Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Seoul Times

UCLA has a reprint of an interesting article in the Korea Times by Andrei Lankov on the Seoul Times, a mouthpiece of the Japanese Government-General that was the forerunner to the post-annexation government that ruled Korea with an iron fist.

The paper, which was published in English from 1906 to 1937, was designed to sway international opinion about Japan's domination of Choson/Chosen. Clearly an example of how the Japanese understood the importance of good PR, especially since a pro-Tokyo English paper would be necessary to counter the Korea Daily News, an anti-Tokyo paper.

Even if mere propaganda, the paper is probably a good window to at least one side of things during that turbulent era. Read the article and then go look for some old issues on-line or in the real world.

Professor Lankov sums it up nicely:
The Seoul Press was a propaganda exercise. But does it mean that it should be erased from the pages of history? Of course not. After all, despite all of its shortcomings and bias, it did tell people about Korea. And it also laid the foundation for the flourishing of the English-language press after 1945. But that is another story ...

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