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What is College Media?
Lim Soo-bin  |  minniesb@hotmail.com
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승인 2012.06.05  13:47:41
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Media is a tool used to deliver and store information and reveal one’s thoughts. Its purpose is to satisfy people’s right to know and shape public opinions. One type of media that exists in South Korea is an institutional media. It is a media that is subordinated to capital, which compromises with the system and delivers articles that are approved by the institution. Many of the broadcasting stations that people are familiar with, which include KBS, SBS, and MBC, as well as newspapers including JoongangIlbo, ChosunIlbo, and the Dong-A Daily News, are the examples of institutional media. Its main goal is pursuit of profits. The most fundamental qualities of media are faded in institutional media by commercializing them. Now, let’s talk about college media that is totally different from institutional media. What are some features of college media? Some people compare the two types of media in order to criticize institutional media by stating that school media is written without restrictions. It also handles the contents about reality of university students and lives. Currently, there are over 163 4-year universities and most of the universities have independent college media.
 
   
 
The History of College Media
Many people consider Korea University, Chung-Ang University, and Ewha Woman’s University as the three schools that have the longest history of college media. In the 1960s, when the 5.16 military coup d’etat took place, the role of school media became faint, and many students could not have their own voices. Later in 1970s and 1980s, when South Korea underwent the Revitalizing Reforms System and the 5.18 Kwangju strife, school media steadily assured justice and worked to realize true democracy. As the shape and atmosphere of society evolved, college media began to lose its position again in the 1990s. The newspapers that used to contain information about political issues started to reveal individualistic characteristics which could not gain students’ empathy, and the number of readers reduced.
 
Features of College Media That are Absent in Institutional Media
Purity
In terms of writing articles, college reporters can freely choose topics, and other people rarely interfere and put restrictions on them. This characteristic is differentiated from the institutional media, which often hides, exaggerates, and trivialize the truth. For college media, which does not compromise with reality,students can freely choose topics, express their voices and opinions directly, and report the truth without trying to make it sound good.
 
Independence
College media is independent. It is not subordinated to other institutions or organization. It is entirely in students’ hands. Thus, it is more independent and liberal than institutionalmedia, which is restricted under capital and authority and has to be careful about choosing their contents.
 
Instigating Ability
College media can inform the truth and shape proper public opinions. It can satisfy people’s right to know by reporting the truth without making it bigger or smaller.
 
The Role of College Media
The role of college media has to include these two features – popular appeal and instigation. The media that does not gain people’s attention and continues making them turning their backs on it is called dead media. This unpopular media cannot properly practice its function. Thus, gaining the mass appeal is a very important factor in terms of the media. In order to attract readers’ attention, college media should contain and provide information that university students can find interesting. It has to have a characteristic that can make students take rest and refresh themselves in their spare time. The second role of college media is to report social, cultural, and international news and analyze the current society that university students must know and consider. If there are problems in social phenomena, college media should report the problems, understand the essence of the problems, and suggest proper solutions. It is not simply an act of informing students about facts, but giving them opportunities to develop their critical consciousness about social issues and deepen their thinking. Moreover, college media should not forget to inform about the school’s events and notices.
 
The Crisis of College Media
How many students are interested in college media these days? Since the end of the 1990s, college media has been undergoing crisis. Students have become indifferent and the editorial rights have been infringed. These are some reasons why college media is facing crisis nowadays.
 
Lack of Professionalism
The number of student reporters who actively collect news and conduct surveys has reduced, and this is why college media became unprofessional. Three reasons can be stated to explain this change. In the 1970s and 1980s, college media played an essential role to bring about democracy in the country. As democratic society took place in South Korea, students did not have to participate in a movement for democracy any more. And those who participated in a movement against society were regarded as disrupters. This is why the governmentdislikes university students being interested in social issues. However, if students turn their backs to society, the media would lose many important aspects of social issues. The atmosphere of society has made student reporters to be inactive, thus, causing the lack of professionalism. The second reason is that internet news has become universalized due to the development of the internet. Internet news deals with articles with superficial contents while paper tabloid forms of newspaper cover articles with depth. As many students began to prefer reading news on the internet to a paper tabloid form of newspaper, student reporters became familiar with writing articles that lack professionalism. Lastly, the fact that an unstable society makes it difficult for students to get jobs explains the change. Because students are already too busy spending time on self-development, many of them do not decide to spend their university lives working as student reporters.
 
The Number of Readers Has Reduced
Many students are indifferent to school media because they are busy concentrating on taking care of their grades and getting jobs. They consider students’ social participation as useless. This is why they put distance between themselves and school media, which often deals with social issues.
 
The Crisis of Independence
College media that is supported by school fees is most likely forced to edit the articles that take adverse position against the school itself. Chung-Ang University Newspaper was one college media that was censored by the school. As a solution, CAU students now elect the people who manage school media, as opposed to having supervisors that are selected by a principal or a foundation.
 
Solutions of Crisis of College Media
Reporters should make an effort to develop the professionalism in their articles. The fact that they are not pro-reporters does not overlook their willingness to write articles in an easy way and rush in the last seconds before the deadline. The role of college media is not completed just by printing out the newspapers. It is entirely completed when the newspapers are read by many students. Students ought to have an open mind to college media and be ready to shape healthy public opinions. In order to gain popularity, Chung-Ang University Newspaper derived a form of cover story to make it seem like a weekly magazines and it deals with items that students can empathize with. Chung-Ang Herald has also put tremendous effort to make better magazines by balancing the number of articles related to society and school. It reveals the truth without exaggerating or trivializing, and tries to report items that students can find interest in and can empathize with.
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