison Mandarin. Incorporating this other language is a strong and clear option of the paper, ï¿½and we will not change that,ï¿½ says Mr. Yeh.
Subscriptions are on the rise. Reporting has improved over the past years, due to improved journalistic skills. Throughout the pages there is a spirit of present day grace and courage. The feel of the paper is contemporary and intelligent. Mr. Yeh, who studied in Taipei and also at Princeton and Duke, remarks that ï¿½We as Christians have a way to be in the world, and we have something relevant to say .ï¿½
As regards Internet re-visioning of the press, he remarks that all of their material, including a wonderful series of daily bible reflecctions (re-written every year to tak into account current events) are availabale for downloading online, in pdf format.
He would like Chinese Christians and churches in the US to download and print the contents and use them if they are relevant. But he says that even in Asian countries there is a block to this ï¿½free sharingï¿½ of content. ï¿½There is a mental block against this,ï¿½ he says. ï¿½They think that maybe there is a trick or that this is not really possible. The barrier is a mental one right now.ï¿½
I told Mr. Yeh about the WACC conference in France about copyright and he really wants to attend. He wants to do all he can to promote this free sharing, and ï¿½justiceï¿½ sharing according to needs that should be respected.
If any Presbyterian, or other, church members want to take advantage of this, send an email to Chi-Hsiang Yeh.
I could go on and onï¿½..what an exciting meeting.
Iï¿½d like for NARA-WACC or the Catholic Communicatons Academy to ask Mr. Yeh to come and talk to us sometime in the near future. He has a degree in theology, having completed all of his seminary studies.
Next is a meeting with another publishing house, Kuangchi Cultural Group. See you after lunch. Yum—noodles!!!