The first community-based newspaper competition organized by the Ministry of Culture was unveiled at the former residence of Finance Minister K.T. Lee in Taipei on Oct. 25.
The community press has documented many memorable local events and published many memories and stories in communities, said Chen Kuan-fu, director-general of the Department of Cultural Resources, adding that Taiwan's community press cannot sustain its development without a group of people committed to such a line of work.
The Ministry organized this competition to recognize the role of community newspapers in continuing distribution and recruiting more people to join the community press, he stated.
The campaign includes the selection of 33 outstanding community newspapers that will receive the Ministry's funding throughout next year, and a series of workshops to help foster talents for the community press.
The "Community Culture Development Project” is in full swing this year, with community papers being a major part of it.
The Ministry is working with community colleges, bookstores and nonprofit organizations around Taiwan to provide tailor-made courses on the community press. Another characteristic of the campaign is that it connects six colleges with six nearby elementary schools to organize such workshops. The college students will introduce community issues and news reporting in the elementary students' off-campus classes.
The distribution of community papers represents the vitality of communities, while their stories keep residents informed about their neighborhoods' stories, issues and events. Moreover, they can take the initiative to participate in community events and express their opinions, making the newspapers a platform for the exchange of views.
The Ministry hopes the project will help more people learn about the importance of community papers. The ultimate goal is to encourage more people to participate in the campaign and help develop their community's unique culture.
The deadline for submissions is Nov. 30; for more information, please visit the Chinese-language event website at www.communitynews.tw.