Archive for the ‘Inside the Media’Category

Journalists exposed for their biased coverage of England riots

News outlets need to be held to account for their coverage of the headline-hitting English riots, a new report has argued.

Media and the Riots: A Call for Action, published on the first anniversary of the Tottenham, north London, riot which took place last August, is the first report to examine the impact of the mainstream print and broadcast media’s reporting on the communities most affected.

The report, written by University of Leicester sociologist Dr Leah Bassel, reflects the views of those people who attended the Media and the Riots conference held by the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust and in November.

Read more about the Media and the Riots – A Call For Action report on The-Latest.Com:

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American FCC may limit new right wing radio opportunities

Contributor lazloman at Current points out that allocations of spectrum by the American FCC will be made to local low power FM stations rather than “translators” that rebroadcast programs from right wing networks. This was really the original intent for the spectrum anyway–not really to stifle right wing programming but to make spectrum available for community programming independent of large centralized entities.

FCC decision strikes right-wing radio dominance (

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03 2012

Yonhap libels foreigners based on 0.2% of its members

Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling does it again. A month ago, there was a drug bust in South Korea in which some native speaking English instructors were involved. Predictably, this bust was used to paint all native speaking English instructors as drug smuggling fiends intent on corrupting Korean youth and thus calls were made for tougher regulations on those instructors.

But Matt breaks it down.

First, the content of the bust. Matt went through multiple articles on this and found that the majority of the people in the bust, by far, were Koreans–not foreign English teachers. One was an underground hip hop singer. Many of the others were “office workers.” A little more digging found that this was likely a media cover up. These “office workers” were the children of prominent leaders in Korean society. But that doesn’t fit in with the foreign-English-teachers-as-drug-addicts meme. So the headlines, news stories and subsequent editorials stuck with their old whipping horse–foreign English teachers are dangerous drug fiends out to poison Korean society. Let’s panic and pass even more restrictions.

But Matt breaks it down again.

Through more digging, Matt found that the Americans and Canadians in the bust were of Korean ethnicity.

Why does that matter?

Korea has a visa type set aside for this category, the F-4 visa. Koreans from certain countries with Korean blood can get these visas and basically have all the economic freedoms Korean citizens have. In other words, they can have any job they want without having to get another visa for said job. The most popular choice is teaching English.

The other English teachers in public schools and private cram schools (hagwons) come in on a very restrictive E-2 visa. To get an E-2 visa, one has to exhaustively prove that she has graduated from a four-year university, has to provide a thorough criminal background check from a national agency (like the FBI) and must go through a string of tests for drugs and sexually transmitted diseases. Once this visa is acquired, the teacher’s owner owns the visa. That sentence may come out awkwardly, but that’s basically how it is. The owner of the business owns the visa and basically owns the teacher. The teacher cannot change jobs easily if it’s an abusive owner and usually has to wait until the one-year period runs out on the visa.

Contrast that with the Korean blood F-4. There are new laws requiring hagwon owners to verify university degrees for all teachers, but that’s about it. F-4 visa holders do not have to go through drug testing.

The crime here, as Matt suggests, is that many of these busts on foreign English teachers, if not the majority, involve people who aren’t on E-2 visas, yet it’s the E-2 visas holders that are made the societal scapegoats. The Yonhap editorial I mentioned in the title, which was published within mere hours of the drug bust story, was titled, “It’s regretful that English education is entrusted to marijuana smoking native speakers.”

It did not say, “Some marijuana smoking native speakers.”

Without that crucial modifier, the headline implied that most native speaking English teachers are pot smokers. In short, the headline alone libeled an entire demographic in Korea, despite the statistics, as Matt found, showed that less than 0.2% fit that category. Keep in mind that Yonhap is the South Korean version of the Associated Press and has a level of respect internationally.

In South Korea, libel is a criminal offense. One of the reasons it’s difficult on this site to publish original citizen articles is because of this law. It’s even libelous if it’s true. And in this case it’s definitely not.

In the eyes of the Korean public, F-4 visa holders aren’t true foreigners. They’re in a gray area. When Korean-blooded foreigners do well, the media treats them as if they’re Koreans. When they do badly, like get busted for drugs, they’re foreigners. There is a deep, likely subconscious but obvious, racial bias in Korean media. This drug bust is but one of many examples. Most of the people busted were Koreans. Most all of them were ethnically Korean. But the media did not want to embarrass the children of the rich and didn’t want to acknowledge that its rules for teachers are based on race. So it turned the bust into a convenient way to repeat the centuries-old mantra–foreigners evil.

A closer look at Friday’s hagwon instructor pot bust (Gusts of Popular Feeling)

Yonhap: “It’s regretful that English education is entrusted to marijuana smoking native speakers” (Gusts of Popular Feeling)

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So Koreans are Foreigners When They Commit Crimes?

Gusts of Popular Feeling does it again by analyzing the borderline racist and overtly racist scapegoating of foreign English teachers in South Korea. Take this one article GoPF highlights. The headline reads

[Why] “Detecting native speaking instructors with forged diplomas” a boom for inquiry service providers

and includes this photo.

Yet the story is about “Korean-Americans” who were deported from the U.S. for rape and murder and were teaching and owning private English academies.

Stop and think about that statement.

If they were Korean-AMERICANS how could they be deported? The U.S. can’t deport its own citizens. Obviously these people were native Koreans and not Americans. But since they were convicted rapists and murderers the Korean press doesn’t want them to be Korean. And it doesn’t fit with their historical agenda of blaming foreigners for all their social ills.

GoPF brings up more examples of headlines scapegoating foreigners as criminals attached to stories that show actually how small the foreign crime rate is.

And we have another headline

A stoned native speaking instructor and my child…?!

This one starts with the arrest of an Australian teacher for drug possession and then goes back into the story of the Korean-”Americans.” It’s odd that these newspapers haven’t been able to find real foreign teachers with previous convictions of rape and murder. They’re still trying to close loopholes to keep foreign criminals out of schools even though the rapists and murders in the stories were not foreigners. GoPF wonders how Korean parents would answer this poll:

Who would you rather have teaching your children?
A) A person from our country convicted of rape or murder
B) A native speaker who habitually inhales drugs


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12 2011