Internet news services in South Korea are quickly working into the mainstream:
- The firm hold the mainstream press has enjoyed for half a century over the flow of information is being pried open.
The changes have been so widespread that some political observers partly attribute the recent election of left-wing President Roh Moo-hyun and massive anti-American protests to the rise in popularity of online, mostly liberal, news sites.
“The mainstream press still has the ear of the majority of the public. But things are changing,” said Paik Hak-soon, a political observer at the Sejong Institute research center. “Twenty and thirty year-olds are getting their news from the Internet.”
….There are several Internet news services, including edaily.co.kr and pressian.com. The most popular is Ohmynews.com, which started with an editorial team of four in 2000 and now has 38.
On an average day, its Web pages receive about 16 million visits from an estimated 1.2 million people, according to its editor and founder Oh Yeon-ho.
The electronic newspaper’s unusual concept has been to largely rely on story contributions from its readers to fill its editorial pages. Professional reporters supply 20 percent of the news service’s content.
Police officers, professors, students, housekeepers and others write articles about everything from local happenings and lifestyle, to national politics. Their pay ranges from nothing to US$16 for each published article, depending on its importance.
A check of Oh’s computer shows 26,310 readers have registered to be “citizen reporters.”
He receives about 200 stories a day. Editors pick out the most interesting, fact check and edit them before they’re put on the Internet.
Oh says that despite fears some “citizen reporter” articles may lack objectivity, there have only been two stories that have led to defamation cases. [AP]
This is essentially the Blogcritics model – we’re 10% of the way there and no defamation cases! I’m not sure if we have influenced any elections yet.