In January 2001, a slander trial began, following a suit by the Vice President, Annette Lu, against the weekly The Journalist, which had written, in November 2000, that the Vice-President had contacted the media to circulate a rumour about an alleged affair between President Chen Shui-bian and a translator. The Vice-President demanded apologies whereas the managing editor of this reputed magazine claimed the trial was a "way to put pressure" on journalists and, for his defence, spoke of freedom of the press.
On 8 February, Fan Liqing and Chen Binhua, journalists with the official People’s Republic of China press agency Xinhua, arrived in Taiwan, three months after an authorisation was given allowing PRC correspondents to come to Taiwan temporarily. These journalists remain under close watch.
On 22 August, offices of the magazine Next Taiwan, a tabloid specialised in the private lives of celebrities, politicians and mafia leaders, in Taipei, were attacked by a gang armed with baseball bats. Computers and other equipment, with a value of several thousand euros, were destroyed. Since this tabloid was launched in June, its articles have earned it several enemies among the local mafia. Recently, some one hundred celebrities signed a petition threatening to boycott Next Taiwan if