The New York Times Guide To: Koreans

August 27, 2007

1) Drinking

As Women Rise, Corporate Korea Corks the Bottle (TimesSelect), June 10, 2007 :

As an increasing number of women have joined companies as professionals in the past half decade, corporate South Korea has struggled to change the country's thoroughly male-centered corporate culture, starting with alcohol.

New Cell Number for Drinkers: Dial-a-Designated Driver, (TimesSelect) July 10, 2007:

Mr. Hur is a ''replacement driver'' who makes his living by delivering inebriated people and their cars home. There are tens of thousands of them operating in this hard-drinking metropolis of 10 million people.

A South Korean Is Charged With Lying in Spy Inquiry, (TimesSelect) July 20, 2007:

Mr. Park [a South Korean businessman in Manhattan charged with lying to the F.B.I. during a four-year counterintelligence investigation into Korean spies operating in New York], 58, is a legal resident of the United States whose ostensible business, the affidavit said, is the importation of a Korean rice liquor known as soju.

2) Internet phenomenons

The Land of the Video Geek
, October 8, 2006 (older than eight months, I know):

All in all it was a typical night in South Korea, a country of almost 50 million people and home to the world’s most advanced video game culture: Where more than 20,000 public PC gaming rooms, or “bangs,” attract more than a million people a day.

Tracking an Online Trend, and a Route to Suicide, May 23, 2007:

...a disturbing trend in South Korea: people using the Web to trade tips about suicide and, in some cases, to form suicide pacts.

Traditional Korean Marriage Meets Match on the Internet, June 6, 2007:

...merging the age-old Korean matchmaking tradition with the vibrant South Korean Internet culture.

South Koreans Connect Through Search Engine, July 5, 2007:

Tapping a South Korean inclination to help one another on the Web has made the undisputed leader of Internet search in the country. It handles more than 77 percent of all Web searches originating in South Korea, thanks largely to content generated by people ... free of charge.

Shamanism Enjoys Revival in Techno-Savvy South Korea, July 7, 2007:

When the Internet boom hit South Korea, shamans were among the first to set up commercial Web sites, offering online fortune-telling. Many younger shamans maintain Web logs.

3) Fried Chicken/Frozen Yogurt

Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken With a Crunch (TimesSelect), Feb. 7, 2007:

With Korean-style chicken outlets opening recently in New York, New Jersey and California, fried chicken has begun to complete its round-trip flight from the States to Seoul.

Heated Competition. Steaming Neighbors. This Is Frozen Yogurt? (TimesSelect), Feb. 21, 2007:

The frozen yogurt that has taken Los Angeles by storm resembles the early, sour frozen yogurt more than its artificially flavored progeny. And the current craze seems to spring from Korea, where a company called Red Mango started selling sour-style yogurt in 2004.

Notice any other trends among the NY Times' coverage of Koreans or other Asians? Drop a hint below.


Lisa Wong Macabasco

Former Editor in chief

Lisa Wong Macabasco joined Hyphen in 2006; she has worked as the magazine's features editor, managing editor, and editor in chief. She has written for Mother Jones, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, AsianWeek, Audrey, Filipinas and ColorLines’ RaceWire. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and co-founded the National Asian American Student Conference. She was formerly an editor at AsianWeek newspaper and an editor in the marketing department of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.



i guess that's all we're good for
That last article on the frozen yogurt wars is crazy! I just went to that Pinkberry in Santa Monica this weekend and it was damn good. I am totally intrigued by the part about the threats between the owner of Pinkberry and Kiwiberry. When I was there, my friends and I were trying to figure out the associations between all the stores -- I guess it's just like MacDougals in Coming to America. In terms of the health benefits, my friend says she sees these women in their gym clothes coming in there all the time and that she worries it's the only thing they are ingesting. Great post on wacky Asian American media spotting, btw.
Funny thing I was just talking to my girlfriend about the whole fried chicken thing the other day. The press is so weird.