Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kristi Lu Stout on Korea

The last few days, I have been watching my favorite eye candy CNN anchor singing the praises of South Korea. In the CNN special report "Eye on South Korea" Ms. Stout is travelling around Korea (with Eunice Yoon and Ji-Ae Sohn) and giving various reports on the state of everything from the 'ubiquitous' connectivity and the gaming industry to the 'ultramodern' shipbuilding industry. Unfortantely, that eye seems to be looking through a pair of rose-colored glasses.

I know there are a lot of great things in Korea and basically, I love this country. I make my home and my family here. However, although some of the reports are interesting and will undoubtedly do some good for the Korean economy and the human interest stories will obviously appeal to an international audience while they will leave the Korean population writhing in masterbatory ecstacy. The whole thing feels like an extended "Sparkling Korea" or "Seoul of Asia" commercial singing the praises of the South Korean culture and economy without any of the balanced reporting that can help encourage reflection on improvements that need to be made.

Hey Kristy, in case you read this, I have an idea: instead of just slathering over the high rate of connectivity and showing the gamers in their glory on the stages and on the televisions of the nation, why don't you focus a little on the internet and gaming addiction that is ruining lives all over the country. Instead of 'oohing' and 'aahing' the shipbuilding industry and hi-tech gadgets, why not add a little balanced reporting and show the plight of the migrant workers of Korea who do a lot of the work neccessary keep the industry alive. While you're at it, you could focus a little on the state of English education in Korea and maybe have a story or two about the hagwon industry and crooked directors. This would segue nicely into a report on racial discrimination and the treatment of mixed race children.

I guess "Eye on South Korea" is not about balanced reporting. If we want some real grit we need to call Christianne Amanpour or Anderson Cooper. Ms. Stout is just too sweet looking to be able to handle any of the tough reporting and probably would be best sticking to the pollyanna side of the news anyway. In the meantime, I'll just turn the sound down and enjoy.

P.S. - If you get down to Daegu, look me up, I'll buy you a couple of drinks and fill you in.

UPDATE: At the advice of an anonymous poster, I would like to offer my apologies to the lovely Ms. Stout (great name though, eh?) as they did add some stuff on cyber addiction and the gap between the rich and the poor in Seoul according to the reader. I was too busy to watch this morning so I, unfortunately, missed it. Assuming that these pieces have the equivalent enthusiasm that the brighter pieces have and are not just stuck in there to appear balanced then I apologize.
PSS: I'd still like to fill you in over a beer, Kristi:)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing, but you might want to add a footnote to your post since there is a piece on cyberaddiction, another one on the disparity between South/North Korea (though there probably is even another story between the rich and poor in Seoul) And on the other hand, if you think they are hyping up the tech story I'm sure you can also admit that they'll go the other way in trying to sensationalize the "dark" stories as well.

Phaelun of the East said...

i knew it! somewhere out there, there are fans of kristi lu stout. well, yeah she is pretty for a news anchor. :)

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jstele said...

Migrant workers are not really hired for shipbuilding.