Sunday, December 18, 2011

Foreign media expanding coverage on Korean culture

The growing popularity of Korean culture is resulting in more coverage of the country by international media, according to industry officials.

A total of 248 journalists from 115 news organizations visited Korea this year, according to the latest press release by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS).

“The visiting journalists usually stayed for one week, spending time at major tourist and industrial sites, while preparing news reports on Korea,” a KOCIS official said.

“We will make use of important international events such as the Yeosu Expo and the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in 2012 to disseminate Korean culture through foreign press,” KOCIS director Seo Kang-soo said.

The journalists who visited Korea this year came from all corners of the world. In June, a TV crew from Hong Kong braved the stormy weather to travel to Ulleung Island to shoot footage for a documentary on Korea’s economic development.

Recently, Belgian TV channel RTBF visited the Korea National University of Arts to prepare a documentary on Korean classical musicians.

Belgium is the host country of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition, which has produced many Korean laureates. Pianist Kim Dae-jin will serve as a jury member in the next round of the Brussels-based competition in 2013.

In light of the rise of young Korean classical musicians, particularly at international competitions, KOCIS will publish an English-language book on the history of Korean classical musicians this week.

“K-Classic” is the latest in a series of publications by KOCIS to introduce Korean culture to foreigners. This year, the culture ministry affiliate previously produced English books on Korean TV dramas and pop music that are beginning to gain popularity beyond Asia.

KOCIS, celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, has conducted an annual project to invite members of the foreign media as part of the government’s efforts to promote Korea overseas.

One of its key roles is to operate 28 Korean culture centers overseas that work hand in hand with consulates and embassies.

An anniversary reception will be held today with a special photo exhibition and cultural performances, including a show titled “Hanbok — Clothing of the Wind,” by renowned designer Lee Young-hee.

The reception will be held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul at 6 p.m.

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