Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How could I have missed this?

While looking for some information supporting or refuting the notion that Korean tourists are still the second-biggest spenders when traveling abroad (after Japanese tourists), I ran across this:
However, a female South Korean television reporter was beaten unconscious by a group of four or five people as she covered the violence near Paris, according to her French cameraman.
Frankly, I don't remember this happening. I have a very eclectic way of gathering my Korea-related news, and occasionally key things can fall through the cracks, while at other times I am the only one who notices something key (like the halving of the screen quota).

Anyway, I do wonder how I could have missed this. Did this happen when I was in Japan? Did it happen during a particularly bad set of deadlines when I had no time to read the e-papers? Anybody able to give me a rundown on what exactly went down?

I dug around a little more and discovered that it was a KBS-TV reporter:
A female reporter for the South Korean television station KBS TV was beaten unconscious over the weekend, Agence France-Presse reported. She was taken to a hospital after being set upon by a gang in the northern suburb of Aubervilliers late Saturday and was to be released Sunday.

"We were assaulted by a group of four or five people aged 25 to 30 who demanded money," the cameraman said. "Two were really aggressive. I was carrying the camera at the time, and they hit me in the face, stunning me for two or three minutes."

The Korean reporter then threw herself forward, yelling and trying to protect the camera, he said.

"One of the two kicked her brutally and she was taken to hospital unconscious," the cameraman said.
This is going to sound like I'm trying to be "cutesy," but those cameras really can be expensive. Where I first started doing television-related work, I was told by several people that the over-the-shoulder Sony Betacam they were using cost about 80 million won (then about US$100,000). Nowadays, it's possible to capture "television-quality" video with a mini-DV (known in Korean as "6 밀리"), the better ones costing up to $5000, I think. I have a Sony TRV-900, the cheapest "TV-ready" camera you can get, and it cost around $2400 in 2001. Had I purchased it in Korea, it would have been 50% more.

Anyway, I can understand her professional instinct to "protect the camera" at all costs, though at some point both the French and Korean KBS employees should have been more concerned for their own personal safety. Ah, Korean TV, where the shot is a greater concern than getting shot. I have stories to tell, but I won't (they're probably only interesting to me anyway).

Anyway, I still don't know who this is or how/why I missed it in the press.


  1. Thanks, Plunge. I fixed the link. I couldn't find the original, but this AFP article appeared in a number of publications, so I was able to retrieve it.

  2. I recall reading this and wondering at the time if the Koreans would realize who was doing the attacking when the 'Youths' beat this Korean woman.

    It was done by people who generally, if only vaguely, share the extremist views of those who beheaded Kim Sun-il.

    At the time of the beheading, one of my students could only talk about "Bush" as the one responsible. I wonder what that student would make of this ... maybe, "Chirac"?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. I heard a lot more people saying Roh was responsible, not Bush.

    Anyway, I don't want to make this about Kim Sun-il, for a variety of reasons. But even if Bush is responsible for the war and Roh was responsible for Korean troops being in Iraq, Kim Sun-il himself was responsible for being there himself, a very different matter than the US military or even the Korean military who were there.

    Ultimately, it's the fault of the extremists who killed him (I co-wrote an essay for publication about this, "The one with the knife is the killer," but we didn't feel like publishing it). But Kim Sun-il knew the risks of proselytizing in a Muslim country still in the throes of war.

    I feel sorry for him, but I was angered by those who said that Bush killed him or that Roh killed him (I heard a lot more of the latter than the former).

  4. Only loosely related, but just now I was just watching the Discovery Channel, and an Australian seemed to be suggesting that the Bali bombers shouldn't have conducted their terrorist act then and there because there weren't any Americans there.

    We wasn't speaking out in favor of the Bali bombers, I'm sure, but it's one of those things that sounds odd—and if a Korean were to say something like that publicly, the Korea echo chamber would be all over it.


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