Alumni of Dongguk University are shining a positive light on the name of our school by doing their best in various positions after graduating from school. The place where the Donggukians who dream of becoming reporters pass through are the academic media organizations that belong to Dongguk University’s Media Center. A proud alumnus, who joined an economic broadcaster’s press office in 2021 as a reporter, completed her six-month junior reporter career, and has been reborn as a reporter this year. She is an alumni of the 52nd Dongguk Post editor-in-chief, Cho Moon-kyung. The Dongguk Post found out what kind of job she thinks a “reporter” is and what the true media looks like from her perspective.
Cho Moon-kyung, Alumni
English Interpretation and Translation
Interviewee Cho Moon-kyung
/ Photography from Cho Moon-kyung
Q. Please introduce yourself
Hello, I am Cho Moon-kyung, the 52nd member of the Dongguk Post, and majored in the Department of English Interpretation and Translation. Currently, I work in the press department of a news agency of economic broadcasters. After joining the company in July 2021 and completing the probationary period in January 2022, I officially became a reporter. I was assigned to the securities department in the financial team. It mainly deals with economic issues and writes articles about securities firms and stock market victims.
Q. When was the most memorable moment while you were working as a reporter?
The most memorable moment of my career was when I wrote an article about victims of the Lime Fund. This is the first article to be listed with my by-line when I was assisting my senior’s coverage. I filed a complaint against the bank by obtaining an in-house e-mail containing the word “principal guarantee” from victims related to the Lime Fund. I remember patiently approaching the victims of Lime Fund, as they were reluctant to expose their identity in case of disadvantages in compensation for damage. I called in the morning and evening and approached them in a friendly manner. I secured an e-mail when I promised to protect the victims who were worried that Private Bankers (PB) were also victims. At this time, I remember being so proud that I was able to introduce one person’s voice to the world. I write articles that highlight such unreasonable things, but also write articles that convey information such as Initial Public Offering (IPO) issues, stock information, and economic policy. I think the biggest attraction of this job is that I have to study hard to write an article, and that’s why I cannot let go of learning every time. When readers read my article and get feedback or response from comments, whether good or bad, it is the happiest moment while working. I think it means that I am being helpful to at least one person.
Q. What kind of job is a Reporter?
I think “Reporter” is a job that cracks a peaceful daily life. I think reporters should see what others cannot see, and while even seeing the same thing, they should think differently from others. Of course, I am also trying every moment to do this. Even if you always look at the same event, you should find a social meaning in it, and you should be able to think about it from the perspective of a person who is not very interested in it. This is because new articles will appear in the world and new agendas will be thrown into society to resolve social conflicts. In particular, when someone becomes a reporter, they do a job called “Presentation” every day. The presentation varies in time from media to media, but all media reporters do it. The presentation is to report the article item to the manager, and reporters who do not try to look at the world anew seem to find this presentation very difficult. To create a society that is good to live in, I think presentation is the most important thing. This is because many agendas that require social consensus must be discussed through articles. At that time, changes begin, with public opinion being formed and policies coming into being. So, the most respected reporters are those who wrote solo articles and made changes by causing social repercussions. Of course, I am still trying to be such a reporter. I know that the reporter who won the Reporter of the Month award is an MBC reporter, who exclusively reported the “military sexual harassment concealment case,” a big issue in Korea. Since then, I know that in the military, all local officials have changed their perspectives, and investigated sexual harassment. As you all know, social discussions were also hot. I think it is the role of a reporter to look at the world from a different point of view and change society through such articles. To express a reporter in one line, I think it is a job that should be able to crack open the news even in a peaceful daily life.
Q. Why did you want to be a reporter?
At first, I just wanted to do something helpful in the world. Perhaps because I am a Christian, I wanted to create a good society to live in and be a person who helps others. If a doctor cured a person’s illness, I thought I should be a person who saves the soul. Hence, I had a dream to be a reporter at that time. I guess my initially vague dream of being a reporter became clearer when COVID-19 got worse. There was a time when there was a shortage of masks, but one day I was going down Chungmuro Station and, there was an old homeless woman that day. But she was not wearing a mask. Fortunately, I had two extra masks in my bag at that time, so I handed over the mask to her. But, the old homeless woman, who always smiled when I gave her money, was disappointed to find out that it was a mask, not money. It was shocking. At that time, I realized that one meal a day was more important than a life-threatening epidemic to them. I wanted to spread this realization, and I think I vowed to bring the issue of homelessness, a chronic disease of society, to the public sphere. And I dreamed of becoming a reporter in a position to help even those who I could not meet in person. Numerous socially disadvantaged people, including widows, victims, and orphans, as well as homeless people, are living without losing their “hope” for life. I believe that when they restore their wishes and motivation for life, they can be saved from their dead lives. Since I became a reporter, I think I was able to help create a “society where we live together” by representing their situation and publicizing agendas closely related to life. Especially in creating a good society, I think the economy is a fundamental issue. This is because the recent investment in margin, real estate housing prices, and youth unemployment problems are all issues directly related to the economy. Also, I think society can become a little better to live in only when the economy is full of vitality. Therefore, I think it is so good that economic broadcasters can focus on discussing the economy.
Reporter Cho is reporting an article on the broadcast.
/Photography from Cho Moon-kyung
Q. What was the effect of the Dongguk Post activity on you?
The Dongguk Post has influenced me greatly and is a valuable place that allowed me to experience other reporters. At that time, I was in charge of various tasks such as presenting article items, feedback meetings, covering, writing articles, and editing articles. Whenever I had to endure hard times, I said, “I survived the Dongguk Post, so can I do anything else?” I have been thinking about that countless times. And the most significant impact is that it provided me with a valuable coverage experience. The most memorable moment of my career at the Dongguk Post was when I wrote an article about of lecture sales. I accused people who could not apply for lectures in the course registration of, buying lectures for hundreds of thousands of won on the black market. At that time, I learned how to denounce the problem and who to contact to come up with a solution. Of course, the feedback from the seniors, colleagues, juniors, and media center teachers was also very helpful. At this time, the tips for covering and writing articles that I learned were helpful in the current position, and were very useful when writing self-introductions and during interviews.
Q. What do you think the current media and the true media are like?
I think the biggest problem with the media is the loss of “trust” and “accuracy.” In order to attract viewers’ attention, many sensational articles are published, and it is most heartbreaking that the accuracy is often poor in prompt reporting. I think these aspects are not limited to individual reporters, but are problems throughout the structure of the Korean media. A culture centered on exploration reports should be created, but I think reporters cannot write the articles that they want because media companies want to report more interesting content faster than other companies. I think the Korean media’s view of the problem in a dichotomous way should also be improved. For example, according to the accusation article, one side is often expressed as an absolute evil and the other as an absolute good. I think this is a side effect of choosing a sensational reporting method. For example, a recent controversy over the legislation of CCTV in the operating room has been talked about, and the victim reported that it was a factory-style ghost surgery, and numerous media outlets reported it collectively. Naturally, the response to the comments was cold, and the surgeon became absolute evil, and they were busy cursing the surgeon rather than discussing problems. But after further coverage, this surgeon did not perform factory-style ghost surgery. There were actually a number of complex factors in the surgical situation that resulted in manslaughter. But the doctor already became absolutely evil in the eyes of the public, and there was no follow-up report after the issue subsided. This is not the only case. Among the numerous accusations, there seem to be many biased reports that do not properly cover or listen to the positions of both sides and instead create absolute good and evil. I think this should be improved. Until now, the media has reported the news in a single frame that satisfies only a small number of stakeholders. In particular, political news featured the ruling and opposition parties, and citizens were only cameos and observers of the set agenda. In order to be competitive in the news, it is necessary to find agendas closely related to citizens’ lives through various frames and make them a social public debate. At that time, citizens will feel the efficacy of growing the agenda together, not alienation, and I think the media will be chosen only then.
Q. Is there anything you want to say to juniors who dream of becoming reporters?
Rather than wanting to go to a certain broadcasting company, I think it should be discussed first what kind of reporter you want to be. In fact, it is also the question that I received the most from seniors. At first, I did not understand “what kind of reporter” I wanted to be, but now I think I know a little. Each reporter’s name is now “branding.” I think this phenomenon has become severe as we enter the multimedia era. Reporters are a kind of self-employed people. Since there is so much information and media, it is time for people to see and respond to the contents of articles. At this time, the most important thing is what article to write with my name on the line. In the past, the whole family sat around and watched 9 o’clock news, but now there is a society where viewers choose the news. The more this happens, the more we have to focus on the qualitative part of the article, and in order for it to happen, we have to discuss what kind of reporter we will be. In addition, I also feel like I cannot leave out the contents of the exam, perhaps since I have been frustrated a lot in the press exam, but if I keep failing, I lose a lot of self-esteem and have skepticism about life. But looking back, everyone who prepared for the exam with me eventually found their place and worked somewhere. Rather, the time spent studying seems to be a great nourishment even when you come to your current position, so I hope you do not feel too impatient and enjoy studying. When that happens, it is less exhausting and more efficient. Cheer up, everyone! I hope to see you as a reporter!
Choi Yu-ri firstname.lastname@example.org
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