Archive for the ‘Politics’Category

[Explicit chat show] 2012 Presidential election, causes of the Democratic United Party’s loss

On the 9th and 15th, OhmyTv launched a new programme ‘Explicit chat show’ which was basically an extension of the previously aired OhmyOlle. There were two main presenters on this show including an OhmyNews representative reporter Yeon-ho Oh and Yun-seon Chang, who is a leader of the OhmyNews political team.

They visited the members’ room of the Democratic United Party in the National Assembly to inquire about the causes of this election’s defeat.

“We lost the general elections, local elections and presidential elections each two times consecutively. It is exceedingly important to analyse the cause of defeat, but we have never done it so far.” Gyeongmin Shin said, who is a member of the Democratic United Party.

After Shin’s comment, Oh suggested that all 127 members of the Democratic United Party should make discussion papers about it.

Besides them, Oh and Chang interviewed several members of the Democratic United Party such as Yuninsun Nam, Minhui Choi, Sangho Woo, Yeonghwan Kim, Seongjun Jin, Kim Gisik and Jiwon Park.

* For the  relevant video see here:


01 2013

Les Miserables and Korean society ①

Guerrilla column: A guerrilla column has been contributed by OhmyNews citizen journalists. There will be a guerrilla column written by citizen reporter Ingyu Kang below. It was translated to English with a summary of the contents.

Les Miserables has been a smash hit in Korea. There have been over two million people that have seen this film within a week of its premiere and it topped the box office in that time. It seems that this movie has helped soothe those who have suffered from the aftereffects of the presidential election. (particularly voters who desired a change of government.)

It is understandable because the younger generation who eagerly desired for a change in Korean society has fallen into despair and feels betrayed. There are many reasons why the younger generation want changes in the Korean society, but one only has to look at the number 1 cause of death in those younger than 40 to have an understanding of how the generation feels. A number of estimates show suicide to be that cause of death.

According to the BBC (2012), Koreans officially work an average of 2193 hours annually, which is 125 hours more than the second ranked Chile.

It is because of this situation of being overworked and a feeling of despair that the younger generation cast their votes the opposition Democratic United Party’s Jae-in Moon, and not the conservative ruling party’s Geun-hye Park. (Korea elected Park as the 18th president)

Should the youth  feel frustrated with the current living conditions of Korean society? It seems the answer  is ‘yes’,  but we can find some perspective  thorough Les Miserables’s tremendous popularity in Korea.

The backgrounds and social problems in Les Miserables are closely related to recent Korean events. For instance, scores of men at semiconductor companies have contracted cancer and workers at automobile companies have committed suicide because of their unfair dismissal from their work. In addition, many workers risk their lives to clime to the top of transmission towers. After the presidential election, a total of 5 people lost their lives due to difficult living conditions and suicide.

Social issues are applied to not only workers  but also children in Korea. In the last 10 years there has been a two fold increase in the number of children who have been abused emotionally, physically and/or sexually. More than 40 million primary school children have to skip lunch during  vacation due to disturbed backgrounds. There are over 20 million teenagers  who run away across the nation and a quarter of women who have become a prostitute have done so only to stave off hunger and to live more comfortably.

These unbelievable problems have persisted in the country with 10th largest economy in the world. It would be better for the government to do nothing, as they aggressively promote an unfair education system, deregulate employment protection legislation and welfare retrenchment, that all negatively affect the lives of regularly working people.

* For orginal article in Korean: (by Ingyu Kang)


01 2013

Les Miserables and Korean society ②

Guerrilla column: A guerrilla column has been contributed by OhmyNews citizen journalists. There will be a guerrilla column written by citizen reporter Ingyu Kang below. It was translated to English with a summary of the contents.

21 century Korean edition <Les Miserables>, more miserable than the original

Les Miserables discloses what the powerful are likely to conceal, which elaborates on legislation that is used as a powerful instrument of vested rights. The stringent laws are never applied to the corruptors, but on the contrary these unfair laws are enforced on the less fortunate as seen in the case of Jean Valjean who spent 19 years in prison on a charge of stealing a piece of bread.

Some might think that Jean’s life sounds unrealistic, although it can easily be seen in our current laws. Many are enforced to the letter against trash collectors for their illegal acts but the same law has been applied far too leniently with a cooperate mogul on suspicion of tax evasion and/or misappropriation. That has been the Korean style of righteousness of the law to this point.

Another tragedy in Korean society relates to the overwhelming indifference that people have in our society towards those less fortunate. This presidential result magnifies that point. A direct presidential election in Korea has been completed by those who sacrificed and devoted themselves realizing a true democracy. Ironically, people this time voted for the daughter of a former dictator.

It seemed that the student revolution in <Les Miserables> was unsuccessful but  consequentially the French Revolution changed France from a monarchy to a republic, which also contributed to the growth of democracy all over the world.

* For orginal article in Korean: (by Ingyu Kang)


01 2013

Les Miserables and Korean society ③

Guerrilla column: A guerrilla column has been contributed by OhmyNews citizen journalists. There will be a guerrilla column written by citizen reporter Ingyu Kang below. It was translated to English with a summary of the contents.

A perspective of the 2012 presidential election

There has been an extreme cry for change in the Korean society leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Although the election was lost, those wanting change made their voices heard. A certain circle might be pessimistic about this 2012 election because the proportion of voters in their 50s’ and over who are more likely to have an inclination toward conservatism is increasing. I do not agree with that sense of pessimism.

we should remind ourselves that 37% of conservative 50s did not select the ruling conservative Saenuri party Park, but it is equally important that nearly 34% of 20s did support her as president. Therefore we do not need to  fall into despair but  be optimistic for our future.

An important question that should be followed upon is how we effectively communicate with each other and harmonize our differences. Putting the 2012 election aside, we should shed more light on the constructive criticism to set Korea to in right direction regardless of particular factions.

“Do you hear the people sing? Say do you hear the distant drums. It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes .”

The ending background music of the movie implies that tomorrow comes when the people take the lead at solving social problems putting their heads together and it is necessary to take care of those less fortunate so as to create a better society.

It is the only way that <Les Miserables> will play a role as motivator of social change as well as simply consoling Koreans. Soon afterwards the future that people bring will come.

* For orginal article in Korean: (by Ingyu Kang)


01 2013

Shameful KBS, MBC and conservative newspapers’ lopsided report about the presidential election ①

[2012 Presidential election] Guerrilla column: A guerrilla column has been contributed by OhmyNews citizen journalists. There will be a guerrilla column written by citizen reporter Joo-hyun Park below. It was translated to English with a summary of the contents.

International press, totally different from domestic views

On the 20th, the Korean press hit the headlines with ‘first woman president of Korea’, on the other hand international press highlighted the fact that Koreans contributed to the strongman’s daughter becoming a president. There was an absurd happening caused by Yonhap News Agency in Korea, On the 18th, a day before the presidential election, Yonhap reported the article quoting TIME’s quote that was a contorted translation where they translated ‘strongman’ as ‘influential person’ according to the press release provided by the conservative ruling Saenuri party.

TV debate ‘missing’… electronic journalism limited to electronic display

Compared to past presidential elections, the 18th got the most disappointing rating ever for lack of policy content. There were the few TV debates that help to provide wide information such as their policies, pledges, convictions, vision and philosophy.

Unlike before, broadcasters did not aggressively suggest the TV debate to candidates and hardly ever criticized against the presidential candidate who avoided the TV debate. What’s more, it might be thought that broadcasters aided her side.

Furthermore, there has been a predominant judgement that it was the worst media coverage ever during the 18th presidential election process. Setting the conservative newspapers aside, national terrestrial broadcasters consistently covered the news which was favorable for the ruling party’s candidate.

“The news related to the 18th presidential election seemed to imitate coverage and it was just like an electronic display. There were less meaningful issues and problems brought up by the press.” Choi Youngjae said, who is a professor at School of Journalism and Communication in Hanlim University.

* For orginal article in Korean:


12 2012

Shameful KBS, MBC and conservative newspapers’ lopsided report about the presidential election ②

The conservative Chosun Ilbo’s front-page coverage titled with first woman president of Korea

[2012 Presidential election] Guerrilla column : A guerrilla column has been contributed by OhmyNews citizen journalists. There will be a guerrilla column written by citizen reporter Ju-hyeon Park below. It was translated to English with a summary of the contents.

What’s the next 5 years of Korean journalism?

In this presidential election, domestic press achieved notoriety that their news was merely one action plan for helping certain parties win as well as missing impartial reporting. After the election, there have been concerns brought up over the weighted reporting. Freedom of press is one of the areas that have lagged behind since president Lee’s government was constituted.

According to the press union, there are around 450 journalists who were disciplined for  leaning against ‘the media executive sent from the government agency’ and ‘distorted editorial news’. The Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prove the sterility of the Korean press. In 2005: 34th, 2006: 31th, 2007: 39th after Lee’s government in 2008: 47th, 2009: 69th, 2010: 42th, 2011: 44th.

Nevertheless, Korean people elected the ruling saenuri party’s candidate who had the same way of Lee’s committing brutality. During the presidential election process, the problem was the division between generations and regions, which is a contemporary issue. It came out the question of the post 5 years’ change in the press circumstances which is the democratic standard.

* For orginal article in Korean:


12 2012

[Healing Olle] Shall we have a healing time?

Oh and Seo interviewed a citizen who prepared yellow chrysanthemum for Healing Olle on the 24th

On the presidential election, the conservative ruling party’s Geun-hye Park earned 15,773,128 votes and the opposition Democratic United Party’s Jae-in Moon got 14,692,632 votes.

Since Korea elected its first woman president, Moon’s supporters have spent their days devastated. OhmyNews invited them to have healing time. On the 24th, Christmas eve, at 12 p.m. there will be a flashmob in front of a bronze statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square. At first, those who are coming will have the time to hug and exchange postcards with each other.

There will be a second part in Seacho-dong. Healing Olle will visit the Peace Foundation, whose director is Yeo-jun Yun and he received a fervent response for his supporting speech. At 2:30 p.m. the famous Pomnyun, a buddhist monk will have his lecture to heal those who have been in panic. Pomnyun quotes are also widely shared online.

The main presenter will be Yeon-ho Oh who is the founder and a representative journalist of OhmyNews and Proffesor Hae-seong Seo will join.  Moreover there will be special guests coming. It will be live, in real time. It will be possible to participate in the chat room or through phone calls in addition to visiting the site.

* For the relavant article in Korean:

** For Pomnyun’s relavant article : (The Newyork Times)


12 2012

OhmyNews, the way to stand up against the mainstream media with citizens’ active participation

A just married couple encouraged citizens to vote with two MCs during the Presidential Olle

“We have to establish the first organ of the public by citizens in the world.”

The above suggestion comes from the Hundred Thousand People club (acronym HTP club) members.

“I was shocked by two things on election night. One was because of the result of the presidential election, and the other was the quick action taken by citizens after the result came out. There has been some unaccounted-for situations such as the increase in number of the membership of the HTP club, even after we went off the air of the Presidential election Olle, which was the special edition of the Ohmytv live show.” Hyung-suk Park said, who is the team leader of the HTP club.

OhmyNews is a progressive media outlet whose philosophy is ‘open progress’.

“We are consistently seeking valuable change in the world. The conservative media has prevailed in the Korean media market for a long time. We aim for a 5:5 proportion between the conservative and progressive press” Yeon-ho Oh said, who is the founder and a representative journalist of OhmyNews.

Yeon-ho Oh and Hae-seong Seo, who are two presenters in Gwanghwamun square during the Presidential Olle

A considerable number of the audience for OhmyOlle consists of those who desire to regime change. Yet they did not see their dream comes true. Moon Jae-in lost the election. The conservative ruling party’s Geun-hye Park earned 15,773,128 votes and the opposition Democratic United Party’s Jae-in Moon got 14,692,632 votes. Moon’s supporters who wanted to change the government seemed to be disappointed. However, their frustration has sublimated in voluntary participation for the membership of the HTP club.

The next day of the presidential election, surprisingly there has been dramatically increase in the number of memberships for HTP club.

“It transpired that many audience members recommended our club to citizens through both online and offline to maintain a balanced media environment.” Hyung-suk Park said.

* For the relavant article in Korean:


12 2012

Overseas residents of Korea take action through OhmyOlle

Hundred Thousands People club’s web page

“It took 40 hours to participate in the election for overseas residents. I felt like joining an independent movement. Let’s engage in it together.” A viewer from India said, who spent two days to vote in the Korean presidential election.

As soon as his story was introduced during OhmyOlle, there were immense responses from overseas residents which unceasingly continued.

“I am so proud of what you did to vote and in following you I will also do it pleasantly.” One of the residents abroad said.

The Presidential special edition show ‘OhmyOlle’ of ‘Ohmy TV’ has successfully been hit the ground running domestically and internationally, in particular overseas residents have shown fervent responses. Overseas Koreans made up 10% of all voters and it has been consistently pointed out that the relevant system to support voting for overseas residents lagged behind badly. In such circumstances, OhmyOlle has provided useful information and vivid sites related to each campaign. It was estimated to reach 104 countries where overseas Koreans watched the show.

One of the problems with the show is that no one knows when the show starts and ends. There were no commercial ads during the show and it has been run only by a hundred thousand people club (100,000 people club) which is supported by the membership of OhmyNews. Once viewers noticed this fact, there has been an increasing number of members to apply for the club.

* What is the Hundred Thousands People club (abbreviation ‘HTP Club’) ?

In 2008, OhmyNews extensively covered the Candlelight Vigil about BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) issue that major news were reluctant to report, since then not only public commercials but also business commercials were cut off. To the effect of supporting the citizen-participated media, HTP appeared with the motto to be financially independent by conscious citizens with awareness to act.

** For the relavant information in Korean


Web page:

*** For the relavant article in Korean:


12 2012

OhmyOlle heartwarming episode

On 10th, OhmyOlle rushed to Gwangju to deliver news about the site of Ahn’s electioneering to support Mun. There has been fervent support to cheer up OhmyOlle journalists and broadcasting staff who have been eager to go on air in spite of freezing weather and unforeseeable circumstances. Except for applying for the Hundred Thousand People club to support without charging. There are three episodes will be introduced briefly below.

OhmyOlle team had launched at a local bistro that was aired live without editing. Some ardent audience made a call there to pay the staffs’ meal instead. This episode directly was transmitted live.

“I also thank you for the audience who paid for their meal on behalf of Ohmytv audiences.” One of the audiences said.

Some viewer brought staffs’ coffee to the coverage site to support Ohmyteam

There was also a visitor bringing staffs’ coffee to the coverage site to support Ohmyteam. Moreover, One of the viewers who was impressed by OhmyOlle donated three million won (USD $2,800) saying that ‘I hope it can be helpful to improve broadcasting equipment as well as the staffs’ broadcasting circumstances.’

Meanwhile, the second presidential debate will be held at 8 pm tonight. OhmyOlle will be together on OhmyTV.

For the  relevant video see here:


12 2012