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Does competition make a difference? An examination of the impact of the Apple Daily on three major newspapers in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  DOES COMPETITION MAKE A DIFFERENCE?   3 Does competition make a difference? An examination of the impact of the Apple Daily on three major newspapers in Taiwan “If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple, there would be no evil or wrongdoings in this world, which made news a non-existing term.” — Lai Chee Ying, Founder of the Apple Daily The effects of competition among news media have fascinated researchers for years. Competition exists worldwide and serves as an essential element for a well-functioning media market (Croteau & Hoynes, 2006). Pro-competition advocates believed that increased competition may lead to a greater variety of voices because media organizations must differentiate their products from others in order to profit (Demers, 2000). Others have argued the opposite: increased competition would lead to a decline in journalistic diversity and quality (Chambers, 2003; Li & Chiang, 2001; Liu, 1997). Catering to the needs of the audience is a major goal for any newspaper in a capitalist society. Owners and managers believe that newspapers must listen to their readers and fulfill their needs by providing news coverage that appeal to readers’ lifestyles (Stein, 1994). Underwood and Stamm (1992) reported that newspapers have become more reader-oriented and market-driven. Furthermore, McManus (1994) stated that the natural consequence of “market-driven journalism” is “the tabloidization of news and the increase of infotainment” (p. 56). Sun (2004) and Lin (2005) both argued that the market/profit-driven journalism movement is popular among media owners. It is a trend all over the world that the media tend to add more lifestyle, celebrity, entertainment, crime and scandal elements in the news (Bek, 2004; McLachlan & Golding, 2000). Y.C. Lee (2007) also predicted that traditional media will face much more severe competition in the future. The literature seems to suggest that, in order to deal with competition, newspapers have to change their content, soften the subjects’ tones and adopt a more attractive layout. A unique opportunity to test this assumption exists in Taiwan, where a free media market is highly developed and well-functioning (Fu, 2009). The Hong Kong-based Next Media launched its Taiwanese version of the Apple Daily in 2003 (Ho & Sun, 2008). Unlike the three leading newspapers in

Authors: Song, Chien-Yun. and Tu, Jia-Wei.
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Does competition make a difference? An examination of the impact of the Apple Daily on 
three major newspapers in Taiwan 
“If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple, there would be no evil or wrongdoings in this world, which 
made news a non-existing term.” 
 — Lai Chee Ying, Founder of the Apple Daily 
The effects of competition among news media have fascinated researchers for years. Competition 
exists worldwide and serves as an essential element for a well-functioning media market (Croteau & 
Hoynes, 2006). Pro-competition advocates believed that increased competition may lead to a greater 
variety of voices because media organizations must differentiate their products from others in order to 
profit (Demers, 2000). Others have argued the opposite: increased competition would lead to a decline in 
journalistic diversity and quality (Chambers, 2003; Li & Chiang, 2001; Liu, 1997). 
Catering to the needs of the audience is a major goal for any newspaper in a capitalist society. 
Owners and managers believe that newspapers must listen to their readers and fulfill their needs by 
providing news coverage that appeal to readers’ lifestyles (Stein, 1994). Underwood and Stamm (1992) 
reported that newspapers have become more reader-oriented and market-driven. Furthermore, McManus 
(1994) stated that the natural consequence of “market-driven journalism” is “the tabloidization of news 
and the increase of infotainment” (p. 56).  
Sun (2004) and Lin (2005) both argued that the market/profit-driven journalism movement is 
popular among media owners. It is a trend all over the world that the media tend to add more lifestyle, 
celebrity, entertainment, crime and scandal elements in the news (Bek, 2004; McLachlan & Golding, 
2000). Y.C. Lee (2007) also predicted that traditional media will face much more severe competition in 
the future. The literature seems to suggest that, in order to deal with competition, newspapers have to 
change their content, soften the subjects’ tones and adopt a more attractive layout.  
A unique opportunity to test this assumption exists in Taiwan, where a free media market is 
highly developed and well-functioning (Fu, 2009). The Hong Kong-based Next Media launched its 
Taiwanese version of the Apple Daily in 2003 (Ho & Sun, 2008). Unlike the three leading newspapers in 

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