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"...and do the show like no one’s listening,” or so said Kurt, Koreascape’s host, albeit facetiously.

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A smart cookie (on the streets of Insadong). Photo: Kristi Cheng

Of course, it takes a lot of skill and experience to do the show “like no one’s listening” and still come out with a show deserving of listeners.

Observing Kurt these past weeks, I have been inspired by his ability to hold engaging conversations, cover any topic and interview anyone, and be quick on his feet even after staying overnight at a jimjilbang (Korean bath house). Linda, the producer, edits skilfully and with ease, and Jamie the associate producer has an easygoing but assertive manner when calling potential talent and asking them to come on the show.

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Last day. Photo: Viola

This internship has convinced me that working in journalism has to be part of my life, however hard it may be to get into the industry. The opportunity to tell the stories of a range of people and experiences is unparalleled.

Over the past four weeks I have learnt many aspects of making a cultural program – from selecting the story, what to ask during interviews, what not to say, and what to edit out or keep in. Importantly, I have learnt to not stress over small details, developing what I’d describe as a measured carefree attitude towards each part of the production process. I would like to thank the Australia-Korea foundation and the MECO department for this opportunity.

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Night in Hongdae. Photo: Kristi Cheng

When I landed in Sydney, a border security guard at the quarantine area unexpectedly burst into Korean phrases upon seeing the origin country on my declaration card.

“An-nyeong hasae-o!” (“Hello!”)

“Eum-shik isseo-yo?” (“Do you have food?”) “Kimchi isseo-yo?” (“Do you have kimchi?”)

“BTS! EXO! SNSD! Big Bang! Super Junior!” (he literally sent me off with a list of k-pop idol group names, bless.)

I didn’t bring back any food, but I knew it wasn’t going to be my last time having Korean food in Korea. Thinking about it now, I’m even starting to miss raw octopus.

So farewell, but only for now! 이따 봐요, 서울! (See you later, Seoul!)

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Incheon airport terminal 1. Photo: Kristi Cheng

About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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