Jun Young Cha, chairman of The Segye Times, a South Korean national daily, is in Nepal on a visit. Jun, who has a master's degree in digital media communications, talked to Republica about the changing media landscape in South Korea. Excerpt of the interview:
1. Can you tell us about the media landscape of South Korea?
Like in the rest of the world, South Korean media is fast going digital. It's just the need of the times. Even our media house The Segye Times has come up with its digital version as a majority of the people in South Korea get media content through digital media.
2. Do government agencies place undue pressure on the newspaper at times? If so, how do you handle it?
Since our media disseminates content professionally and without violating the rules, we have not faced any undue pressure from the government so far. Even if we face it in the future, we can deal with it as we do not compromise on journalistic integrity.
3. Is print media declining? What is next for your paper?
There is no doubt about that. Readership of print media has decreased as people know about day to day events, incidents and other activities through online. So, media houses are forced to go digital. But still, the credibility of print media content is high compared to the digital versions. So, we give detailed and in-depth news on any issue or incident to make the newspaper relevant still in this time of digital media as detailed news is still not disseminated by online media. They are good at reporting incidents as they occur but the details are still carried by the newspapers.
4. Do you think journalism today needs more investigative stories? These are expensive, so how should media companies manage?
That's why we have a separate investigative team. They carry out research on various investigative stories. Apart from that, the team also studies various trends in digital media and formulates necessary strategies to fit the media content with the changing trends. This is expensive but media companies should invest in it as such stories will not only enrich journalism but also maintain due credibility. Credibility can be instrumental in getting viewers in digital media.
5. What has been the role of media in recent protests against the South Korean president? There appears to be intense pressure on her to resign. Is she going to resign?
Media in South Korea have been covering the recent protests against the South Korean president objectively. Since the issue is a political matter and if a majority of the parliamentarians vote against her, she will have to resign. Let's see how things unfold.