Extra! Korea

December 9, 2009

Looks like someone contacted the Korea Times’ advertisers

Filed under: (lack of) journalistic integrity — extrakorea @ 1:44 pm

An editor at the Korea Times has written a piece called “Setting the Record Straight.” Here’s a taste:

The Korea Times has recently learned about some “misunderstandings” regarding our coverage of foreigners in general and native English teachers in particular.

The excuse, “It’s a misunderstanding,” is second in popularity only to the “I was drunk” defense. It’s so commonly used that even foreigners begin to parrot it.

Since some of the misunderstandings[1] stem from inconsistencies in data, we want to make our rule clear that extra effort is made to crosscheck figures and facts[2] with more than two sources in dealing with sensitive stories.[3] But there are inadvertent and occasional exceptions: when these important pieces of information come from reliable sources, and we believe they don’t have any hidden agenda or axes to grind.[4]

When a case is made by the parties involved that raises a reasonable doubt about these fact sheets, we go back to the sources and double-check their stories.[5] We have an additional built-in vetting system with our foreign staff playing the role of addressing foreigners’ sensitivities in our coverage.[6]

(Numbers are mine.)

[1] There’s the word “misunderstanding” again. It’s repeated once more near the end.

[2] Gust of Popular Feeling would have a field day dissecting these so-called “cross-checked facts and figures.”

[3] Who would these two “reliable sources” be? Let me guess: Kang Shin-who (sorry, Reporter of the Month Kang Shin-who) and the editor.

[4] Why would false, made-up quotes lead us to believe that there might be hidden agendas?

[5] And then they promptly print a sincere retraction/correction. Oh wait, they don’t. Ever.

[6] I wonder a few things: a. Who are these foreigners, assuming that they’re not fictional characters? b. How much input/influence do they really have? c. How much do they earn? Because I imagine that putting your dignity and integrity up for sale should come with commensurate compensation.


  1. But, The Korea time have such integrty! And well received the critical from the reader. Gave the so dignifie and erudition response to it’s criticals.


    Comment by @koreangov — December 10, 2009 @ 12:59 am

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by KingSejong, World/National News . World/National News said: Korea Times Backpedals on Its Racist Coverage of Native Teachers http://www.teach-korea.net/kt […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Looks like someone contacted the Korea Times’ advertisers « Extra! Korea -- Topsy.com — December 10, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  3. @koreangov;

    Love your blog.

    Comment by extrakorea — December 13, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  4. […] Looks like someone contacted the Korea Times’ advertisers […]

    Pingback by SeoulPodcast #81: Ajosshi Breakfast | SeoulPodcast — December 18, 2009 @ 2:45 am

  5. […] And here is an article of interest. Yes, yes, I know it’s from the Korea Times, which has tarnished its credibility lately. Korean female group S-Blush ranks second with its debut single, “It’s My […]

    Pingback by Were the Wonder Girls really the first Koreans on Billboard? « Extra! Korea — February 2, 2010 @ 5:06 am

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