SFCC President meets Frank – part 2

Hi fellow readers. Frank brought to you today some precious information for those of you who want to build your career as a foreign correspondent in the future.

As introduced in the previous article, FSC English reporters had a wonderful time with Choonsik Yoo, Deputy Bureau Chief of Reuters Seoul and the president of Seoul Foreign Correnpondents’ Club on May 30.

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The lecture session was mainly divided into two parts. In the beginning Mr. Yoo gave lecture about Korean media these days and what it is like to work in foreign press. During the lecture he elaborated on how news are being made and generously shared his tips on how to write a good article.

According to Mr. Yoo news articles that we commonly see on news papers are written in six following stages. First, reporters gather around to discuss how to write upcoming articles. They decide on aim of their writing piece and tone of voice they are going to use in writing. He tells us often times, it is very frustrating to decide making use of given facts and interlinking it with social issues or something for readers to think about. Critical thinking and in-depth understanding about facts is crucial for this process. Once the outline of article is decided, reporters write their drafts and move on to copy editing process. Copy editing process is when reporters do more extensive research on the information they have and getting their facts straight and valid. They filter and edit their writing and also ask for peer evaluation from colleagues and senior reporters. If the draft passes through the process then the reporter goes on to write improved version of the draft and repeat the same process several times before publishing.

It was amazing to learn about how much time and effort was invested in writing one article. Mr. Yoo reportedly emphasized on the importance of publishing the most accurate article because so many are influenced by articles they see on newspapers. Thus, reporters should strive to collect valid information and write with caution. He says that this seemingly complicated and troublesome process before publishing is what it takes to present reliable information to public.

He then talked about interesting topics in Korea in the eyes of foreign press. Humanitarian concern was placed number one then followed North Korea issue, Korean economy status, Korean culture and Kpop, Korean conglomerates and lastly, Korean sports. He mentioned that in writing it is crucial to understand about interests of the audience. If you know your audience it’s a lot easier to capture their interest and focus on the message that you want to deliver through writing. This lesson can be applied broadly in communication, in business and in whichever situation that requires human interaction. I realized, in many times it is so easy for people to get caught up with what they have to say that they completely forget about how others might actually feel. Just take a look at couples having conversation in coffee shop. It is not so hard to find a girl who is talking mindlessly on and on about this other girl from god knows where with such great passion and enthusiasm and there is her boyfriend nodding non-stop with blank expression and dilated pupils. In writing, it is just like the same thing.

Listening to the lecture, I have learned that first peeking your audience interest is important, give them what they want to know and then explain about what you have to say emphasizing how your message and the topic of their interest is related. Surely, this lecture session had so much to offer and think about. Mr. Yoo additionally advised students to be frank and stay close to their goal. He said directly quoting, “Proximity of your goal and status-quo increases possibility of achieving your dream so be close to it”.

During Q&A session after lecturing, endless questions were poured to the stage. The lecture room was very hot with heated debates and glistening eyes with curiosity and desire of hearing more what the lecturer had to say. The meeting session was prolonged until we had to empty the room and let building staffs go so, reluctantly we had to pack our bags. Overall the lecture was very informative and inspiring. It was just too bad that time passed so quickly. Personally, I still have many more questions left unanswered and hopefully Mr. Yoo pays us visit again so that we can talk more.

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