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[Press Release] OhmyNews and Softbank Join Hands
In a $11M investment agreement, citizen participatory journalism goes global
OhmyNews (internews)     Print Article 
Published 2006-02-22 14:08 (KST)   
SEOUL-TOKYO, February 22, 2006

OhmyNews and Softbank have joined hands for the globalization of citizen participatory journalism pioneered by OhmyNews in South Korea six years ago.

OhmyNews and Softbank signed a comprehensive investment contract valued at US$11million on February 22 after both parties agreed to form a strategic partnership in spreading citizen participatory journalism on the global stage.

The contract, which was signed by Oh Yeon Ho, CEO and President of OhmyNews and Masayoshi Sohn, CEO and President of Softbank, contains two major agreements:

Softbank will make a direct investment in OhmyNews:

OhmyNews and Softbank shared an understanding that OhmyNews will have to strengthen its Korean main operation to effectively realize the globalization of citizen participatory journalism. To this end, Softbank will invest US$5.2million to OhmyNews. OhmyNews will spend the invested funds on the expansion of OhmyTV, an Internet television arm of OhmyNews, to advance citizen participation in the video journalism and the development of OhmyNews' English language edition, pushing citizen participatory journalism to the next level. Softbank will own 12.95 percent of OhmyNews' outstanding shares as a result of this investment.

Softbank and OhmyNews have agreed to launch OhmyNews International:

Softbank and OhmyNews will jointly launch OhmyNews International Co. Ltd. in early March and use this business arm to globalize citizen participatory journalism. Using the company as a global stepping stone, Softbank and OhmyNews agreed to work together in spreading citizen participatory journalism worldwide, which was pioneered by OhmyNews based on the concept that "every citizen is a reporter."

With the recent arrival of Web 2.0 and citizen participation, OhmyNews International aims to provide citizens of the world with a global platform of participation and intends to offer a support structure for international citizen reporters.

Following the path of OhmyNews Korea, OhmyNews International will take the spirit of citizen participation as the cornerstone of its media business. At the same time, it will try to adapt its business concept and newsroom structure to accommodate the different needs and environments of each country it enters.

As its first international news venture, OhmyNews International will establish 'OhmyNews Japan' before August 2006 in Japan. 'OhmyNews Japan' will provide Japanese citizens with a multimedia platform of citizen participation, hence introducing a completely different kind of news media to Japan's media market that will live up to the spirit of Web 2.0.
©2006 OhmyNews
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