Archive for the ‘Who’s Who’Category

A youth who falls in love with birds

Eojin Kim (18) is a birds expert and a citizen reporter for OhmyNews has been fascinated by not only wild birds but also ecological environment matters.

“I have been in love with quadruped animals (four legged animals) since childhood, I spent most of my time reading animal dictionaries and relevant books in my teens. One day I went to see some migrant birds and because I deeply enamored with giant eagles. Since then I have focused more on birds than other animals.” Kim said.

His parents suggested that while continuing his birds exploration he should write articles for OhmyNews, saying that it could help him earn some money.

Kim also said, “I am a student at an alternative school and will graduate this month. I have been considering my future career in fields such as veterinary, algology, or become a conservationist, eventually I decided to make an environmental documentary after graduation. It would be very tough and exhausting work but I believe I will be  satisfied with devoting my life to what I love.”

Additionally, he has also published a book, related to birds, called <Birds which a city boy loves>, The owner of Longhorn Beetle publisher also suggested that he published his articles that the he wrote for OhmyNews into a book.

* For the original article in Korean: http://bit.ly/V2kzcg (by  Gyuhwa Choi)

29

01 2013

“The special also have the right to masturbate”

There is a notable series of articles on OhmyNews called “Living as the parents of disabled children.” Common adjectives for the disabled include the words “poor” and “bad luck.” However, some of their parents are saying, “I am happy to be with you.” OhmyNews and social welfare foundation Miral have interviewed them and reported their real stories. One of the episodes is below.

Ji-na Woo (44) and her twin sons

“It was the time when my twin sons were just reaching puberty. I found one of them masturbating in the living room. I could not stop crying and I had no idea what to do”, Ji-na Woo (44) says, who is a mother of twins who suffer from a developmental disorder.

Since he is special, she could not teach him what he had to do in the right way. There was no one to solve her concern and that was the reason she started studying about sex education for exceptional children in Genapride, which is a developmental disorder institute, and now she is an expert instructor for that.

“There has been less agreement to treat disabled people as equal human beings. One ignores and scorns or sympathizes with them. However, mothers who have special children sincerely want to do the right thing without treating them differently,” she says.

She pointed out that in terms of sex education it is important to train not only the disabled but also their parents and teachers, who have the closest relationships with them. In that way, their masturbation should be regarded not as problematic behavior but normal behavior.

* Translator’s comment: The above article has considerably engaged the audience’s attention since citizen reporter Hye-won Lee vividly brought forward the sexual problems of the disabled, which had received attention but was rarely explored before. OhmyNews provides a system whereby the audience can score the article and designate a writer’s fee, and additionally the audience can voluntarily contribute some as much as they want. It is one of the unique features of citizen journalism. In this article, the score has recorded over 2000 points, and writer’s fee from the audienceis at 39000 won, which are rather high figures.

For orginal article in Korean: http://bit.ly/RFWCGG

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22

11 2012

The fish-stall vendor who became a library director

‘The hope of the future for our world order lies in the villages, i.e. small peaceful co-operatives where there is no compulsion and no force, but where all activities are carried on in voluntary cooperation.”

The above passage is quoted from Village Swaraj by Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi stressed the importance of villages in his book. Nowadays, Seoul has also become devoted to developing village communities. OhmyNews provides relevant serial articles exclusively in this category. One of them is below.

One can see very closely spaced shops such as clothing stores, snack bars, and fish and vegetable vendors within a bustling market, the Su-yu village market located in Gangbuk-gu, Seoul. This market is called a ‘village market’ since, like a village, it consists of three hundred fifty shops and over ten thousand people. Including the store owners and their employees, it has a floating population of 15,000 people.

It seems like there are no great differences from an ordinary market, however a tiny library attracts one’s attention. How is it possible to have a library in a market?

 

There is the library sign of Su-yu village market (The upper side of photo)

It has been managed by Jae-gwon Lee, who is a fish shop vendor. He has devoted a lot of time to devour books related to humanities. While exchanging the books with his neighbors, he realized that vendors were also eager to read books, and so he carried forward a plan for building a library with the Market Culture Vitalization Society’s assistance. There are a wide variety of subjects, such as literature, economics, social science and philosophy donated to the cozy library.

 

The library director Lee is lending the book to one of vendors in market

” I wanted people to realize that it is not true that vendors only obsess over money and have little knowledge,” Lee says.

It has been one and half years since the library opened and also functioned as a gathering places for them to interact with each other. Furthermore, it is open to nearby residents, and library visitors can become market visitors, and have the potential to be loyal customers.

For the original article in Korean: http://bit.ly/PpK3z9

 

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13

11 2012

A doctor, working during the day and studying at night

Citizen reporter Um Du-yeong is a doctor. He has contributed profound medical knowledge in areas such as postnatal depression, panic disorders and heart attacks to OhmyNews audiences. In particular he is outstanding to relate unfamiliar medical terms with medical accidents in new, that help ordinary readers to understand medical jargon more easily.

At the beginning, his specialty of journalism was sports and sports will always click for him.

“The reason why I changed my mind to concentrate more on medicine, not sports, is because of the distinguished citizen reporters already reporting sports. I lagged behind in existing citizen reporters’ analyses. Therefore, I thought I should write in a much stronger domain for me like medicine.”

Mr. Um works during the day and studies at night since he studies oriental medicine and works in a hospital. He is studying unceasingly after getting his medical degree.

 Citizen reporter Um Du-yeong

“I would like to bring some novelty to medical articles through a combination of oriental medicine and western medicine following the finish of my degree of oriental medicine. It is hardly sincere to write an article during study and work, however just the thought of the motto of OhmyNews “All citizen is reporters” makes my heart flutter.”

A citizen reporter is also a journalist, so never feel daunted and lose confidence as you cover and submit news, he said.

“Whenever you are uncertain about something, do not hesitate to ask a favor from the editorial team. They can help you suggest some solution. I also like to state that keeping a memory green preserves your health. Nothing is more important than health.”

 

* OhmyNews is an online newspaper website with the motto “Every Citizen is a Reporter,” which is based on citizen journalism.

More in Korean: http://bit.ly/RzdFZy

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31

10 2012

Laos travel school with young generation

Citizen reporter, Hak-yong Yang wrote a story on OhmyNews about his travels with his wife. In 2003 he spent two years and eight months travelling around the world.

“When I was 35, I became lost from reality and found myself constantly wandering. At the end of this miserable time, I realized that I should seize the day. Afterwards my wife and I embarked on a trip around the world for our 10th anniversary.”

 Citizen reporter, Hak-yong Yang

He worked at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions for 10 years before traveling

“I used to think that the world revolved around me so I was content to stay in my position. However, my absence had little effect on the world, and I found that I also was able to live without something that I assumed I had needed.”

These days, Mr. Yang writes serial articles titled “Laos travel school.” They are stories about his experience of a trip to Laos with a teenager for a month.

“In 2003, when I traveled around the world with my wife, my nephew joined the trip with us. He absorbed a multitude of experiences throughout the trip, soaking them up like a sponge. He inspired us to think about taking trips with the young generation, something like a ‘travel school.’ One of the most difficult things adults can do for the younger generation is to provide confidence for children. Sometimes I scolded them out of concern for their safety and taught them to travel carefully. However, I also learned that they do not mask their feelings at all.”

He and his wife now live in Jeju Island, which is known for its beautiful landscapes. He studies at a graduate school of education in Jeju Island. They used to move around the mainland of Korea as well but settled in Jeju Island.

“You can see both the sea and the mountains in just a 10-minute walk here, and the lifestyle is much slower and calmer than the urban lifestyle. There is nothing else you need desire when you have clear skies, beautiful seas, and rustling wind. If you are afraid of abandoning your reality, even though you truly want to be somewhere else, just follow your inner voice.”

* OhmyNews is an online newspaper website with the motto “Every Citizen is a Reporter,” which is based on citizen journalism.

More in Korean: http://bit.ly/R7zWiV

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23

10 2012

Travelogues of North Korea by an ordinary middle-aged woman

North Korea is a very exclusive country in Northeast Asia because their restrictive communist government is extremely resistant to foreign visitors, particularly to South Koreans. The North Korean government does accept foreign tourists, but South Koreans are an exception. Citizen reporter Eun-mi Shin has shed light on the forbidden country. Unlike most Koreans, she is allowed to visit North Korea because of her American citizenship.

As a mother and a wife, she is just an ordinary middle-aged woman. She once taught music to students after she finished a musical course at the University of Minnesota, but only for a while. She had an opportunity to become a citizen reporter after she wrote a travelogue about North Korea. Her acquaintance, who was a Korean exchange professor working in America, recommended that she submit her article to OhmyNews.

She visited North Korea with her husband, who loved traveling. They went there three times (2011 October, 2012 April and May) and traveled around the whole region of North Korea.

 Her  tour guide (The left side) and  a citizen reporter Eun-mi Shin  (The right side)

“We were informed of certain conditions. For instance, we had to ask for permission for some things like taking photos, going to places that were not originally scheduled, and just walking around in our free time. I understood why they had so many regulations because they had to manage our tour and also guarantee our personal safety. My impression of North Koreans is that most of them were a little bit shy but also quite friendly. And they also told us lots of jokes.”

Her article was a sensation for the audience of OhmyNews, but she hesitated to continue publishing serially, since some readers posted abusive comments regarding her ideology and ideas.

“Despite the abusive attacks I received, I continue to publish North Korea-related articles. Some people gave me positive feedback because they were thankful for being able to experience North Korea, even though it was only indirectly. I realized that my journal could contribute to sharing new perspectives about North Korea, even if only a minority of people supported me.”

She argued that North Koreans, being of the same race, are our brothers and sisters.

“South and North Korea have to recognize our national tragedy and demand our reconciliation. No one should be able to understand the separation of our brothers and sisters.”

* OhmyNews is an online newspaper website with the motto “Every Citizen is a Reporter,” which is based on citizen journalism.

More in Korean: http://bit.ly/KCTqW6

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23

10 2012

A deaf reporter communicates through culture and art

Citizen reporter Yeong-mi Lee’s articles are full of humanism. She has a hearing impairment and is therefore more able to perceive difficulties which the able-bodied unconsciously overlook. For instance, she wrote pertinent articles exploring the perspectives of the disabled. Also, her story about spending time with her daughter provides a treasured experience for her readers.

It was only by accident that she became a citizen reporter for OhMyNews.

“At the age of 38, I had to become independent, with no accommodation or medical insurance. It was an extremely lonely moment, and at that time I was truly desperate to overcome my terrible condition, not only physically but mentally, by communicating with people around the world. A father in a Catholic church suggested writing to me over the Internet.”

OhMyDoctor has helped her to improve her writing ability, she said.

“By writing reports in OhmyNews, I learned to strike a balance between rationality and sensibility.”

Citizen reporter, Yeong-mi Lee with her calligrapher.

 

She has been a human rights activist and a representative of a women’s rights organization for the last 13 years. She is also a calligrapher and a teacher in a community center. She would like to continue writing articles, shedding more light on art and culture.

* OhmyNews is an online newspaper website with the motto “Every Citizen is a Reporter,” which is based on citizen journalism.

*OhMyDoctor: a program for citizen reporters who are not yet qualified to be featured on the main page. It is organised by the editorial team of OhMyNews.

More in Korean:http://bit.ly/Hqr5UT

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18

10 2012

Uncle Cho’s newsbeat based on local market

Citizen reporter Sang-Yeon Cho only writes in the neighbors category of OhmyNews. The category rarely exists in other press outlets and talks not about politics, economics or science but about daily life around us. Mr. Cho is one of the most popular bloggers. Cho’s friend, who is a writer, thought Cho’s articles were worthwhile to publicize widely, so he advised him to submit his articles to OhmyNews, in particular to the neighbors category, saying that the general press would not accept his manuscripts.

He started writing articles in October 2010, and has continued doing this for 2 years. His main domain of journalism is daily life, so his newsbeat is based on his local market and town area. His scoops are also from there. His articles might seem to be slightly mundane but they contain invaluable morals for our lives. He said that one of the philosophies of his articles is communication.

 ”Every day there are a wide range of social issues generated. Some of them arise from our daily lives, and sometimes they seem to be inconsequential, however, most of them are intertwined, and later become broader social issues. That is why I focus singularly on daily life. I hope my articles can be a bridge between the audience and the press”

 Mr. Cho enthusiastically covers pertinent issues around his town with humanism. Today is also no exception.

Citizen reporter Sang-Yeon Cho, allegedly Uncle Cho. (on the left of the photo)

 * OhmyNews is an online newspaper website with the motto “Every Citizen is a Reporter,” which is based on citizen journalism.

 More in Korean: http://bit.ly/ynkMYM

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12

10 2012

Video: CNN iReporter on American Manufacturing

PhillipD at CNN iReport has truly taken the spirit of the professional citizen reporter and applied it to issues of the day. His latest piece covers the WestPack Packaging Show in Anaheim, California, and through interviews he concludes that American manufacturing is picking up pace.

American Manufacturing becoming strong again (CNN iReport)

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20

02 2012

The Odd World of Kim Jong Il

I’ve been on a silly news kick lately. I have a new site that is great for news and entertainment, Metro Zimbabwe. One of their writers posted a list of strange acts committed by North Korea’s little dictator. Some of these on the list may be old news to use North Korea watchers. They’re timeless in their amusement, nonetheless.

Kim planned to solve North Korea’s famine by breeding giant rabbits

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27

09 2011