Kim Yong-jun, a journalist of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), is a senior of Dongguk University. Last summer, in a lecture at Dongguk University’s Media Center, he talked about the importance of having an enthusiastic attitude and clearly communicating. He added that “Whatever you do, you must do it right.” Rather than hesitating, he emphasized on the importance of the will to persistently push ahead with what we want. He said that “Once you try, you will not have any regrets.” Therefore, the Dongguk Post interviewed him to gain insight and to encourage Dongguk University students to have a more enterprising mind and confidence in their career setting.
Kim Yong-jun, Alumnus
Q. Please introduce yourself.
Hello. I am Kim Yong-jun. I graduated from Dongguk University in 2010, majored in the Newspaper Broadcasting (changed its name to Media Communication in 2016) and double-majored in Korean Language and Literature. Starting my career after being commissioned as a military officer, I am currently working as an anchorman, journalist, and radio panelist on KBS. I am single, love home cooking, have been writing down good sayings in my notebook since March 1st of 2010, and have been writing a diary every day for 17 years.
Q. What kind of work are you in charge of as a KBS journalist?
Currently, I do not belong to the reporting department. I host the live broadcast, which starts at 3P.M. on weekdays. It is not just about proceeding, but also discussing which items to deal with, and recruiting writers and staff just like an American program. At about 8:10A.M., I appear on the morning radio. I also work as an anchorman when there is a big event. Recently, I oversaw the Nu-ri (Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II) launch and a special report about a typhoon landing. During the presidential election, I went to the National Assembly to interview the president-elect. I also hosted a program about the last president, Moon Jae-in, having a conversation with the nation.
Q. What made you want to be a journalist? We wonder why you chose to be a broadcasting reporter among various jobs related to journalism.
I originally wanted to become an announcer. While commissioned as an army officer, I became a military broadcasting announcer. However, while seeing the competitors in the final interview for announcer recruitment of broadcasting company for the first time, after being discharged from the military, I realized it would be difficult for me to become an announcer. Since I had prepared hard to pass the press examination, I thought it was not over and should not give up my whole dream. As a result, I decided to be a broadcasting reporter. As thinking about myself is very important, I checked my entire school records to know what kind of child I was. It showed that all my career hopes for three years in middle school were for journalism. In conclusion, journalists have been a vague goal since childhood.
Q. What was the most helpful experience in achieving your dream?
Every moment of my life was the foundation for becoming a journalist. For example, I was always an executive from elementary school to high school. I even worked as a class executive as a student council president, too. I think this made me to improve my ability to grasp the needs of the public and find a direction to pursue. When I was a university student, I fell in love with acting. I was mainly an actor, but I was also charged with directing. From then, I started watching other people. When I played the role of a 40-year-old office worker, I looked at the office worker on the street and wondered what kind of people they were. I also learned reporting, discipline, and organizational skills when I was in Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC). All these experiences of conducting news as a military officer and anchor of the Armed Forces broadcasting made me prepare well for the press exam.
Kim Yong-jun, an alumnus of Dongguk University, is always prepared for news stories.
/Photography from Kim Yong-jun
Q. You worked in various departments as a reporter. Is there any memorable episode?
I was always told by my fellow journalists that I was born to be a journalist. They say someone like me should be a journalist. There is something I hate to hear the most. That is, “Can you just say something?” I do not think a reporter who asks this question is qualified to report. You must not ask this kind of irresponsible question. I think that all my questions are sharp and high in quality. It means, you do not know if I will be able to see the interviewee again. You should ask an exclamation question. To surprise the interviewee with a good question, you must study a lot. You should keep thinking about what the interviewee wants to say the most. If you do this repeatedly, you will get the answer. If the interviewee says that my question is sharper than others, then I feel satisfied. I also feel proud when I come back after solving difficult interviews. I think bringing an item that was hard to get is a kind of reward for constantly showing faith.
Q. What is the most significant point of writing an article and delivering it to the audience?
First, write and report an article so that the audience can understand what the story is about at once. Even if the investigation results are nearly 30 pages long, write articles faithfully, but from the viewers’ point of view, we sometimes get confused about what the reporter wants to say. I aim for a piece of news that can be exactly understood when heard. In terms of methodology, there is a way of using easy expressions and easy examples. Second, I am always thinking about why I am writing an article. At the end of the article, the sentence “Kim Yong-jun of KBS.” appears. Therefore, until the end of the report, you must conclude what you want to say to the world through this article. This routine sometimes makes me be embarrassed, so I avoid reading my article even though I am full of confidence. In conclusion, you must try to write an article that is easy to understand and keep repeating why you are writing.
Q. Are there any issues that you are most interested in these days?
My program covers politics, economy, society, culture, international, and sports, so it is hard to choose something specific. However, let me pick three personal concerns. The first is politics. Politics gives many direct messages to our lives, so I have no choice but to be interested as an anchor. The second is society. For example, there was a stalking murder at Sin-dang Station. More than a thousand crimes appear daily, but you should not look at it like that. You should know why this crime is wrong. I think society issues keep us thinking about what is wrong. In addition, my biggest interest is the security sector. I am especially interested in North Korea, domestic security, and international security.
Q. Do you have any special tips for having a confident, witty, and attractive image?
First, I have lived with confidence. You do not face serious problems even in a situation where you feel like you are going to be in big trouble. After I tried, I realized. I tend to present my own opinion even though other people do not want to talk and just let it go. Secondly, even if you are talking humorously, you should not hurt someone. The easiest way is, to talk about what they did well and then point out the improvements. These two abilities were naturally acquired throughout my whole life. Of course, the atmosphere changes when I get off from work. This is how passionate I am. I recently met a younger friend from Dongguk University after 10 years. She told me that my passion is not consistent, but rather upgraded. It means I kept developing. Rather than I tended to create an image, I think my life itself made me active. I do not think the atmosphere has ever gotten bad when I said something. There is a basic prerequisite to being confident and witty. You must listen carefully. You must constantly feel the atmosphere around you and absorb what people are talking about. In the same vein, when you prepare for getting a job, you must listen carefully if you want to talk well. Applicants usually only spit out what they want to say. This is not a proper way to get a job.
Q. As a broadcasting reporter, what kind of knowledge and mindset is needed?
You must be curious about people and issues. If you do not have it, you must try it. You cannot be a reporter if you are not curious. In the past, I mentioned observation skills as a virtue of a reporter. These days, however, I do not think observation skill is everything. Although observing something well, you need to know what you want to say. It would be best if you even suggest a solution, too. When you spend your daily life, do not think “That is all.” Try to think, “I am thinking in this way.” If you have a habit of concluding that there is something like this, it will be helpful when you work. Communication skills are important. People who use dialects also can have excellent delivery skills. On the contrary, so many people are suffering from a lack of communication skills, even in the standard language. Lastly, you must be always prepared. With this mindset, you should check your appearance first and should be diligent to looking good. To be diligent, you should be physically strong. To have good physical strength, you should have good daily habits. This is how the flow continues. As a result, if you are always ready, the rest is incidental. Excuses do not work. A broadcasting reporter is a job that requires more self-management than you think.
Q. What kind of ability do you think is most needed in the future job market?
There is a motto that I always repeat. “If you are wondering when to do it, do it now.” If you are wondering who is going to do it, you do it. If you are going to do it, do it well. These days, there are so many good resources that you can easily get help from. That is why young generations do not know how to challenge themselves. I would like you to row alone. You must go and just try it. Whether it is about having a relationship, a drinking party, or class lessons, you should try. Younger people try to calculate everything, and when it does not seem to work, they give up so easily. It is a matter of whether you do it or not. Moreover, you listen to the people who have tried it. This is not as effective as you think. I hope you to challenge anything. In addition, I want you to understand exactly what the other person is asking for. You should not interpret it in your way. You must answer the question below. There are so many people who do not follow what the boss tells to do. Understanding directly is very important. To do this, you must try it and go through trials and errors.
Q. Is there any advice for students who are trying to achieve their dreams?
Enjoy your college life with a lot of stories and focus on yourself. I do not want to go back to college because there is nothing to be desired. I hope that you try everything. In addition, do not compare it and do not follow others. I want you to think about yourself and love yourself. The ranking of schools defined by society does not mean much. Come as you are. Also, do not give up because of the high competition rates. Whoever will be will be, and whoever will not be will not be. To conclude, I hope you date hard when you are a university student. Employment, human relations, and social life are all learned while having a relationship. It is a series of processes that in which there are heart bumps, misunderstandings, resolved problems, meetings with new people, and making up your mind.
Kim Ji-woo firstname.lastname@example.org
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