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“We Are Companions”

Posted December. 31, 2002 23:07,   


“Grandfather, if ‘have~’ is double in a sentence, it is strange. How is it ‘enjoy~ and taste~’ ?”

Mr. Lee Geon-hyuk (Hanyang Univ. Journalism), who is an editor of ‘silvernet’ (www.silvernet.ne.kr) that is ‘cyber world’ for 50,60 aged, is only 25 years old. However, he is an editor in ‘the desk’ who manages 13 reporters who are as old as his grandfather or father’s age. He has been working ‘editing’ articles of aged reporters for five months.

In the beginning, he had a difficulty in communicating due to age gap. However, he said he could understand their thoughts widely and he considered them as ‘companions’ who share the same times.

Four students ‘desk’ from Gazettes in university, and 13 ‘aged reporters’ are managing ‘reporter column’ of ‘silvernet’, which delivers life and culture of the aged.

It is a column that discusses not only social welfare but also sensitive politics and sexual matter of the aged. An article which silver reporters in rural area wrote regarding environment pollution in rural area attracted big interest.

Silver reporters’ articles amount about 100 ones in five months.

Silvernet news uses new generation methods such as using messenger and Internet. If a silver reporter sends draft article through e-mail, young desk and reporters discuss it considering current situation of the aged, viewpoint of the world, etc through brain storming discussion. In order to attend ‘editor meeting’ that continues for two hours with lunch, silver reporters come from Changwon, Gyeongnam province, Gwangju and Jeonnam province without exception.

Gap between generation of 5060 and 2030 has disappeared through ‘cyber world’. Alienation on Internet that depressed the aged doesn’t become an obstacle for them. The young learn wisdom of life from the aged and the aged experiences ‘vital world’ from the youth.

Mr. Noh Ah-sil (21. female. Ewha Womans University, national literature), who is in ‘desk’, with Mr. Lee, nearly cried after receiving a warm e-mail from a ‘silver reporter’.

‘…You have lots of work to do in young age. Being young means high possibility of doing anything. So, do well with a big dream….’

“Warmth engulfed me. It was completely different feeling from friends letters….” Ms. Noh was a chief editor in a Gazette in Ewha Womans University and is evaluated as the most sharp among ‘desks’.

Volunteer organization, silvernet, carries out free internet education from September, 2002, for 32 hours per semester, targeting silver generation (above 55 aged) of 32,000 aged people and it has already served eight semesters. It aimed at reducing information gap through Internet. People who taught them Internet are from 2030 generation. 877 students from graduate schools and 3,872 from universities volunteered as lecturers and assistant teachers. 123 universities willingly provided lecture rooms and PCs.

Silver reporter Ms. Jang Myung-ja (63. female) said, “I will upload thought and mind of silver generation in 2003 earnestly. Internet is not a possession of certain people and I believe it can be a mediator to reduce generation gap.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com