While I was attending university, and working as a university reporter, I learned two important things. Firstly, as a reporter, we have responsibility to report only the truth. Secondly, the press must gratify the reader’s right to know the fact.
I was very confused at the front page of the media, which had dealt with the conflict in the Winter Olympics this year in Salt Lake City. Specifically I am referring to the discord of the short track speed skating. As we all know, the referee of the competition declared Apolo Anton Ohno as the winner, but there were many opposing arguments against that judgment.
The problems involved in that decision are addressed in detail in our cover story (p.4~9). So I will not repeat them here. Instead, I would like to discuss the attitudes of the press regarding the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
There are two nations that express an entirely different opinion in this case. As you know, these two nations are Korea and the U. S. A. The United States, undoubtedly, had the advantage of hosting the games on their own ground.
Because of this merit, some expressed apprehension that keeping neutrality might be difficult, thus showing bias or favor toward one side, particularly, the United States.
For example, in a survey conducted by CBS, a major television network in America, the question was asked, “Who was the biggest whiner of the games?” Overwhelmingly, Korea was on of three nations listed to select.
The word ‘whine’ means to complain or protest in a childish fashion. It is considered to be a very insulting word. In my opinion, CBS resorted to a shallow trick of justification by conducting this survey. To further such embarrassment, a popular late night talk show host, Jay Leno, repeated the results of the CBS survey in the same shocking manner.
Although NBC explained the Tonight Show is just a comedy, Koreans did not take humor in it. In lieu of overlooking it, they found his words to be very rude. And how about the press of Korea? Many people around the world are sure that Kim Dong-seong was the real scape goat.
No one could have doubts of about his victory. But, it is a pity to spotlight only Kim Dong-seong. Though Ko Gi-hyun and Cho Eun-kyung were honorable medalists in the games, they were given no opportunity to talk in an official press interview when they arrived at Incheon International Airport. It seemed wrong that neither the media nor the public took any interest in them.
It is very likely that there was bias for the home field advantage in Salt Lake City. But, the press should not take home filed advantage in their writing either! Don’t forget your duty, media!