Posts Tagged ‘Jin Joong-gwon (진중권)’


New Progressive Party headquarters raided by a pro-government group.

July 1, 2008

The New Progressive Party (NPP) of Korea has been the most visible organization in the two-month long protests of Koreans against the Lee Myung-bak government. As noted before, NPP’s guerrilla media project called ColorTV enjoys a huge following among those Koreans who can’t participate in protest rallies in central Seoul in person for various reasons.

Around 10:30PM of July 1, several men apparently associated with HID, a pro-government extremist organization, raided NPP’s headquarters. According to those at the scene, the intruders went berserk shouting “We will kill Jin Joong-gwon and all the other commies of ColorTV”, and injured some party staff on duty. Jin is the political pundit who’s been serving nearly daily as the chief male reporter of ColorTV.

Lee Myung-sun, the chief female reporter of ColorTV, expressed her concerns over the safety of herself and the staff of ColorTV, but vowed to keep broadcasting candlelight vigils live till the last candlelight is put out.

One wonders whether this incident isn’t an indication that Lee Myung-bak and his right-wing extremist supporters have been caught by surprise by the recent turn of events.


Pressian is scheduled to launch its own guerrilla TV.

June 6, 2008

Pressian, a South Korean news site well known for its thorough analyses and strong and independent voices, announces that it will join ColorTV, OhmyTV and other guerrilla TVs for broadcasting street rallies live through the web from June 7 to June 10 (starting at 7PM each day).

Guerrilla TVs share a similar format: one or two reporters accompanied by a staff of cameramen, notebook carriers and some logistics people broadcast in real time every single action of protesters and the police alike with occasional interviews. And they have been extremely popular among Korean citizens: ColorTV, a media project of the New Progressive Party and the pioneer in this new, 21st century form of activist journalism, has reportedly reached an audience of 310,000 people in a single day.

PressianTV will feature a liberal political pundit, Kim Min-woong, as one of its reporters. It would be interesting to compare Kim and the star reporter of ColorTV, Jin Joong-gwon.


“Stars and Losers of Candlelight Vigils”

May 31, 2008

Korea Times‘s staff reporter Bae Ji-sook writes a pretty accurate report on who have lost and who have gained since the candlelight vigils started in April:

candlelight girlsTeenagers in school uniform join a candlelit vigil against U.S. beef imports. Teenagers have emerged as the main proponents of candlelit vigils.

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

Some rose to stardom, while others stumbled over candlelit vigils held to protest the resumption of American beef imports.

First, the spotlight shone on teenagers. Conventionally indifferent to social issues, these teens took to the streets calling for their right to choose what to eat. They created online communities where they shared information on mad cow disease and denounced the government for allegedly making a hasty deal.

Outstanding among the throng of students was a high school senior with the online ID of “Andante” who led 1.3 million people to sign a petition to impeach President Lee Myung-bak, showing “teen power” and its influence on politics. Police questioned him for articles he wrote on a Web site, but said he would not stop criticizing the government. Internet users tried to change their IDs to Andante to protect him from further police tracing.

Then came Lee Sun-young, a housewife in Atlanta, who became an instant star after she expressed her opinion in MBC TV’s “100 Minute Debate” via phone. In a very logical and calm manner, Lee spoke of advanced meat recovery products and said that not all Americans are happy with the meat they. Internet users assessed her later as a lot better than the panelists in the debate program.

She later called up the organizers of the candlelit vigils and expressed her support. All participants welcomed her logical, sensible yet passionate speech.

It was the Internet that brought people together to the vigils and real action rather than sitting and complaining., and’s Agora page became the busiest Web sites after the vigil.

There, members shared information on the disease, vigil schedules and how they should act, and criticized other government policies. Especially, the Daum portal managed to differentiate its image as progressive, “right,” and “well listening.”

The protest turned hatred into love, in other ways. Prof Chin Jung-gwon of Chung Ang University always walked a very fine line between most loved and most hated. Since last summer when he scorned some Koreans’ blind patriotism over Shim Hyung-rae’s movie “D-War,” it was quite clear that he was the latter.

However, when the critic appeared on a string of television, radio programs or newspaper columns criticizing the government’s beef deal, he became almost a pop star to fans.
During the vigils, Chin broadcast the protest live on the Internet and how the police dealt with participants. He alleged that he was hurt during police “suppression.”

However, where there is light, there is also shadow. There are several who lost popularity.

President Lee lost a lot. He had support of almost 20 percent last month, the lowest ever in history for a president in his “honeymoon period.”

He was widely criticized for saying, “If you don’t like meat, then don’t eat it.” He was then accused of not taking the protests against the beef deal seriously.

Lee apologized later that he hadn’t manage to communicate with the people well enough to tell them the truth about American beef. However, some people denounced that he was weeping crocodile tears.

Commissioner General of the National Police Agency Eo Cheong-soo also earned public “hatred” when he ordered his officers to end the vigils if any “political,” or “aggressive” action was seen.

Recently, MBC News Desk reported that his brother owned a brothel in Busan and netizens are moving to impeach him.

For Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Director Lee Sang-gil, the vigil and whole dispute have been a nightmare. The public booed him when he appeared on “100 Minute Debate” and defended the government. He alleged that there was nothing wrong with U.S. beef and that people should trust the inspection process.

During the protests, protestors called him names and mocked him, calling on him to resign.

However, according to ministry sources, Lee has the reputation of being a nice, gentle, honorable and decent man.