Korean election postscript

Korean election postscript.
Here’s a link to the OhmyNews! International summary of the National Assembly elections yesterday. It gives credit for the Uri Party victory to “Korea’s Internet and mobile telecommunications infrastructure that empowered the 2030 generation.”

Be it a political bulletin board or in line at a movie or polling station, they had access to up-to-the-minute election information. They could then use these same applications — mobile phone text messaging, online chat or email — to spread the word and get people out to vote.

The balance of Korean political power, which traditionally lay with older voters who favored a conservative government, has now given way to a new block of youth power. Politicians and younger voters used cyber campaigning to effectively harness this politically expedient force and “rally the troops.”

But technology didn’t empower these young people alone. OhmyNews! provided the necessary argument-based news reporting that was another winner in this election process. If you’ve not read my essay on OhmyNews!, I encourage you to do so. The election of the first liberal South Korean government in 44 years is the result, among other things, of an actively partisan press in a democracy.


  1. As a journalist in Seoul who is not Korean, I’ve kept tabs on OhmyNews for years. It’s much like a left-leaning version of the Drudge Report, with all the rumors, slander, myopia and chauvanism that entails. “Citizens” are usually not qualified to be reporters because they tend to be credulous and emotionalize their subject, sorry if that sounds elitist. It’s great to have alternative voices, just don’t cloak this enterprise in respectabilty by calling it journalism, especially while slagging on the “traditional media” it borrows from.

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