Well week three is coming to a end with some good results and a rather embarrassing online presence.
Seoul at night
By now some of you may have seen Lucy’s post On Valentines Day including those images at the photo booth. I remain stalwart in my conviction that I was not of sound mind when agreeing to step in and attempt Aegyo poses with Lucy, however you may agree that in a few of those images my eyes really do POP. Also the I <3 deadlines! Post was another surprise with some interesting photos.
The Internet is such a liberating invention although somewhat depreciated when you’re depicted pointing into the camera with a microphone in one hand and a beer in the other. The posts however document our integral foray into the cultural world of Korea.
This week has produced more work, more interviews and more research. In my last post I was hopeful of getting my first story published. Its titled "DUP takes election gamble on Korea-U.S. FTA renegotiations". It was about the domestic political atmosphere surrounding Free Trade Agreements and was printed as the lead story on the Analysis and Feature Page. It looks better on the paper so I have provided a photo below, not as interesting as a photo booth compilation but something I’m equally proud of.
I was happy to get over that hurdle and make my publishing debut but I have been busy since with other stories varying from more briefs to potential articles. I have had two short articles published this week which were interesting to research with equally interesting people to interview.
The first of these stories is regarding a radio station called Free North Korea Radio. The station is staffed fully by North Korean defectors. The short article I wrote stems from an interview with the station director regarding a new North Korea unit whose job is to find and eliminate foreign media from within the countries borders. The original article was longer and unfortunately some of the most powerful elements of my interview (which was long) could not be added but perhaps it can wait for a separate article. The interview conducted was seeking a response to the new unit’s formation from Free North Korea Radio. During the interviewed it was revealed that aside from this the radio station had received attacks on its software from North Korea. The article is here.
North Korea Article
The second of my short articles is on a charity called Restore a Child who have sought to find Korean speakers to set up and translate a website into Korean to reach Korean donors. Again the interview was extensive but as the charity is not yet setting up an office in Korea, and the paper is only concerned with all things Korean, I had to shorten the piece. The head of the charity is an impressive woman as evident in the article, however it was revealed after it went to print that she has been nominated by a number of people for the CNN Heroes award. Story link is here the picture is below.
Restore a Child with picture
As for continuing work I have four articles in the works at the moment, which I’m quite hopeful can be completed, again as I’ve learned this relies heavily on being able to secure interviews and in a timely manner. I’m again hoping that the journalistic gods will provide me with some good fortune for next week. I feel fully into the swing of things and feel like a part of the office. Much of this feeling is down to the staff there who are kind and generous and always willing to have a chat and a laugh. I feel a turn in my stomach when I think that next week is my last at the Korea Herald. I do not want to leave yet but all of those feelings can be dealt with next week for now I have to pack for a mix of work and play at a temple stay.
My trip to a Buddhist temple has been planned by the Herald and I will be off this weekend to stay there over night. The temple is called Seoduksa Temple in the Southern Chungcheong Province and I am told I will be there with students from a Buddhist college. It will take a couple of hours to travel there and so far the part of the program that has stood out the most is the 3am wake up titled “Rising and washing” followed by a ritual and morning service, two hours of hiking in Mount Deoksungsan and a two hour hot spring bath. I am not usually a morning person but I’m sure that the calm nature of the monks there, will sooth me at 3am. I will be writing an article about my stay for either the culture or travel section.
However there was a strange request before I left the office today. I’m considered “press” and seeing as the Herald organized the trip I have been asked to collect my travel receipts and give them to the head monk so that I can be reimbursed. Despite this request I can definitely say that I will not be asking a monk for cash back.