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The Revolt of 727 News Guerillas
A Revolution in News Production and Consumption
Oh Yeon Ho (internews)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2004-02-19 17:54 (KST)   
Six years ago today, Oh Yeon Ho, CEO and the founder of OhmyNews logged on OhmyNews server and declared the birth of new journalism. It was the first step of saying a final goodbye to the 20th century journalism.



©2000 Kang B.R
It's 2:22 p.m. on the 22nd of February 2000. At long last we're publishing OhmyNews, the world셲 internet newspaper truly becoming of the name.

Born in the spring of the new millennium, OhmyNews declares it is making a complete departure from the media culture of the 20th century. We are going to change the culture of how news is produced, distributed, and consumed, all at one time.

Every citizen's a reporter. Journalists aren't some exotic species, they're everyone who seeks to take new developments, put them into writing, and share them with others.

This common truth has been trampled on in a culture where being a reporter is seen as something of a privilege to be enjoyed. Privileged reporters come together to form massive news media wielded power over the whole process of news production, distribution, and consumption.

The seriousness of the problem is that the massive media power is the final gutter of Korean capitalist society. There is a lot about those media that is dirty, and yet they have packaged themselves as clean and acted self-righteous towards the rest of society.

To stand up against this final gutter, the journalists who started this campaign before us created The Monthly Mal and The Hankyoreh, but experience taught us that it would not be enough. Technology has been developing at nonstop pace, the world has changed, and readers have changed. What was even more of an unsettling was that it was none other than these massive gutters that were reacting to these changes with the most agility.

We therefore stand up to them raising high the flag of guerrilla warfare. Our weapon is the proposition that "every citizen is a reporter." We intend to achieve a "news alliance of news guerillas." We will be unfolding a second NGO (news guerilla organization) movement.

We have three main tactics.

-Abolish the threshold to being a reporter.
-Break down the set formula for news articles.
-Demolish all walls that separate media.


With such weapons and tactics, we have been well received by readers since our first test edition appeared on December 21, 1999. We weren't getting anything for our advertisements, and yet 64,000 readers visited our pages and 700 of them have volunteered to be news guerillas.

Dearest readers, and dearest news guerillas! We are not just reforming the culture of the Korean media, we are drawing a new line in the history of the world press. We're changing the world press basic understanding of how the news is done.

OhmyNews is changing the culture of news production. We don't have special spaces set aside as "readers columns" or for "letters to the editor", because all our pages are reserved for reporters belonging to the general public. Newspapers call themselves public organs, so why must "company people" write front page and other important articles?

OhmyNews does not discriminate between internal reporters and external reporters. We have less than ten internal reporters, but we have around 700 news guerillas, and within six months will have made OhmyNews into a comprehensive internet daily with 4,000 news guerillas working in solidarity. OhmyNews' editorial offices are therefore the country's PC bangs, people's offices, and people셲 homes. To facilitate this, automated editing system has been put in place that will allow people to post articles from anywhere in the world.

OhmyNews is also changing the culture of news production when it comes to creative destruction of established article format. We are liberating articles that have been trapped in the existing formats of articles that look like dictations of telephone records, articles that are letters, and articles that are written with pictures. Instead, you'll be able to hear our news guerillas breathing.

OhmyNews is changing the culture of news consumption. Readers will be able to add their views to each and every article. And for the first time anywhere, readers will have the authority to determine much about how much news guerillas are paid for their articles.

More than anything else, OhmyNews is changing the way people think about what's newsworthy.

News guerillas will show you their hearts. In the 20th century, a presidential press conference was news, and tears shed by one's lover the night before were not. We will now be restoring that lost half of the news.

OhmyNews' relationship with its print version will also be done in guerilla style. We are going to be the first anywhere to produce a sporadic publication. Sometimes it will be a daily, sometimes a weekly, sometimes a monograph, and sometimes photocopied material. The plan is to print 200,000 "name card newspapers" as our first print edition. By "name card newspapers", we do mean that they will be the size of name cards, with five headlines and two advertisements.

OhmyNews' editorial philosophy is "open progressivism." We will compliment conscientious and productive conservatism when it takes the hand of the progressivism of our era and creates a new world with new news/sosik, and we will shun rigid and unproductive progressivism. OhmyNews will take the initiative in inter-Korean reunification, the desire of the Korean nation, and in achieving information society and globalization that has a human face.

To our news guerillas around the country and around the world, and to our readers: Just this very moment, the news guerilla Gang Byeong Rok has just sent in an article and picture from Gyeongsan, in North Gyeongsang Province. The scene of burning weeds and the people burning them is truly beautiful. Let us burn away the culture of newspapers in the 20th century, the culture of a media that alienated regular citizens, and all that is familiar. It is you, the news guerilla, who is beautiful as you join in on this most moving festival of fire.


돱뒪寃뚮┫씪 727紐낆쓽 諛섎 - 삤뿰샇 湲곗옄
*OhmyNews currently has over 50 dedicated staff reporters. On any given day, more than 41,000 citizen reporters around the world post their stories on regular basis.
©2004 OhmyNews
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