One of great things of Internet is that it broadens our accessibility to alternative media. Even more, through internet we can be media makers or start out own alternative media- blog, archive, or even organization. Recently, there was an internet newspaper grown nationwide in place where is dominate by mainstream media. ‘OhmyNews’ is the most popular Internet newspaper in South Korea nowadays. OhmyNews became famous during presidential election, 2002 in Korea; they covered the alternative perspective –which no other media reported on the election. Consequently, it drew massive attention among internet users and quickly reached to mainstream audience. However, it is founded in 2000, by a man who has worked long years for mainstream media. Surprisingly, "Ohmynews" draws half a million visitors a day, unsurprisingly, most are young and male. (CNN- http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/03/31/spark.ohmynews/) In a survey carried out by OhmyNews in September 2002, 74.8% were male ‘citizen reporters’ while 25.2% were female. (Young-Cheol, Cheon)
|The founder of OhmyNews, Yeon-Ho, Oh|
Such a society that is under a strong influence of patriarchal system, it is easily foresee that there is not many alternative media for women. However, there are blogs raising their voice for women in Korea. As Ohmynews claims, “Every citizen is a reporter”: The idea of citizen journalism is the pivotal principal of OhmyNews (http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/company/main.aspx ; Korean) Tons of blogs run Ohmynews; Ohmynews heavily rely on citizen reporting. Bell Hooks argues in Making Movie Magic that, “Much of the magic of cinema lies in the medium’s power to give us something other than life as is…Movies to not merely offer us the opportunity to re imaging the culture we most intimately know on the screen, they make culture.” (Hooks, 9) I believe this can apply to any form of media. Blog became more handy, prevalent, also informative today.
When I was searching some blogs, I found a blog is named The Grand Narrative (http://thegrandnarrative.com). James Turnbull, a British man who has been in Korea since 2003, started the blog on August, 2007. The blog covers various topics regard women and feminist activities with great analysis and insight of Korean culture. According to the blog statistics he’s got 7,158,695 hits, 632 blog followers so far. His posts are very academic; not only has he introduces Korean culture or media, he also interweaves it with academic work.
|Image is used in The Male Gaze and The Korean Mass Media blog post by James Turn bull|
In one of his blogs, THE MALE GAZE AND THE KOREAN MASS MEDIA, He firmly criticizes about the obsession with skinny girls in Korean society – more precisely, from Korean male. (http://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/07/04/korean-media-male-gaze-son-ye-jin/) First he analyzes how Korean media portrays the body image of women and why is that so problematic, and then uses academic work- such as Ways of Seeing by John Berger- to support his claim. I think most of his blogs well written, and carefully scrutinized. Overall, The Grand Narrative underlines female deconstructed in mainstream media, and reveals the hidden and invisible issues, such as sexism and gender disparity in Korea society.
After I finished my research, I got the idea that growing number of alternative media would challenge traditional male dominant society. I believe there are countless issues that still need to be addressed, and exposed regarding feminism or the expansion of women´s rights in Korea society. But I am so sure it wouldn't be hard compare to a decade ago.
Bell Hooks. "Making Movie Magic" from Reel to Real.
Young-Cheol Cheon. “Internet newspapers as Alternative Media: The Case of OhmyNews in South Korea” ( http://www.waccglobal.org/en/20041-media-reform/611-Internet-newspapers-as-Alternative-Media-The-Case-of-OhmyNews-in-South-Korea.html)