|Dongguk Post has met its 50th anniversary.|
|/Photograph by Kang Seok-jun|
Korean universities’ English newspapers and magazines have a history of over half a
century. The Dongguk Post visited the offices of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies,
Sookmyung Women’s University, Konkuk University, University of Seoul‚ and Yonsei
University’s English newspapers and magazines to interview the editors in chief of each.
Through this report, the Post looked for information regarding how they operate and what
they pursue in order to grasp the real situation and prepare for a new forum for exchange
among universities’ English-based media.
Now, in 2016, most universities in Korea have an English newspaper or magazine and they
are playing their roles as university media. In today’s globalized era, media in English are
significant because they can have a broader reader base. However, the crisis of the university
media comes up the surface. Editors from each university’s English newspapers and
magazines pointed out the decreasing subscription rate and budget cuts are the main
troubles that they are facing with. In addition, all of them agreed that it is expected they will
seek solution to overcome these problems and blaze a new trail.
These interviews with other universities’ English newspapers and magazines revealed that
they all recognize both the importance and crisis of English media on campus. Nevertheless,
they are still staying as the media of universities and trying to represent members on campus
including international students.
The Konkuk Bulletin (The English Magazine of Konkuk University)
|▲ Heo Jae, the editor-in-chief of The Konkuk Bulletin|
/Photograph by Lee Min-jeong
Q. The Konkuk Bulletin has distinctive categories of
articles. Will you introduce some of them?
A. The Konkuk Bulletin is categorized of Campus
Briefing, Cover Story, Global Life, Issue, Think&Talk,
Naked Review, KU Comment‚ and so on. I think KU
Comment and Think & Talk sections are special
among them. KU Comment section is similar to
Campus Briefing since they both handle the school
issue, but KU Comment is more than just informing.
The articles on KU Comment denounce the matters
and suggest the countermeasures of it.
For Think & Talk articles, we set a topic and
interviewed six students, asking their opinions
regarding the specific topic. It is significant because it
delivers various thoughts about the issue.
Q. Does The Konkuk Bulletin communicate well with the students?
A. We have a magazine evaluation session with readers after every magazine is issued. We
invite two readers and get their feedback on the last magazine. Normally, they tell what they
think about The Konkuk Bulletin and suggest better ideas of design or articles. Even though
we only meet two readers in a short time, having an evaluation time with readers is our
important communicating strategy.
Q. Is The Konkuk Bulletin going through any difficulties?
A. A low subscription rate is one of the difficulties we face. To solve this problem, we used
SNS to advertise the magazine. However, the most efficient way is cooperating with Konkuk
Press, the Korean newspaper of Konkuk University, and Konkuk Academic Broadcasting
System (ABS). We three organizations advertise each other in each newspaper or video. It
does not cost any extra money and we can get closer as media of Konkuk University.
The Argus (The English Magazine of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
|▲ Jang Eun-ae, the editor-in-chief of The Argus|
/Photograph by Choi Young-eun
Q. How is The Argus produced?
A. We have item meetings six times in two weeks. In
the final week, when the articles are completed, we
send them to three foreign professors and get
feedbacks about the articles twice. For the design of
the magazines, we visit our hired professional
designers’ office and have a discussion with them
regarding the composition of articles on papers and
the entire design of the magazine.
Q. What types of articles does The Argus mostly
A. We are trying to notify the school issues related to international students, so we usually cover
the issues related to changes in school policy or programs for them. Even though Hankuk University of
Foreign Studies has many international students, I do not think school programs are designedwell for them.
Therefore, as the only English magazine of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, we want
to offer them as much information as possible so that they do not feel isolated.
Q. In what ways does the school support The Argus?
A. I think many other universities’ newspapers experienced conflict with school authorities in
terms of the selection of topics for the articles. Fortunately, the president of Hankuk
University of Foreign Studies respects the reporters and magazine as university media, so we
are relatively free in choosing the topics of the articles. Also, since the president supports us
well financially, we do not have any budget problems.
Q. As university media, what values does The Argus pursue?
A. Ithink thearticles of The Argus can give implications to readers, so that they can think for
themselves regarding the issues that happen then in either school or in society. Therefore, we
are trying to have a critical voice in the articles especially on school issues.
The UOS Times (The English Magazine of University of Seoul)
|▲ Moon Han-sol, the editor-in-chief of The UOS Times|
/Photograph by You Eun-sun
Q. How is The UOS Times produced?
A. We have an item meeting and two supplementary
meetings in two weeks. After all the reporters finish
writing their articles, the editor in chief reviews them
and three foreign professors revise the proofs. For the
design of the magazine, we submit the draft proposal
to the hired professional designers, who design the
entire layout and have discussions with us about the
Q. What do you think are the most important aspects
regarding the articles?
A. We keep deliberating on what students are interested in and
what they should know. For instance, in the last issue we printed an article regarding the residential
problems of university students such as rental fee and public safety, which are related to the real life of students.
Furthermore, we give a higher priority to topics that reporters cover in the field and report onthese with a sense of
immediacy rather than following the established media.
Q. Does The UOS Times print articles about or related to international issues and international
A. Actually, international students in University of Seoul (UOS) are the key target readers of
The UOS Times. Thus, we do cover articles related to them. There was an article regarding
“The Global Lounge”in the 137th edition, a place where UOS students can go and share
different languages and cultures. In addition, we wrote an article about visiting the UK and
covered its culture from our perspective. We tried to include the point of view Korean
students have on international students and their culture. Moreover, we have made a new
category of articles introducing universities in other countries which have sister relations with
UOS. We hope this page can inform Korean students about the student exchange programs.
Q. Are there any hardships The UOS Times is going through?
A. The lack of interest from readers and the shortage of manpower are problems we have to
cope with. It seems that most students have little interest in social issues and the media of
the school. Accordingly, it is difficult to recruit new reporters and maintain activities with the
set system. The executive editor was worried about that and reduced the frequency of
I think many other universities’ newspapers are struggling to secure their budgets. UOS is
an university under city management, so The UOS Times does not have a considerable
problem regarding its budget. However, the budget allocated to media within UOS has been
decreasing. I believe the situation university media face regarding budget cuts indicates the
lack of interest toward university media.
Q. As the media of the university, what values does The UOS Times need to pursue?
A. I hope articles of The UOS Times are useful to readers. There was an international student
from Taiwan who said the information we provided regarding scholarships was really helpful.
I felt responsible for the content of the magazine. Additionally, we need to solve problems
that university media are facing with. We are trying to attract more readers and provide them
with more vivid reportage.
The Sookmyung Times (The English Magazine of Sookmyung Women's
|▲ Chang Chun Hee-jin, the editor-in-chief of The Sookmyung Times|
/Photograph by Lee Min-jeong
Q. The Sookmyung Times has been issued in the form
of a magazine. What are the pros and the cons of
A. Magazines are easily accessible and useful to
advertise our articles to freshmen, international
students and school visitors. However, we work with
designers who are helping us to design the format of
the magazine and it is not easy to try out new design
formats. Plus, since making magazines costs more
than of newspapers, we have reduced the number of
Q. What articles does The Sookmyung Times mostly
A. We mainly write articles about our school and its issues, hence, the connection between topics,
university students and Sookmyung Women’s University is the most important.
Q. Are there any articles about international students?
A. There is a category called “Sookmate,” which is used for introducing several nations’
cultures through interviews with international students.
In the latest magazine, we handled the topic, “Special Holidays from Around the World” by
interviewing Chinese, Japanese‚ and Bruneian students. We are able to communicate
regularly with international students because of “Sookmate.” In this regard, writing articles for
“Sookmate” is meaningful.
In addition, in November of 2014, we printed an article titled “Are You with Exchanged
Students?” This article let students reflect on themselves by asking if they really communicate
well with international students.
The English magazine takes the role of a window, linking the school and students, or
different groups of students. We need to deliver messages about what students need to
know about the school or other groups of students. That is why we put effort into writing
articles about international students.
Q. What are the special traits that The Sookmyung Times has?
A. The most different feature from other universities’ newspapers is that we have articles
about female since we are an English magazine at a women’s university. We treat wide
ranges of issues: from gender equality to females’ culture, for example, a dessert
consuming culture. We are also trying to reinterpret sexual matters by ourselves, write articles
and deliver the message to the readers. In addition, our reporters put two last names on the
magazines, one from father, another from mother.
Q. Is The Sookmyung Times going through any difficulties?
A. Probably this could be the common hardship of most English newspapers of other
universities; a low subscription rate. Not that many students of Sookmyung Women’s
University are aware of The Sookmyung Times.
To solve the problem, we have introduced our magazine during the “international student
briefing session” and have held an event on online. Also, we have been posting articles on
SNS. Fortunately, many students give attention and leave the comments with their opinions
about the articles.
Q. As university media, what values does The Sookmyung Times pursue?
A. The English magazine has a huge advantage in the fact that it is written in English. It
enables us to have communication with international students and foreign professors.
Therefore, it is important to cover school matters in depth and report the news accurately
immediately after they occured.
The Yonsei Annals (The English Magazine of Yonsei University)
|▲ Moon Sook-hyun, the editor-in-chief of The Yonsei Annals|
/Photography from The Yonsei Annals
Q. The Yonsei Annals has been issued in the form of a
magazine. What are the pros and cons of a
A. A magazine can provide more in depth coverage
and include dynamic image layouts. However, as it
is a monthly magazine, reporting on time is difficult.
Q. What types of articles does The Yonsei Annals
A. We issue articles regarding campus news, social
issues, cultural issues and photo essays with a
reporter’s free thoughts. Making sure the items
correspond with the relevant news page and current affairs is necessary.
Q. Are there any articles about international students?
A. There was an article which covered the poor management of Korean universities regarding
international students, under the title “Wanted, then Forgotten” in the latest issue. There has
been an increasing number of international students in Korean universities and we wanted to
communicate that it is necessary to establish systematic operations for them.
Q. Does The Yonsei Annals go through any hardships?
A. I think the small percentage of readers and the shortage of manpower are the most
difficult aspects in running the media. Yonsei University reduced the budget for The Yonsei
Annals due to the low subscription rate and recruiting new reporters is also a problem as the
interest about the media within the school has decreased.
Q. What types of efforts are made to overcome those hardships?
A. We focus on promoting The Yonsei Annals to readers. We have an online homepage and
a Facebook page for The Yonsei Annals where we upload articles regularly and have events
for readers. In addition, we get some feedback regarding the magazine from reader
evaluation groups and try to communicate with readers. International students and people
who speak English are increasing on campus, therefore, it is expected that more readers will
start to subscribe the magazine.
Q. What do you think is the value the media of the university need to pursue?
A. I believe “diversity” is the desirable value the media of the university need to pursue.
In this multicultural and globalized age, more people from different backgrounds are brought
onto the campus. Accordingly, English media should speak for them and report on the
changed atmosphere and news.
Lee Min-jeong, You Eun-sun firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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