By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Feature Editor Ms. Cho Kyung-hee
Former Presidents of the Republic of Korea took special interest in the English-language daily, The Korea Herald. In particular, they highly evaluated the role of English dailies published in Korea, especially The Korea Herald.
Many of the Korean Presidents used to have an exclusive interview with the representatives of The Korea Herald in the New Year and expressed their gratitude for the role played by the English-language media in Korea for the benefit of the country.
“The Korea Herald, as long as I am concerned, is Number One in the promotion of the image of the country to the outside world,” former President Chun Doo-hwan used to announce at the New Year interview with The Korea Herald.
The President used to praise The Korea Herald saying: “To be honest, The Korea Herald is Number One to me. I meet with more than 200 leaders of the different countries of the world a year and they all but invariably tell me that they all saw The Korea Herald in their home countries.”
This episode was disclosed by former President Choi Suh-young of the Korea Media at the year-end party of ‘The Herald Old Boys’ at the Press Center in Seoul on Dec. 5, 2019.
The year-end party of the former members of The Herald Media, consisting of an English daily (The Korea Herald), a business daily (Herald Kyungje) and a number of other news publications, was attended by an estimated one hundred members, who included incumbent and former CEOs, managing editors, desk editors and reporters.
Among them were former President Park Haeng-hwan (new chairman of The Herald Old Boys’ Club, former President Yun Ik-hwan of the Club, Vice Chairman Jun Byung-ho of the Joongheung Business Group (holding company of The Herald Media), President Kwon Chung-won of The Herald Media, Executive Director Chung Yong-sik of The Herald Media, and former Cultural Editor Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Herald, now publisher-chairman of The Korea Post media. (The Korea Post owns and operates 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media since 1985.)
According to President Park of the Old Boys’ Club, the Jungheung Business Group has taken over the management of The Herald Media and the business organization ranks within the 30th largest business conglomerates of Korea. Jungheung, according to President Park, has a large number of affiliated companies covering a wide range of business areas, including education, mobile and digital communications, print and mobile media, and various areas of the 4D industries.
Excerpts from the speech of President Park follow:
The media industry in Korea is seeking new avenues, which include mobile and digital communications industry. And it is welcome development that such a dependable business organization has taken over The Herald Media.
We are all highly inspired from the wonderful things that the parental business organization, Jungheung, is expected to do to The Herald Media, our ‘old home.’
Newscasters had predicted a cold spell and I was deeply worried lest it should discourage our members from attending this party.
Members of the company leave the organization for one reason or other and, likewise, they also have causes that could prevent them from attending the meeting. Strangely, however, at The Herald Media, we see so many members coming to the year-end gathering. And tonight is no exception. I would say that it reflects the warm sense of unity and affinity shared by all the members of The Herald Media.
I have been performing my work for the Club for one year, and I see many members attending the Club meeting all but without absenteeism. And I extend my warm words of gratitude to them all. I also present my hearty thanks to the members who have given their donations for the development and growth of our Club.
Every time at about the end of the year, we are wondering what the zodiacal animal this year has been. Yes, it was the Year of Golden Pig for 2019. And everyone was so excited with a prospect that it would bring a lot of money throughout the year. But, did it really do it? Now having come close to the end of the year, we realize that the expectations do not always come true.
However, for The Herald Media, this year has been a really meaningful one.
The up-and-coming Jungheung Business Group took over The Herald Media that has a long history of 70 years—acquiring 47.8% of the total stakes. I saw two reasons to be happy over the new development. We have high expectations from Jungheung over the prospect of all the good things that would transpire thanks to Jungheujng’s takeover of The Herald Media.
We have here present at this meeting Mr. Jeon Byung-ho, vice chairman of the Jungheung Group and also Mr. Jeong Yong-shik, the executive managing director of the company. They have kindly arranged this party for us, and have also prepared some nice gift for each Old Boy to take home when the party is over.
They are both regarded as legendary persons as journalists and business managers as well as leaders of civic organizations, especially in the Gwangju City and the surrounding region.
The New Year is called Year of Gyeongja, or a Year of the Mouse in the Oriental zodiacal calendar. We hear that a female mouse gives birth to a total of 36 young ones a year.
Mouse is considered to have a brain similar in capacity to that of a human being. And this is why mice are used in many clinical testing.
We are also familiar with Mickey Mouse together with Tom and Jerry. Thus the mouse is a target of adoration among us all.
Now in the New Year, it is a ‘Year of Good Luck’ as is suggested by the zodiacal sign of the year. And I pray for all good things to come and happen to all the ‘Old Boys’ and members of The Herald Media!