Time to restore trust in journalism

JAK President Kim Dong Hoon delivering his speech at WJC2022

JAK President Kim Dong Hoon delivering his speech at WJC2022

The speech delivered by Kim Dong Hoon, President of the Journalists Association of Korea at the World Journalists Conference (WJC2022): 

“Welcome to the World Journalists Conference 2022.

I am Kim Dong Hoon President of the Journalists Association of Korea. It is a great pleasure to greet you all in a healthy disposition albeit online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has been continued to spread globally for over two years now.

The Journalists Association of Korea was established in 1964 and is celebrating its 58th anniversary this year. It is Korea’s largest association of journalists, with about 11,000 members from 199 media companies participating in its activities.

One of the association’s five principles is to “help one another and reinforce ties with other journalists globally.” Accordingly, our association joined the International Federation of Journalists in 1966 and has since actively participated in the international journalism community. In particular, since 2013, we have been inviting journalists from all over the world to Korea annually to participate in the World Journalists Conference, which is already marking its 10th anniversary this year.

Since the first conference until 2019, journalists worldwide have been invited for seven years to witness the reality within the Korean peninsula as the world’s only divided nation for them to personally experience and realize the importance of peace. Apart from that, we have discussed the future of journalism at the conference and expanded talks of friendly mutual relations. I proudly share that it is becoming one of the major journalism events worldwide.

However, we have had to hold it online for three years since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and its continued spread globally. I regret that we were unable to directly show you the beautiful nature and culture of Korea and the reality of our divided nation, but I am relieved that we have prepared an opportunity to contribute to the development of journalism and share the conditions and concerns of each country despite limiting it online.

Dear journalists,

We all share commonalities even if our country, gender, skin color, and ideologies are different. It is a fact that all journalists are working hard for freedom and peace and disseminate the truth with a warm heart and cold reasoning.

For the online conference this year, we have prepared time to discuss the theme of “Current Status of Fact-Checking by Global Journalism and the Operation of Media Self-regulatory Organization” on the first day. As distrust in journalism has accelerated since COVID-19, I anticipate the space given to listen to the efforts made to eradicate “fake news” in each country so that we may jointly introduce and supplement them to realize respectable journalism.

On the second day, we will look into each country’s best practices in journalism reporting to reflect on the role of journalism under the theme “A Society Changed by Journalism.” I hope this will become an excellent opportunity for you to listen to the speakers and the best practices they propose for you to apply them in your respective countries.

In this difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a valuable opportunity has been prepared by online. We are looking forward to your opinions and advice so that everyone gathered here can fulfill their vocation as a journalist who present dreams and hopes to mankind.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your participation in this conference despite your busy schedules, and I hope this serves as a meaningful and rewarding time.

I equally hope you will share what you gain from this year’s conference with fellow journalists in your respective countries so that trust in journalism may recover.

Once the COVID-19 situation subsides, I would be most pleased to invite you all to Korea to present our splendid traditional culture and the Korean people who love peace.

I wish you good health until we meet again.

Thank you.”

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