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Graduate Seok-hee Son received the 13th Song Kun-ho Prize / Department of Korean Language & Literature (class of 1976) Suggested the image of a reliable journalist, awards ceremony on December 16th


The graduate Seok-hee Son, the CEO of press bureau at cable channel JTBC, was selected as the winner of the ‘13th Song Kun-ho Prize.’ ‘Song Kun-ho Prize’ was made by the Cheongam Press Foundation and Hankyoreh Newspaper to commemorate the journalism spirit of the late Cheongam Kun-ho Song. On the 8th, the Screening Committee of Song Kun-ho Prize explained, “He maintained the dignity of journalists with consistent efforts and strict conduct. Also, his attitude that devotes himself for the broadcasting culture satisfies the spirit of Master Kun-ho Song.”

Since he started his career as announcer at in 1984, Son has worked as a professional broadcaster specialized in news and current affairs for 30 years. He exerted efforts to deliver in-depth news as the host of a morning radio program called and contributed to the development of debate culture as the host of TV current affairs program called <100-minute Debate (2002~2009)>. From 2005, he has become ‘the most influential journalist’ for 10 years (surveyed by the weekly Sisa Journal). He is considered to be a reliable journalist enjoying public popularity.

He moved to the cable channel JTBC as the CEO of press bureau and took the position of the main anchor of the news. JTBC news relatively delivered balanced contents that were not properly dealt in public broadcasting, such as National Intelligence Service's intervention in the presidential election, fabrication of spy evidence, strike of the Korail union, and Sewol Ferry sinking. Because of this, there is a critic that suspected crack in the frame called ‘total TV programming channel provided by Jo-Jung-Dong.’ After about a year since his joining to JTBC, its reliability entered the higher rank. The Screening Committee said, “Broadcast is the outcome made by many service providers but we admit that ‘the broadcaster Seok-hee Son’ made great contribution to the increase of dignity and stature of programs.”

CEO Son expressed, “Although I was a student at the ‘publication of blank advertisements’ in in 1970s when Kun-ho Song worked as Chief Editor, I participated in the advertisement supporting movement. I felt responsible as I have to consider the life of Kun-ho Song and that of mine, but I will remember the heart beating when I had the advertisement for the movement 40 years ago.” CEO Son has emphasized the responsibility of press as ‘a spokesperson of the rational civil society.’ In order to practice this, he needed to have courage to stay away from political power and ‘seduction from the market.’ He said, “I try to practice journalism of sound argument as shown in our textbooks. It seems straightforward but it is not easy to practice.” He added, “Now is the time that requires courage not only to ‘protect Kun-ho Song’s legacy of journalism against political power’ but also to ‘defend journalism against distorted market logic.”

He cited the Sewol Ferry sinking as an example and said, “The society became polarized even in the most humanitarian issues while the political circle and the press were suspected to use and promote that. It is like the game rules dominate things as if extremism brings benefit.” He added, “(In the course of reporting the Sewol Ferry sinking) we tried to reject pursuing interest that implemented extremism.”

  • - Date: December 16, 2014 (Tue.), 3p.m.
  • - Venue: Press Conference on the 19th floor of Korea Press Foundation Building, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
  • - Original text: http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/media/668239.html
  • - Reference: Hankyoreh Newspaper on December 09, 2014 at 18:50, revised on December 09, 2014 at 19:46
  • - Written by: Hankyoreh Newspaper reporter Hyo-sil Kim, trans@hani.co.kr, photo by Senior Reporter Jae-hoon Gang khan@hani.co.kr
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