OhmyNews Journalism School Doubles as Retreat

The Dutch innovation organization Springwise reports that Korean citizen journalism site OhmyNews is opening a school for citizen journalists. The program will take place in a renovated elementary school located 90 minutes from Seoul. The school is deliberately designed as a retreat, to “give urbanites a rare opportunity to recharge themselves as content creators in the middle of idyllic rural setting”.

meeting room ohmynews
classroom at the school

The purpose of the program is to disseminate the skills of journalism more widely among Koreans, a in keeping with OhmyNews’ founder Oh Yeon Ho’s mantra that “every citizen is a reporter.” While some classes are aimed at Korean citizens, others will teach NGO members and businesspeople in the skills of citizen journalism. Professional journalists aren’t immune to further instruction, and some classes will aim specifically at “re-educating” them in the practices of more tech-savvy and inclusive journalism model that OhmyNews embraces.

ohmynews school
a school of journalism but also a retreat center

An article on the OhmyNews web site also notes that “various classes on general health care and other well-being issues will also be on offer.” While serious in content, OhmyNews does seem to be promoting the school as a money-making venture, a place for urban Koreans to “recharge” while learning citizen journalism and for corporate manager to hone their skills. Whether the focus of the school is teaching or leisure will likely affect perceptions of OhmyNews. Will opening this school/retreat further their mission or dilute the politically radical mission of the 727 news guerrillas by catering to the rat-race weary bourgeoisie?

You can read more about OhmyNews in “The Citizen Journalism Web Site ‘OhmyNews’ and the 2002 South Korean Presidential Election,” a case study I wrote for the Internet and Democracy Project.

photo credit: OhmyNews

cross-posted on ZapBoom

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