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.

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5 Comments »

  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.

    http://governmentofkorea.blogspot.com/2009/12/korea-times-have-win.html

    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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