What happened to progressive media in Korea?
March 16, 2018
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I had the chance to pick up a copy of Sisa-in시사인 yesterday at the train station and start ed reading it through. I must admit I was shocked.
When Sisa in was formed in 2007 by a group of journalists who could no longer take the commercialization of Korean media, it featured often extremely insightful articles on current affairs. This group of editors and reporters from Sisa Journal resigned in protest over the deletion of an article that was critical of Samsung and set out to pave the way to a new form of journalism in Korea.
Although I would not say that I agreed with all that Sisa in published ten years ago, and I found some parts rather self-indulgent, as opposed to analytic, their writing offered a refreshing perspective on contemporary Korea, and often provided details not found elsewhere.
But when I picked up current issue and started reading it, I was immediately struck by how glossy and superficial the analysis has become. Particularly unimpressive was the repetition of positive interpretations of the engagement with North Korea of the Moon and Trump administrations without mention of the complete contempt for international law and diplomacy that has been shown by Trump Administration. Not a word about Trump’s contempt for the international community as shown in his actions on the Iran agreement or the Paris Summit.
Not sure what happened, but I offer some suggestions in my upcoming article on Korean journalism in Korea Times.