This is not the sort of thing I would normally post on here, but this really is a painful piece of journalism from the Korea times website.

What can you do when you see many ladies on the street just wearing bikini? Yes, you may stop your car and staring at. In China, few women in bikinis did street cleaning to staging an environmental protest against pollution from the plant in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

A crowd quickly grew and massive traffic jams spread through the area as cars and buses stopped at the unusual scene. The girls, who wore banners saying “Sweep Jialing power plant out of the city”, said they had no regrets.

Oh dear. Was there really any need for this? I feel sorry for the poor kid who’s been forced to write this sort of stuff just to get a chance to be a real journalist.

7 Responses to “Ouch”

  1. Chris Backe (AKA Chris in South Korea) Says:

    “Real” journalists don’t work in Korea. People that care about reporting 1: news, 2: in detail: and 3: correct English are working in another country. I’ve read better journalism from Gusts of Popular Feeling than the Korea Times over the past year…

    The two paragraph article just sounds like an excuse to publish the photo.

    • Seamus Walsh Says:

      Popular Gusts is an outstanding piece of work. I have nothing else to say about it, it’s the best Korea blog out there.

      But to be fair, I’ve occasionally read some good/acceptable journalism, and I think Yonhap is generally reasonable. Also, I think if you actually pick up one of the English language papers and read it front to back, they’re not as bad as they sometimes are made out to be. They’re mostly just reprinting news from other sources though. But it can be quite interesting – more to see the sorts of stories Korean “journalists” choose to write about rather than because of the content itself.

      That said, foreign language journalism is never likely to be much good anywhere. This piece was just a shocker though. And it was one of a few I saw this week that I wanted to put up, but thought it would be best to leave it at just this one. Overall, I don’t have a very high opinion of Korean journalism. I tend to think about it like a younger uncle thinks about a much older aunt…

    • Hyomin Lee Says:

      Way to generalize thousands of professionals and aspiring professionals in Korea, Mr. Backe. Contrary to your narrow opinion, there are “Real” journalists in Korea. There is just no system or legal protection in place that allows them to do what they do best without social and/or political consequences. It’s a difficult environment, one which many are working diligently to change one day.

      • Seamus Walsh Says:

        I appreciate that you want to comment here again, Hyomin, but please try not to include personal attacks. You have some good points to make, let them speak for themselves.

  2. Brian Says:

    There is no shortage of this kind of stuff in the Times. But, in spite of it, and in spite of the kind of crap they’ve printed in 2009 and 2010, they unfortuantely remain at or near the top of English-language papers and news sites here, simply because nobody else has stepped up. I guess you’d have to rank the JoongAng Daily near #1 because of their features, but their opinion page has some stinkers, and they don’t report as much on hard news. The Herald, unfortunately, has slipped, and has never been helped out by its website, which again has become user unfriendly.

    True, the real “journalists” aren’t working for Korea’s English-language papers, but are either with foreign outlets reporting from Seoul or are Koreans reporting in Korean. (And even there we’ve seen some flaws, like media in any country, really) Some foreigners do make a living in the media here, but for many, the ones who get asked by editors or friends, it’s mainly just a hobby. There’s not enough of a demand from Koreans or for expats—who either don’t read papers or get their news from a variety of sources and don’t have loyalty to a paper—to have high standards of reporting or English. Gusts of Popular Feeling has, as Chris said, produced the best English-language journalism in this country over the past few years.

    It’s something I wish I could have pursued further while in Korea, actually working hands-on with a paper, but being outside of Seoul really made that impossible.

  3. Edward Says:

    Nice to see you back Shamus!

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