Go to contents

“Internet Media, Entertainment Journalism Should Take This as an Opportunity for Self-Reflection”

“Internet Media, Entertainment Journalism Should Take This as an Opportunity for Self-Reflection”

Posted October. 19, 2004 23:09,   


The sensation caused by an article on an internet site “Break News” titled “The current environment in which reporters sell their bodies to get an interview with a star,” seemed to have subsided as the writer and editor at Break News, Byeon Heu-jae, 30, posted his apology regarding this article.

However, this scandal raised opinions among internet users that there should be some discussions on the intelligence level of internet media, which has been increasingly influential, as well as on its entertainment journalism.

Byeon said in his column on September 24 that entertainment news is controlled by large management agents of entertainment stars. He claimed, “Reporters from woman’s magazines have been secretly paying managers to interview stars. Often, the managers ask the female reporter to have sex with them.”

To cause even greater sensation, Byeon said in his interview with CBS No Cut News on October 6, “Screen writers would not be that surprised to hear what I said. It seems, though, that some female reporters are feeling extremely offended.”

As the Screen Writers Association and some female reporters moved toward filing a lawsuit regarding this, Byeon apologized on October 15, saying, “I apologize to all the reporters of the Woman Reporters Association, fashion magazines, woman’s magazines as well as star managers and screen writers.” He also explained the article in No Cut News, saying, “What I really meant was not delivered correctly.”

People are pointing that Byeon, who is well known in the entertainment news industry, behaved without consideration. Huh Haeng-ryang, journalism professor at Sejong University, said, “Byeon did not confirm the sex rumor when he raised these problems in entertainment journalism, and that made his article not credible.”

Among “nuriggun (netizens)” there are criticisms pointing that Byeon’s columns are not appropriate even as a KBS audience representative. Kim Hye-gyeong, KBS Audience Center chief, however, said, “Byeon gave his apology, and he has been saying words in favor of women in the Audience Committee. Considering this, we decided not to raise any issues out of this scandal.”

Jin-Yeong Lee ecolee@donga.com