Monday, December 20, 2004

South Korea's OhmyNews is the Leader in Online Participatory Journalism

From Slashdot... "Tech journalist Dan Gillmor gives OhmyNews International his first interview since announcing that he will leave the San Jose Mercury News next month in order to start a citizen-journalism venture." This is old news for some that leading tech journalist and blogger, Dan Gillmor, is leaving old media to do a new media thing.

It's interesting and fitting that he decided to give his first interview to Korea's OhmyNews while at Harvard's 2004 Internet and Society Conference a couple weeks ago.

OhmyNews is a story in itself and an ideal study for the conference titled, "Politics.Com: Are 'Wired' Citizens Changing Politics?" Yeon Ho Oh, the founder, gave a keynote on a "Marriage of Democracy and Technology." Another online first for Korea and another thing to think about and study on how the growth of broadband will change our daily lives. Some excerpts from the article and check out the rest:

OhmyNews is widely credited with rallying young Korean voters in the final days of the 2002 presidential election, aiding then-underdog liberal candidate Roh Moo Hyun to get elected with its nonstop reporting of a last minute crisis in which Roh's election partner, Chung Mong Joon, suddenly withdrew his support.

"OhmyNews reported Mr. Chung's withdrawal and updated the story of netizens' reactions every 30 minutes, all night long. The number of hits for that main breaking story was 720,000 in just 10 hours. Thanks to the nonstop reporting through the night, OhmyNews was the epicenter of reform-minded netizens," Oh said. Roh is known as "the world's first Internet president."

To the question of why Korea was the first to embrace online participatory journalism to stimulate radical political changes in the country, Oh prefaced his explanation by saying that the "revolution" did not come easily.

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