The Hankyoreh

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The Hankyoreh (Korean한겨레, literally "The Korean Nation" or "One Nation"[8]) is a centre-left[1][2][3][4][5][9] daily newspaper in South Korea. It was established in 1988 after widespread purges forced out dissident journalists, and was envisioned as an alternative to existing newspapers, who were regarded as unduly influenced by the authoritarian government at the time.[10] When it opened, it claimed to be "the first newspaper in the world truly independent of political power and large capital."[11] As of 2016, it has been voted as the most trusted news organization by Korean journalists for nine consecutive years but also it is the least influential news outlet by the survey.[12]

The Hankyoreh
Cover of The Hankyoreh
TypeDaily Newspaper
Owner(s)Hankyoreh Newspaper Corp.
PublisherJung Yung-mu
EditorPark Chan-soo
Founded15 May 1988; 32 years ago (1988-05-15) (as Hankyoreh Shinmun)
Political alignmentCentre-left[1][2][3][4][5]
HeadquartersMapo-gu, Seoul


The newspaper was originally established as Hankyoreh Shinmun (Korean한겨레신문) on 15 May 1988 by ex-journalists from the Dong-a Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo. At the time, government censors were in every newsroom, newspaper content was virtually dictated by the Ministry of Culture & Information, and newspapers had nearly the same articles on every page.[13] Hankyoreh was intended to provide an independent, left-leaning, and nationalist alternative to mainstream newspapers regarded as blindly pro-business, pro-American, and opposed to national reunification. To underscore its patriotism and its break with tradition, the Hankyoreh became the first daily to completely reject the use of hanja and use only hangul; it continues to make only limited use of the Latin alphabet and limits the use of loanwords. It was also the first newspaper in Korea to be printed horizontally instead of vertically.

Stances on political issuesEdit

On the conflictual nature of the territorial sovereignty of the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo in Korean, Takeshima in Japanese), although exceeded by the Chosun Ilbo in its coverage, the Hankyoreh's coverage has been described in “A Comparative Analysis of News Coverage of Dokdo Island” by Yoon Youngchul and E Gwangho as reflecting the foreign policy interest of South Korea versus the U.S[14] or Japan.[15][16][17][18] In general, on issues pertaining to national sovereignty, the Hankyoreh's editorial stance can be seen as one issuing aggressive criticism on a government's undemocratic attitude or United States unilateral policy towards Korea, the Korean peninsula or elsewhere. Where the Hankyoreh has criticized the Bush[which?] administration's foreign policies on numerous occasions, it has tended to be favorable on the Obama administration's foreign policies on North Korea.[19] On the domestic front, Hankyoreh has been characterized as opposed to big business, and has been “nationalist, anti-American and anti-corporate.”[20][21] Hankyoreh also considered one of the most anti-Japanese newspapers in the South Korea. The Hankyoreh has been critical of Korean big business and conglomerates that overwhelm the market,[22] the Korean university entrance system, widening income disparities in Korean society,[23] and the rapid opening and globalization of the Korean economy,[24][25] while maintaining a generally favorable attitude towards organized labor,[26][27] trade protectionism,[28][29] and the redistribution of income.[30]

Other legacies of its early dissident history include a strong emphasis on human rights in South Korea, a position it continues to hold today[31][32][33] together with several international organizations have criticized South Korea for its retreat in democracy, human rights and press freedom.[34][35][36] The Hankyoreh's advocacy of human rights also extends to North Koreans and tends to support normalization of relations with the U.S. and have been critical of approaches towards improving the situation by encouraging system collapse such as the Lefkowitz approach and absorption by South Korea or by encouraging defections.[37][38]

The Hankyoreh opposes censorship and wiretapping and encourages active debate on news that is circulated, and like many newspapers in South Korea, is opposed to circulation of graphic news content and took a strong stance in the instance of the video footage of Kim Sun-il's death in Iraq[39] It strongly endorsed the 2008 "mad cow protests" as a victory for "substantive democracy" over merely "procedural democracy."[40] It strongly encouraged coverage of the 2008 demonstrations and a greater understanding of "candlelight spirit" that academics are referring to as an emergence of a new social movement and form of democracy in South Korea that protests policy development on trade, liberalization of public education, the privatization of health, and the environmental consequences of a cross-country canal project without substantial public opinion gathering.[41][42][43]

In line with the newspaper's nationalism and aspirations for reunification, its reporting of inter-Korean and East Asian affairs is based on its editorial policy seeking reconciliation, stability and peaceful co-prosperity through dialogue rather than pressure on government of North Korea. In terms of national affairs, Cheongwadae, Office of the President, studies on the editorial policies of South Korean newspapers have found that the "Hankyoreh Shinmun, which published its first issue early in the Roh Tae Woo administration, has shown little fluctuation from administration to administration.[44][45][46] Hankyoreh also runs a "Hankyoreh Foundation for Reunification and Culture" as a forum for advocacy of peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.[47][48] Notwithstanding the newspaper's support for democracy, human rights, and free speech in South Korea, in June 2009, the Hankyoreh described the arrest and imprisonment of two US journalists in North Korea, condemned by Reporters Without Borders as a sham trial,[49] as a "not entirely negative signal" of North Korea's openness to communicate.[50]

In its business, Hankyoreh departed from established convention by relying more on sales, periodic private donation campaigns,[51] and the sale of stock, rather than advertising from major corporations to sustain itself.[52] The newspaper currently has more than 60,000 citizen shareholders, none of whom have a more than one percent share. Core shareholders include students, professors, lawyers, writers, dissidents, liberal, progressive urban industrial workers, and leftwing farmers. The company remains intentionally unlisted to avoid hostile takeover; it has also never shown three consecutive years of profit, one of the requirements for listing. Readership of the newspaper is evenly distributed between provinces and the major metropolitan areas, of which 63.2% were in their twenties and thirties, and 44.5% were college graduates. Hankyoreh's readership is mostly of low to middle class income.[10]

Hankyoreh enjoys high popularity and prestige among graduates seeking employment, with over 8,000 applicants applying for 33 positions as of 2006. To some degree, prestige is its own reward for Hankyoreh's employees, as salaries are roughly half those of competing organizations. Management at the newspaper has been affected by factionalism since its inception, with all the members of the founders' committee having left, and with various divides between founders who came from the Chosun Ilbo and the Donga Ilbo, as well as regional rivalries between Jeolla Do and Gyeongsang Do making themselves evident.[10]

After two decades in print, Hankyoreh's subscriber base is still comparatively small. Its circulation of about 600,000 readers, puts it at one third the size of any of the three major dailies (the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, and Dong-a Ilbo), though still ahead of specialist economic dailies. It is the fourth largest newspaper in Korea.

The Hankyoreh has campaigned for higher standards of ethics in journalism since its founding and had initiated a campaign against journalists' taking bribes, which had been customary in the industry in South Korea until the late 1990s.[53][54]  As in the past, much of Hankyoreh's editorial content consists of strident criticism of the three major newspapers.[55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63] It has also endorsed boycott campaigns of companies that advertise in its competitors.[64]

In 2009, Hankyoreh joined Amnesty International, the Broadcaster Producers Association of Korea, and other civic groups airing concern atypical behavior by prosecutors in the detention Korean TV channel MBC journalists and the attack on press freedom in South Korea.[65] Although there has been controversy over for distortions in MBC's reporting on US beef imports,[66] acts of arresting journalists and continued persecution of the press has been a primary concern for the Hankyoreh and other international journalist organizations.[67][68]

In 2014, it partnered with a comic artists union, Toonion, to create a global creative content company called RollingStory, which launched an online sharing platform, Spottoon, for South Korean digital comics in 2015.[69]

It has a web edition in English.[70]

Hankyoreh Media GroupEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Rüdiger Frank, Jim Hoare (2009). Korea Yearbook (2009): Politics, Economy and Society. BRILL. p. 101. ISBN 978-90-04-18019-2.
  2. ^ a b c Leo Kim (July 25, 2011). "Media framing of stem cell research: a cross-national analysis of political representation of science between the UK and South Korea" (PDF). Journal of Science Communication : Jcom. Journal of Science Communication: 4. ISSN 1824-2049.
  3. ^ a b "East Asian press grapples with a nuclear North Korea". BBC. September 12, 2016. Centre left-daily The Hankyoreh calls for an end to sabre-rattling: "We need to get past our antagonistic, Cold War-style logic.
  4. ^ a b "Why Trump is being panned by Korean media, right, left and centre. Except one racist website". South China Morning Post. October 10, 2016. The centre-left newspaper Hankyoreh said Trump is turning the election into a mudslinging match while Clinton is displaying an “atmosphere of civility”.
  5. ^ a b "South Korea's elections driven by voters' desire for reform". The Guardian. December 4, 2012. The centre-left daily Hankyoreh endorses this analysis, writing: "The winner will be the one who is seen as best equipped to embody the present mood."
  6. ^ Brendan Howe (September 17, 2015). Democratic Governance in Northeast Asia: A Human-Centered Approach to Evaluating Democracy. Springer. p. 2010. ISBN 978-1-137-55045-3.
  7. ^ Miri Moon (2019). International News Coverage and the Korean Conflict: The Challenges of Reporting Practices. Springer. p. 72. ISBN 978-9811362910.
  8. ^ ""겨레" definition. "Han" can mean either "Korean" or "one," "kyoreh" indicates the "offspring of the same forefather"". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  9. ^ "Media reaction: Power play behind North Korea move". BBC. July 18, 2012. Hankyoreh, a centre-left daily in South Korea, on 17 July agreed Mr Ri's dismissal was unusual in more than one way.
  10. ^ a b c "Shim Jae-hoon: "From Dream to Reality: Hankyoreh Newspaper"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "South Korea- THE MEDIA". June 29, 1987. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "For ninth consecutive time, journalists name Hankyoreh most trusted news outlet". The Hankyoreh. August 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "Korea's Road to Democracy Paved With Contrary Legacy". The New York Times. March 13, 1989. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Whose history is it? (Hankyoreh reporter Han Sung-Dong accuses the United States of "plotting" to divide Korea)" (in Korean). February 25, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  15. ^ "Let's Shame Japan on the International Stage" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  16. ^ "Japan's Shameless Provocation in foreign policy" (in Korean). February 25, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Japan Trying to Ruin Relations?" (in Korean). February 25, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  18. ^ [1] Archived June 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "[4th Hankyoreh-Busan Symposium] Obama's N. Korea policy likely to alter security framework of Northeast Asia : North Korea : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  20. ^ "The Seoul Times". The Seoul Times. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  21. ^ "[Editorial] Speaking for the chaebol : Editorial : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "Speaking for the chaebol" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  23. ^ "Take rising poverty seriously" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  24. ^ "Another shot at a problematic FTA" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  25. ^ "Moving forward in the wrong direction" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  26. ^ "Lee Myung-bak's indifference to the labor community" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  27. ^ "Government's head-on collision with labor" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  28. ^ "Rethinking the FTA" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  29. ^ "U.S. FTA to cause big drop in agriculture output" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  30. ^ "Tax code must be fixed despite difficulties" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  31. ^ "Police's irrational response against civil society" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  32. ^ "S. Korea's duty to protect the rights of all citizens" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  33. ^ "Asian human rights organizations criticize S. Korea for violations" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  34. ^ "Document".
  35. ^ "World Press Freedom Day". Archived from the original on July 19, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  36. ^ "Forum-Asia". Forum-Asia. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  37. ^ "The Need to be Productive About NK Human Rights" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  38. ^ ""NK Human Rights Bill" Has Hidden Dagger" (in Korean). September 30, 2004. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  39. ^ "Video Footage Defames the Deceased" (in Korean). June 26, 2004. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  40. ^ "June Struggle, Candlelight Revolution" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  41. ^ "Massive candlelight protests draw one million nationwide : National : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  42. ^ "[Forum] Professors say candlelight vigils mark the entrance of a new social movement in S. Korea : National : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  43. ^ "Civic groups unite to address broad range of social issues : National : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  44. ^ "Cheongwadae, Office of the President, Republic of Korea". February 26, 2007. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  45. ^ "New Year in North Korea" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  46. ^ "Kim Jong-il's growing interest in progress at the six-party talks" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  47. ^ "Hankyoreh Foundation for Reunification and Culture". Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  48. ^ Retrieved August 13, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  49. ^ "American reporters get "very severe" 12-year sentences designed to scare all foreign journalists". Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  50. ^ "N. Korea's sentencing of two U.S. journalists may signal the possibility of talks" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  51. ^ "Tear-jerking donations" (in Korean). June 23, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  52. ^ "Country Studies South Korea- THE MEDIAsupra". June 29, 1987. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  53. ^ ‘언론권력’ 대해부 침묵 카르텔 깨 : 미디어 : 사회 : 뉴스 : 한겨레 (in Korean). May 14, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  54. ^ #{artist} (October 14, 2003). ""부동산기자 1년 촌지 1000만원" | Daum 미디어다음" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  55. ^ "About Us" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  56. ^ "A new horizon for satire from ". . . ilbo"" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  57. ^ "A new role for the media" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  58. ^ "Signs of the conservative media's fall" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  59. ^ "DongA Ilbo Must Apologize" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  60. ^ "Papers That Can't See the Logs in Their Eyes" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  61. ^ "ChoJoongDong's irrational reply to netizens" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  62. ^ "Chosun and JoongAng have no right to preach" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  63. ^ "Candlelight protests elevate democratic principles" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  64. ^ "2 Progressive Dailies Under Fire for Supporting Ad Boycott". Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  65. ^ "Lee Myung-bak administration presses against freedom of press : National : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  66. ^ "Scientists protest prosecution's investigation into "PD Notebook" : National : Home" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  67. ^ CPJ concerned by South Korean pressure on media. "CPJ concerned by South Korean pressure on media – Committee to Protect Journalists". Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  68. ^ "Violence against the media cloaked as law" (in Korean). Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  69. ^ "South Korean webtoons taking aim at US market with Huffington Post as partner".
  70. ^ "English Edition : The Hankyoreh".

External linksEdit