Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Annoying Things About Korea #6: The English Version of Korean Newspapers Are Not Delivering News

The English Versions of Korean Newspapers Deliver News That Isn't (News)

Today, two separate articles appeared in different Korean (English version) newspapers.  They are not newsworthy, for separate reasons.  Perhaps that is the fascinating aspect, which is that there are multiple reasons that separate stories don't deserved to be published.

First, the following editorial appeared in The Chosun Ilbo, which had the groundbreaking (sarcasm) opinion that "2011 Will Be a Decisive Year for the Korean Economy."  None of the facts reported in the article are news.  In fact, most of those factors can be found written here (under the category "Korean economy", which was posted here on the Seoul Gyopo Guide over the past three months. 

Second, the following article/advertisement appeared in The Korea Herald.  Let's be clear about this: the nationwide sale occurring in Korea will benefit Koreans, not foreigners.  The sale itself will be a mere coincidence.  One reason that foreigners will travel to Korea and buy something is the relative cheapness of the Korean Won compared to other Asian currencies.  Period.  There is no doubt that Insa-dong is a beautiful place (I liked it better when it wasn't modernized, but it is still my favorite place in Seoul), but the sale and accompanying events are not the reason that foreigners will specifically travel there.  In short, this article in The Korea Herald is a mere advertisement.  A more newsworthy story might have been "Strong Asian Currencies Makes Korea a Popular Tourist Destination."  Now, some may say that this post is suggesting that it is only the cheap Korean Won that attracts foreign tourists.  Obviously, that is not the claim here.  You don't see millions of tourists flocking to Zimbabwe, right?  Korea has a great deal to offer, especially in art and history (my opinion), with convenient transportation options for tourists.  However, to say that the nationwide sale is going to attract foreigners to Korea?  Nope. Native Koreans are more likely to enjoy the benefits of the sale, especially those that do not frequently travel outside Korea. 

Please note: this article is not talking about the control of media content by the government, etc, because that occurs in most every country, not only in S. Korea.

Comments are welcome: The Lost Seoul posted every comment that did not contain slander or profanity.  A difference of opinion or perspective is welcome here at the Seoul Gyopo Guide.


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