The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, March 26, 2004

OhmyNews? They said it...

A piece by Terry Heaton at Digital Journalist self-explanatorily called TV News in a Postmodern World News Is A Conversation led me [1] via Heaton's blog to an article in Japan Media Review on the South Korean phenomenon that is OhmyNews.

The first couple of grafs:
Three years ago, a crew of four people quietly launched the South Korean "citizen journalism" Web site OhmyNews. Since then, the site's full-time staff has grown to 53 -- including 35 full-time reporters and editors -- and the number of "citizen reporters" writing for the site has grown from 700 to about 26,700.

Citizen reporters submit about 200 articles every day, and about 1 million readers visit OhmyNews each day. The site mixes straight news reporting and commentary. Its influence at the grassroots level has been widely credited with helping President Roh Moo-hyun win the popular vote last December.

Given that the population of South Korea is around 50 million and the New York Times gets around 1.5 million unique visitors a day (source: the NYTC site, I think), this is clearly more than chopped liver.

There is a similar Japanese operation - JanJan - apparently; is it an ethnically specific thing [1]? Could it happen here? Who knows. This is more for the Ripley's than the read-across.

The big downside, of course, is that, for an enterprise in communication, almost none of the world's population can appreciate it.

Except, there is an international edition - which says its a Beta, and looks it.

Hatful of bonus points, though, for the first hed, over a teaser for a story on the upcoming impeachment of President Roh:
'Oops We Pissed Off The Kids'

And another hatful for this dose of realism from founder Oh Yeon-Ho [3] to JMR:
We do not regard objective reporting as a source of pride. OhmyNews does not regard straight news articles as the standard. Articles including both facts and opinions are acceptable when they are good.

  1. A namecheck for Walter Lippmann detoured me to pick up the etext of his Public Opinion of 1921 (of the zillion tomes placed at one time or another on the to read pile - and still there!).

  2. Japan and Korea have close ties of various sorts, of course.

  3. Not a pun there, surely? Points may have to be deducted...

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