A delegation from Korea stopped by the World Headquarters of News Cut this afternoon.
We were told by the State Department interpreter that Minnesota Public Radio is “famous” in Korea. Most everywhere else, that translates in English to “we’ve heard of Garrison Keillor,” but I’m not all that sure A Prairie Home Companion translates well in Korea. And since they didn’t ask, “do all Americans sing badly?” I’m presuming the “fame” has other origins.
I was invited by the boss to sit in and explain what I do on News Cut, a task that is difficult enough in English. Their tour of the United States is focusing on grassroots democracy in campaigns and elections. They’ve been to Washington, New York, and Mississippi so far, and — so far — their Minnesota visit has the top spot on their list of favorites.
We (me and, Mike Reszler, the online boss in the photo above) learned that in Korea, the newspapers are tanking, the “kids” are listening to their digital devices and “texting” all the time, and old-timers like radio because they listen to it during the commute. We share the language of media economics.
They were very interested in the concept of Public Radio membership and the differences in the type of news being covered on Public Radio and how it differs with commercial radio. Clearly they are impressed by “people power.”
The group above includes Mr. Heyeongkon Kim, the director General of Youth Bureau V365 forum; Mr. Yoon Saeng Lee, the chief of planning in the information office of Sohn Hak Kyu, a candidate for president in 2007; and Mr. Sung Min Park, the president of the Minn Consulting Group.
“I’ll bet your blog is very interesting,” one of them told me later. Clearly, News Cut is not yet famous itself in Korea.
Perhaps I should start singing.