Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is blogging the new reporting?

The New York Times has an "article" (and now I'm using the word so loosely, the slightest breath would unravel the delicate bindings of the threads that hold together the fabric of its being) about a guy who went all the way to Pusan to buy a domain name from someone. But along the way, he discovered something about himself: he doesn't like kimchi. It's essentially a blog entry but without the blog. 


  1. sounds lame. Wanna throw up the link?

    BTW, where'd you get that header photo?

  2. Oh, I hadn't realized I'd forgotten to include the link. It's there now.

    It's not a lame story per se, but if this is what the NYT is passing off as journalistic articles, its sort of too cute by half. It's as if Shelton Bumgarner really did make it to the Gray Lady as he'd always hoped and he's being paid to write his pedestrian observations about travel through Asia.

    Sadly, the people who often end up writing about Korea for the global media are often people who know little about the place but are sent on assignment of some kind, which is why the "human interest stories" are so often a ho-hum rehash of things that Korea-based bloggers have seen, heard, or experienced years and years ago.

    Meanwhile, the analysis that they give of important things — like gauging the mood of the public or figuring out why the government is doing this or that — is often sophomoric and extremely shallow. Yet this is sort of what leaders and citizenry around the world are basing their opinions on when they make decisions.

    So, yeah, know-nothing quasi-journalists coming into this sphere and then "report-blogging" Korea (or Japan, Taiwan, China, Mongolia, etc.) does bother me a bit, especially if it's in the NYT.

  3. Oh, and the header photo is from "대괴수 용가리" (English title: Yonggary: Monster From the Deep), a 1967 monster film from South Korea that was a contemporary answer to the Japanese Godzilla movies.

    Just fourteen years after the war ended, I'm not sure why they wanted to re-destroy Seoul in a movie. ;) The same in Japan, for that matter.

    Anyway, it was re-released on DVD in 2007, which is why I was able to find stills from the movie online. You can read more about this so-bad-it's-funny film here.

    (Actually, I shouldn't dis the film. It's easy to poke fun at pop culture from before we were even born, but Yonggary was a good first try at monster epics for a struggling film industry still reeling from war and poverty, and it was films like this that helped shape the Korean film industry as it later became and is today.)


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