Thursday, 17 June 2010

Journalism in Korea and the Cheonan incident

There has been not so much post for some considerable time. Nobody cares, me neither, I guess. It's obvious that there are an awful lot of web pages up in the air. And having been aware that some of them are absolutely rubbish, I've got no intention to add another one to those. (not sure if this time is different though) But that's not the main reason for lack of blogging.

Paradoxically, there have been too much to write. Too much to think about, and too much to read as well. Roughly I spend around three hours reading news, trying to catch up almost every issues that pops up everyday. There are so many 'what' and 'why', 'who' and how'. I feel I'm living in a 'flood of news'. But still, I don't feel I've got enough news. Of course, that's what this modern-complex-high technology-society are supposed to be, but there are some bigger problem beyond that in this particular Korean society.

Some of you may already sense what I mean by that... Some of you don't. So let me just explain it. First, I'm pretty sure that most of foreigners will be shocked by the fact that how Korean society keep moving so dynamically, when they actually experience it by any chance. Korean government doesn't do the right thing very often (only as far as I'm concerned), but naming 'Dynamic Korea' as the main 'nickname' of this country is, surely, one of the right thing they have done in some respect. Because it really is! The pace of life in Korea is extremely fast. Possibly faster than you could ever imagine, I bet. One of my friend once told me, when he firstly arrived in Berlin and started to find his feet in a new circumstance, that it seemed the river in Germany even runs slower than Seoul, for instance! Everybody is in a hurry, doing their job without knowing what they're really doing and why. Speeding up is what Korean is concerned most, rather than questioning and reviewing what they've been doing. The whole picture could look dynamic or enthusiastic or something, but the micro view tells us a different story. Anyway, in that sense, perhaps we don't have time to look at what's happening around us. Including me myself sometimes.

Secondly, and more importantly, we don't have enough channel to access all those news which we should know. That doesn't mean we need more media companies or bigger companies, as some people keep saying it. That's not the heart of problem. What we're lacking is very simple: a healthy-journalism. With three heavily-capitalised-and-privatised major 'media' group (I don't even feel comfortable with using word 'media' here) dominating over 70% share of its market, it's really hard to see people realising what's actually going on in this little peninsular. I once thought that, at least, a journalist in Korea will never get bored, with millions of things to write. But that doesn't appear to be true! Without going any further than expecting them to 'report', not 'analyse', simply they don't do their job. I don't know if they're finding it hard to catch up every issues like many of us, too, but that's not a proper excuse at all. They've got power and money, time and mission. I mean, they're simply not doing their job. All those debate on Cheonan incident is a very good example of that. It just shows us what happens when journalism abandon its job. With government's propaganda all over the place, there has to be some group of people who keep asking "WHY". While nobody is really convinced with what is said to be a 'smoking gun', most of the big company were just writing down that ridiculous fuc..k... Oh, well... Let me just take a breath.... Hm....
Anyway, my point here is that journalist in Korea don't do their job, which is problematic in democratic society. I'm sure you know what I meant... In that context, I'm determined to do that job. That's what I'm willing to do and what gives me a huge inspiration.



To those who would like to know more about Cheonan incident and all those conspiracy, or, rather 'reasonable questions', go to those links below. That's what PSPD (People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy), one of the biggest NGO in Korea, reportedly sent to UN Security Council's fifteen country and UN general secretary. And what is being said by Korean government on this occasion is quite amazing. They don't even know what NGO is all about. Oh, dear...

* all issued by PSPD

[Cheonan Incident] The Urgent Statement for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

[Cheonan Warship Report1] The PSPD's Stance on the Final Investigation Report on the Cheonan

[Cheonan Warship Report2] Eight Questions Needing Answers on the Investigation of the Sunken Naval Corvette Cheonan

[Cheonan Warship Report3] Six Problems on the Investigation Process of the Cheonan Sinking

Healthier journalism, better life for the people!

-_ -)//