Friday, 10 October 2008

TrashCat is not amused.

(picture source)

Korean stereotypes of English teachers spreads all the way to ABC News.  

Completely not surprised to find a Korean name on the byline.
See the resemblance?

Frankly, it's embarrassing for ABC to fall for this kind of junk, and allow it up on their page, without sending a fact-checker in.

You can read the comments I left on the article's comment board (or read the copy of one of them here:)
As an English teacher in Korea who works hard, obeys the law, and nevertheless is often judged according to the crass stereotypes presented in the article above, I resent being characterized this way. Using interviews with only two English teachers, and providing no comparative context for the statistics used (comparing drug arrests to the total population of expats, the Korean population, the Korean rate, or the rapid increase in foreigners living in Korea) is lazy and irresponsible, and far below the standards of an international outlet. 
Frankly, this article sounds like one of the intellectually lazy scapegoating smear-jobs frequently printed by domestic Korean media, which have been frequently and roundly criticized for bias, yellow journalism, distortion, and manufacturing news.
for example:

As Mike Hurt says over on Hub of Sparkle:

This journalism is not even as bad as the stuff the Korean media usually trots out — it’s worse. The claims being made are even broader, made to an audience that can’t really know otherwise than to think our citizens really are coming over and influencing all of Korea to smoke out, and the actual focus of the article isn’t really even ABOUT what the title suggests.

For more of my thoughts on the Korean media shitting on English teachers' reputation, see here.


Anonymous said...

Although the title is misleading, there is one paragraph on page 3 that says that it is a small amount of people who ruins the reputation of others. I agree that this is probably blown out of proportions since people bringing drugs into the country are also other expats, soldiers and even Korean nationals. And the 2 teachers interviewed...did nothing wrong. They seem like law abiding residents and even says that teachers are well respected in the country.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add that like any media in the world, it is always slanted. you can never believe everything in the news, marketing studies or even our politicians. They will use facts to manipulate their message.

Foreigner Joy said...

I have to say that in general I wonder just how statistics of English Foreign teachers are being taken here in Korea.

I have often wondered how this is done considering that we are all spread out.

Certainly though I would love to see any kind of study done on ESL teachers here...their hardships, screw ups and victories.

I think that we are well respected here. And of course it depends on how well a foreigner respects the people and culture of this land.

Anyways I like Trash CAt.

Brian said...

Off topic, sorry, but I can't post a comment on the Korea Sparkle site. Do I have to be a contributor to do it? The comment form is there, but no submit button. You know if anyone else is having that problem?

Roboseyo said...

I actually had that problem too. We're still working out bugs on the site. I'll let mike know; he's the one smart enough to deal with code and stuff.