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International College of Innovation Hosts Lecture on the Crucial Role of ‘Fixers’ in Foreign Media Coverage of Taiwan’s Presidential Election

By 01/10/2024No Comments

As Taiwan’s presidential elections draw near, the spotlight from international media is increasingly turning towards this vibrant island nation. In a timely event, the International College of Innovation recently hosted an engaging lecture titled “Deep Involvement in Reporting Taiwan’s Presidential Election: Becoming a Fixer.” The event shed light on the critical, yet often unacknowledged, role of ‘Fixers’ – local guides or assistants instrumental in aiding foreign journalists in Taiwan.

Mr. Hugo Peng, a seasoned Fixer with substantial experience in the field, was the keynote speaker. He delved into the multifaceted aspects of a Fixer’s role, which ranges from helping international journalists understand the socio-political and cultural landscape of Taiwan to managing their expectations and logistical arrangements.

One of the key points highlighted by Mr. Peng was the necessity for Fixers to reshape the foreign media’s narrative of Taiwan. Often confined to the context of cross-strait tensions and geopolitical issues, Mr. Peng has been pivotal in steering the narrative towards more diverse and encompassing stories about Taiwan. He cited his collaboration with NPR in showcasing the unique blend of indigenous culture and electronic music by the Paiwan singer ABAO as a prime example of this effort.

The lecture also touched upon the challenges faced by Fixers, emphasizing the demanding nature of this role. Mr. Peng shared his experiences of working with various international media outlets, including the BBC, underscoring the complexities involved in television production, which often requires extensive time and travel.

Becoming a successful Fixer, as outlined by Mr. Peng, requires a broad skill set including language proficiency, social and communication skills, resource management, and the ability to handle unforeseen circumstances. Leveraging his background in journalism and tourism, and his involvement in various entrepreneurial projects, Mr. Peng has honed his insight into Taiwan’s social and political arenas, skills he deems essential for anyone aspiring to become a Fixer.

The lecture concluded with Mr. Peng encouraging students and individuals interested in this field to start developing the necessary skills and building their networks. His insights provided a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of international journalism and highlighted the indispensable role of Fixers in shaping global perceptions of Taiwan.

This event not only offered valuable career guidance for students but also underscored the importance of diverse narratives in international media coverage, particularly in politically sensitive regions like Taiwan.