|Shin Yong-bae, the Managing Editor of The Korea Herald|
|/Photograph by Kim Min-ji|
There are many students who cannot decide what kinds of careers they will choose. In addition, what they are now studying in their majors might be very different from what they expected before. Unlike those people who wander to find their jobs, Shin Yong-bae, a graduated Donggukian, found the aptitude early in his school year. He is now working as the Managing Editor of The Korea Herald, an English newspaper company. The Dongguk Post interviewed him and listened to his story as a journalist.
Q. Can you introduce yourself?
A. Hello, my name is Shin Yong-bae. I entered Dongguk University in 1981, majoring in English Language and Literature, and graduated in February, 1988. I started to work as a journalist at The Korea Herald in that year. At first, I worked in the Foreign Affairs and Politics Department in the company. Then, I took the position of the politics desk editor after I worked as a Cheong Wa Dae correspondent. I served as the head of magazine, digital, and economics department and since 2016, as the Managing Editor.
Q. Did you dream to be a journalist when you were a student?
A. I explored my career when I was a junior in Dongguk University. I wanted to work in the newspaper company because I was fond of observing society and affairs rather than enjoying my own hobby. So, I thought that being a journalist was more appropriate for me than working in a private enterprise focusing on marketing strategies and sales record.
Q. What was the most helpful achievement you had made when you were a university student?
A. I think the achievements using English were the most helpful for me at that time. I managed Current English Club that students of other universities joined together and discussed issues during my campus life. While doing the activity, I met and discussed with many people who had various thoughts. In addition, serving as a KATUSA for three years was very helpful for me to enter The Korea Herald.
Q. As the Managing Editor, what is your task and what were the difficulties you faced while working?
A. I conduct a role of leading the organization and people including journalists, copy editors, and supporting staffs. Besides, the editorial department which I belong to takes charge of managing the website of The Korea Herald that has various digital contents nowadays. I think the difficulty I am facing in recent days is helping a lot of journalists who have different tendencies to cooperate.
Q. What is the most memorable article you wrote?
A. I remember the article that Jeong Ju-yeong, the CEO of Hyundai Group, visited North Korea with herds of cattle in 1998. It sent the best cattle to North Korea that were raised directly from their own ranch. It helped not only improving the North Korean food condition, but also giving them relaxation of the tension between the North and the South Korea. It became the beginning of the two countries’ reconciliation, contributing to touring Mt. Geumgang and the summit meeting between South and North’s president. In the process of covering, I was so impressed that I saw the situation by myself.
Q. What is the difference between the newspapers written in Korean and English?
A. There is no big difference in publishing newspapers, since both are the same kind of media. While subscribers of Korean newspapers are Koreans, ours are foreigners who live in Korea such as, diplomats and businessmen. Others are who are interested in Korean culture, especially K-Pop. A few days ago, some K-Pop fans paid attention to our article about death of Jong-hyeon, who was the member of SHINee, before foreign news had reported yet.
Q. What do you think the differentiating factors in The Korea Herald is?
A. To have competitiveness among many other presses, I think strategy of “the choice and concentration” is necessary. Therefore, it is important to figure out the subscribers’ concern. For example, most of the foreigners are not interested in Korean house prices. So, we focus on writing issues about foreign policies, civil rights, jobs, and some others for the foreigners. In addition, K-Pop has quite a big influence on foreigners and been covered a lot, since a number of foreigners love it.
Q. Can you advise Donggukians who are wanting to be journalists as well as wandering their dreams?
A. I would like to advice that if you become a journalist, you should be interested in current affairs, and have enthusiasm and commitment to your work. During the early days as a reporter, you need to explore the areas that you are interested in growing as a professional journalist afterwards. In the past, being journalists was only way to make newspaper, but now it is the era of multimedia with different platforms such as SNS or Youtube. It will be better to learn various skills such as producing video and storytelling to fullfill your dream.Also, I adviesd regular Donggukians to set up what you want to do and then apply for the companies. You need to try several internships to make hands-on-background and find your aptitude. If you are not enthusiastic about your desired field, you would act passively in your job and it is not good for your company and yourself.
Lee Eun Byeol firstname.lastname@example.org
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