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Friday, August 31, 2012

[Editorial] Why do the opinions of netizens bear so much weight on the K-Pop industry?

You don't even have to be around in K-Pop for that long before you realize that Korean reporters are a piss poor example of journalism. Every single Korean entertainment article you read, whether translated or not, basically comes directly from the mouths of the companies involved. By now, you're aware of select entertainment companies manipulating the media or even paying up certain outlets to release articles in their favor, but what you don't probably realize is that it's not only those select companies, but everyone.

In my experience working for a Korean media outlet, I've come to realize that the entertainment media is completely controlled by the upper-ups, and reporters/journalists are only that in name because they really function as nothing more than the ctrl and c+z keys on your keyboard.

What essentially goes on is that Korean companies, big or small, basically draft what they want written about their artists down to every fine detail. They send these out as elaborate "press releases" directly to the inboxes of reporters, and what the reporters do is copy and paste the content and release it into our feeds. That's fine, that's how press releases work. Where the issue lies is that these reporters don't check the information they're being fed, nor do they question it. The company can basically make any statement, far-fetched or not, they want and it'll make it to the news simply because Korean journalism is crap.

How do I know this? I've had press releases come into my inbox, and in no more than 30 seconds - I kid you not - I see the article already out in my news feed from a competing outlet without a single edit from the original copy sent to us. There are variations of this laziness: some outlets will leave out paragraphs while others rearrange the paragraphs, but at no point in between do the reporters think to edit or cross check the information they're being handed.

There are two problems with this.

One, this has allowed companies to get away with controlling and manipulating the media to their favor. The companies that you're all probably familiar with have fine tuned this down to an art. What I mean by this is that it's not just the information that's being handed over. Companies will also include three to five titles they specifically want used as well as netizen comments they completely made up themselves to give the image/idea of positivity associated with their artist.

Two, they can get away with whatever BS they want in the actual content and it's going to make it to the press whether it's true and relevant or not. You think those sel-ca articles you see all the time are just fillers from bored reporters with nothing better to do? No. They were specifically sent out by the companies. Before the picture is even uploaded to the artist's Twitter, we'll receive a press release regarding said picture along with the titles and netizen comments they want used. They're essentially creating their own hype for the purpose of keeping their artist in the headlines and relevant.

That's manipulation, is it not?

Their control doesn't end there, though. For a few extra bucks, companies can buy out entire outlets, like what Kim Kwang Soo/Core Contents Media did with Newsen, and just pay them to constantly release positive press about their artists. Another fun example I like to use with anyone that asks is Park Jin Young/JYP Entertainment paying up Asia Economy to release back to back, nonstop onslaughts of editorials slamming Jay Park back when his scandal was at its height. Sidus HQ releases something good about Jay Park? Asia Economy follows up two seconds later with the release of yet another negative editorial to try and steal the spotlight.

Some companies go even further by buying out the entire portal itself. Netizens are already well aware of companies paying Nate to push articles regarding their artists into the top 10 whether netizens vote it up or not. Every once in a while, you see an article that jumps from rank #698 to #2 in the span of a second, and you know right then and there that the company paid its way up.

The company, in turn, can then go and brag that their artists are the top searched or the top ranking - all those key terms that K-Pop fans love to hear - and in turn write up another "press release" saying their artists are top ranking, therefore continuing the cycle...  It doesn't take much to turn a nobody into a top ranking artist provided that your company has the money for it.

So where do netizens come in with all of this?

Because there is no filter in the system at any point in the process, netizens have no choice but to take the role of the bad guy and QUESTION everything. Companies are trying to brainwash everyone about the images they're creating for the artists through all of this manipulation, so do you expect netizens to just sit there, nod their heads, and take it?

Can you see why netizens can't be anything but cynical?

Read an article about a group ranking first on so and so? Question it. Read an article about a solo gaining attention for some stupid nonsensical reason? Question it. Netizens have taken it upon themselves to be the filter and go the extra step that reporters skip by cross checking everything they're being fed and making sure that it's not just hype because 9 times out of 10, it's hype, and a lot of it too.

Remember that whole KARA issue and their Dokdo scandal? Netizens caught on pretty fast when they checked that it was released by Newsen and that reporters at the scene had purposely manipulated the question so that one, KARA wasn't even given an opportunity to answer before they were cut off and rushed along, and two, to create negative press to deflect T-ara's scandal.

I'm not defending netizens. Yeah, there are a lot of extremists that try and push rumors that don't even make sense, but I do think it's important to see where netizens in general are coming from and why they're always so negative or cynical in their view of the articles that international fans generally take at face value.

International fans miss all of the inner investigations that netizens take with each piece because they have no reason not to believe it. Their bias group's comeback was the top ranking search term for the week? Wonderful! (But psst, where is that information coming from?)

Netizen comments play such a huge role in the entertainment industry for this sole reason. They're the ones that do all of the real work - the work that reporters should be doing. The average reader will believe the best reply over the article if contradicting information is presented. It's come to a point where if there are no best replies on a given article, someone is bound to comment, "I clicked on this article to check the best replies but there are none", and that will become the best reply because other people thought the same.

This is the context where terms like "media play" get thrown around because it's just so unfortunately prevalent in the industry that nearly all of the articles you're going to be reading are a form of media play.

Reporters don't just sit around drafting up original content or investigating stuff on their own because they don't have to. Their inboxes are always brimming with articles to copy and paste.

The only outlet that I've seen do any kind of original investigation is Sports Seoul, and they've received a lot of flak from entertainment companies for that. Sports Seoul isn't afraid to fly out reporters to exotic resorts overseas to catch celebrities in the act or get down and find the hardest witnesses to interview to create a case.

Dirty? Yeah... But I don't think the other media outlets are any better for playing it safe and keeping their slates clean.


  1. I love the netizenbuzz author *___*
    I've been wondering why netizens are able to either make or break a celebrity or how regular people can make a celebrity apologize.
    Whereas here in the states celebrities can do whatever they please and never answer for anything. And people disliking someone never has an effect on that celebrities star power. Just look at Justin Bieber, he has sooooo many antis (if that dislike bar on his yt vids are anything to go by) and yet JB keeps chuggin' along with no real adverse effects...
    Thank-you netizenbuzz for your hard work translating all those articles!

  2. one word to describe this : damn...

  3. Omgeee..... This is so disturbing. Then how do we ever know if our face group is actually that popular or not? I can't remember how many tines I said "whooa three top articles! My bias rocksssss"

  4. Are smaller companies able to afford media manipulation or is this mainly done by larger entertainment companies? Aside from Sports Seoul, are there other news sites that are relatively "clean"? What about "Top Star News" and "Oh My News"?

    I heard from a Korean friend that reporters in Korea usually attended good universities. Do the worst ones end up writing for Entertainment section or do they just become jaded and never bother to go against the grain from their copying and pasting colleagues? Most of the article translations I've read are boring recitations of facts provided--no angle, no slant and no creativity.

  5. ^
    Netizens will usually point it out in the comments if the article was paid for. There are always netizens watching for these types of things so it's easy to spot.

    This type of manipulation is actually crucial for smaller companies. TS Entertainment is a master at it and know every which way to manipulate the media to their favor while even smaller companies like (Brand New) Stardom have weak press releases or press release ideas in general, which tend to get ignored by reporters in favor of other companies. It really depends on how many PRs are sitting in the inbox that day. If there are a lot, the smaller companies tend to be overlooked and ignored.

  6. In regards to the reporters, you're right. The profession is seen as a joke among Koreans no matter what degree of education because the media is so highly controlled. Sports or entertainment reporters are considered a laughing stock. I can't recommend any sources that aren't controlled because to my knowledge, they all are. Possibly Mediaus, but they're blog/editorial focused.

  7. ^
    I like Mediaus too. I've read several translations of their editorials and they are not afraid to write things that would piss off entertainment industry bigwigs.

    Thanks for your info on the smaller companies. I guess having a good PR department really helps.

  8. I'm confused. Why would Park JinYoung pay Asia Economy to release bad press about Jay Park when he was part of 2pm?

  9. SME is a master at this media manipulation. Like so many people (including netizens) seem to legit believe that SNSD rules Europe (Paris) and America when they were on Lettermen. There were rarely any negative 'netizen' views on these articles apparently =___=
    On the other hand....YG seems to fail at this manipulation. Both BigBang and 2NE1 won awards at international award shows....but they are forgotten by the public........whereas "OMG SNSD WENT ON LETTERMAN! YEAH HALLYU WAVE!" (note sarcasm)

    I am wondering how far this manipulation goes. Does it mean that every idol selca/tweet that is put up is pre-written by the company? Does this manipulation rule apply to super popular groups in the same way it applies to non-popular groups?

  10. interesting. In hong kong, the situation is completely the other way round.
    nearly 90% of news on newspaper and magazines are something negative. reporters always tend to write about the rumors and scandals of artists (with or without proof) to boom their sales. you can rarely see a news praising an artist for his/her flawless looks or awesome music like what most the korean reporters do. Posting a sel-ca on weibo(sth like twitter in china)? you have a very great chance to be attacked by the reporters by stating that you look extremely horrible and give them a nightmare. Remember what happened to SNSD and Song Hye Kyo when they visit HK? instead of mentioning how gorgeous and beautiful they are, the reports wrote about how awful SNSD look when they slept on the plane and how fat SHK was when she was strolling in a mall.

    i think the journalists in HK understand that scandals always sell better. but i dont know which one is worse, Hong Kong or Korea....

  11. I'm aware of the possibilities that Korean media might be controlled by some big influence organization/companies sometimes...but TBH..I don't entirely believe Netizenbuzz too guys are just the same..having the channel in media to can I be sure that 100% of what you've written is yes again, I as a critical netizen will not just believe everything I read and will always have questions on information that I'm not 100% sure of the validity..which unfortunately include this article lol

  12. OP I know you are busy but if you have time I would love a reply,how about SISTAR... How are they doing in general, are they really gaining popularity, or how about starship entertainment in general?(do they do a lot of this?) I'm a big Stan of this family but this article has made me doubt some things, I would love a reply (don't worry too much about my feeling they won't get hurt or change but my curiosity is strong)

  13. Basically most of the reason why netizens tend to be pretty skeptical, especially when it come to rumors/scandals, is because of the media manipulation company do.

    Not surprise. SM, JYP, and YG probably have the most influence when it come to the media.

  14. So.. the inevitable question... are the entertainment companies at fault for bribing and manipulating the press? or are they a product of this corrupt media system and cannot be at fault for simply playing by the "rules?"

    On one hand, I really despise the fact that kwang soo, jyp, sm etc etc are using underhanded techniques to spread positive pr. but on the same coin, perhaps they would be stupid not to do so, since it is a process that is already established. i'm in particular interested in what netizenbuzz author has to think about this, since he/she (?) worked in the korean media industry firsthand.

    another question would be how to fix such a system and who is in a position to demand it...but that's another issue entirely.

  15. It ironically is a pretty good barometer to figure out which companies are biggest by their ability to sway the media. Compare SM's ability to bury any wrongdoing their idols do, to CCM, then again that may be because KKS is an idiot.

  16. REPLY to Anonymous September 1, 2012 12:38 AM
    SNSD performed in mainstream tv shows - twice in USA, once in Paris. while that is not much in some people's judgement, that is still quite an achievement.
    on the other hand, Big Bang and 2ne1 won awards mostly relying on fanvotes, and multiple times at that - which is just like any other KPop polls.

  17. can i post it in allkpop?
    they have million viewer and i want all of them know about this..
    i will give credit and link to this article

  18. This is really, really interesting. I have always thought that there was much more to the hype the Korean Media generates on virtually senseless topics in entertainment. Manipulating articles is okay, but sometimes it does go too far, such as the manipulation from JYP and KKS.

    This article is well written. It's unfortunate that such big media play occurs in Korean Media, but the again, the opinion and view of the public is important. While there are netizens who disprove statements and/or state something is PR, there are a number of people who believe the content of the PR. It's inevitable.

    Netizenbuzz, I've heard a lot of negativity surrounding SISTAR and Starship for the accusation of the manipulation of digital music charts and news portal rankings, so I'm wondering, is this true? I don't believe such a small company like Starship will be able to manipulate charts for too long (I wouldn't be surprised if they did a bit of manipulation though), but Alone released almost 5 months ago is still in top 50's of Melon Music Charts.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this article and also creating netizenbuzz. It's opened my eyes up to a lot and has allowed me to understand the view point of Korean netizens. Their view point is important and influential, after all.

  19. if u are trying to justify Netizens n do in another way!!! Dont tell me dey r da guardian of Justice!! Dat will b da biggest carp I hav eva heard in ma lyf n dose who will believe it, dey r da mst stupid one!!! If u look in da blog, den few days back dere were atricles n comments bout Eunjung n Ricecake!!! Dont kno bout oder issues bt dis Ricecake issue was jst a punishment dat winnner(Eunjung) gave to da Looser(Hwayoung) in a game On Certain program!!! Btw, Eunjung did same to Jiyeon too!! N bout feeding ricecake, dey say its dry n coz of its shape Eunjung shouldnt hav stuffed ricecake in Hwayoung's mouth!!! This so-called Netizens who claim dat dey r so justice should hav dis much brain dat ricecake was given by da program crew,... She didnt bring dat ricecake from her drom b4 coming to shoot dat program!!!!!! Also it was Netizens who only showed Eunjung stuffing ricecake to Hwayoung bt didnt show she doing same for Jiyeon!!! If dis was bout truth den Netizens shouldnt hav showed ricecake clip in such a wrong to make Eunjung look guilty!!! N evn afta truth has been revealed, dey still comment dat on da comback b ready to greet Queens wid ricecake!!! "Eunjung has come to think bout oders IN WGM so i guess she wont stuff ricecake to ny1 from now on" added Netizens!!! Wen truth is infront of dem wen to bring dose issues which is already cleared!! More den gruop to ppl trying to reveal truth.. dey da gruop of antis who r trying to suppress truth n turn thing deir way to bring downfall!!! So don give me shit Bout Netizens r for justice!!!

    1. Im surprised at the comments here, i mean the fact that netizens always tryig to find crap or the truth and the fact that. Big companies pay for the news is a well know matter, at least in my fandom.
      And sorry hut netizens r more reliable than reporters, yeah i also dislike some things about them cause they gave some scandals to a group that was neer involved ina scandal but also thanks to thise netizens who found out the truh about the scandal that group restore their reputation
      Yeah abou the tara drama well i never trusted most of the videos, but u have to admitt that some evidence were true.
      Look netizens can bring u down bu if there is just rumors and in the end idols r not that guilty other netizens will find out and prove that idol is innocent so yeah netizens r the real reporters, like i said the media is soooo corrupted is a well known fact it has been like this ever since idols like finkl turbo yes and so existed.

  20. Lol..someone posted this artcle on akp forums and a bunch of them were whining about how long this article was.

  21. To the above comment... god grief I couldn't even read the first sentence. Write properly if you're trying to prove a point. Plus you seem no better than ¨those¨netizens, in case you don't know you're a netizen too.

  22. To the person who suggested having this be published at allkpop... please don't submit this to them... just as ^^ said, even posting it in the forums attracted senseless people who make judgements without even reading the arguments.

    Also, featured posts in allkpop are often by guest writers who are paid. It would not be fair to the author to have this be published in allkpop without his or her consent (although, I highly doubt they would actually publish it.) let's keep this article in netizenbuzz unless the author decides otherwise.

  23. Insightful article. I would understand and can accept if companies made use of the media to hype things up and promote their own artists. However, to use it to deliberately put down other companies' artist is definitely a low move.

    Actually have long suspected that someone is out to destroy Kara since it is absolutely NOT coincidence that negative articles start appearing from nowhere and it were all first reported by Newsen. Using the Dokdo issue, a political issue as a weapon is downright despicable. Not surprise to learn that Newsen is controlled by CCM/Kim Kwang Soo, the idiot....

  24. LOL I won't give sport seoul that much credit. Sometimes they find their news, but many times not. They just like the others with the plus.

  25. my korean friends told be about this, too bad my american friends (VIPs and BJs) don't want to believe it.

  26. Reply to AnonymousSeptember 1, 2012 2:29 AM

    LOL......those fans voted against other popular American singers too.....who in the long run have more fans....but who are more casual in nature. Bieber also thrives on fans and fan 'votes' otherwise his material is not that 'new/different' or praiseworthy. Also, if SNSD had gotten those same 'fan-vote' awards SME would have milked the PR machine to the limits, and fans would be bragging about it much more. On another note, many American/European producers that are famous want to work with Bigbang or some bigbang members. I don't see the same in SNSD's situation.

    To non-SNSD fans who live in the country and watch these shows.....the coverage SNSD got was a bare minimum in America and was a joke. Especially, when compared to how it was hyped in Korea. Here, it counts for nothing. The only ways a few minutes of coverage would have affect is if it got them media coverage in the States from non-Azn press or writers.

    If you compare this with the REAL and tangible hype that Psy is getting (newspapers are writing about him, radios are giving him airplays, etc.), SNSD is really nothing. But, when the hype around Gangnam Style dies/when people get bored, we will see that it is SNSD who is at the 'top' of the food chain again as the leader of the 'Hallyu' wave. This is what SME's PR machine is. And why YG fails at PR according to my opinion.

  27. I'm curious about Starship and Sistar too i've been observing charts and Sistar digital rankings are very questionable at many instances. Like soaring high at non peak hours? I hope my suspicions is wrong cause i like them but i can't be blind with things.

  28. that is why for sometime now i find korean entertainment news boring

  29. thanks for sharing this insightful post. well, things are not always rainbow and butterfly in this world. this sorta things is well known and the fact that people always see things one way kinda make it unfair... now that at least people that read this know that it's not always netizens are the one at fault. it's how the korean entertainment biz work... at least with the netizenbuzz author writing this, international fans that read this will enlighten a bit on how the k-entertainment industry work. then again, we cant take what we read on the internet 100% true or 100% false. each one of us left their percentage on doubt. it's up to the individuals... thanks for this netizenbuzz...

  30. those articles that anon mention don't necessarily sassy that it SISTAR is manipulating the chart , I do think it is insinuated, alone and loving you are very popular songs with people I know and if the articles are as you say it wouldn't surprise me if another company is trying to tarnish their image due to their " rising" popularity.

  31. Anonymous September 1, 2012 10:08 AM

    I'm not the person you're responding to but if Bigbang or 2ne1 is as popular as how you make it sound, then why aren't they as popular or somewhere near to what PSY is now?

    That because with the exception with PSY (at least for now), the "popularity" of any of the top group of the hallyu wave is no different from each other. Their popularity is restricted only to people who likes kpop. They may gain new fans but it is not enough to be considered as mainstream.

    Bigbang/2ne1 winning an international awards show proves nothing because it was through online votes which is something that can easily be rigged/exploited.

  32. ^
    "And why YG fails at PR according to my opinion" ¬_¬ You're joking right. Daesung accidentally kills a man, GD with the marijuana/plagiarism scandals etc. and all the shit Seungri sometimes say's on variety shows or during interviews. Stuff like this would have buried most celebrities.

    With all this people still buy their music, they get major CF & endorsement deals, MC's sucking up to them on variety shows.

    I'd say YG is a bloody genius at PR and hype. SM is a step behind with SNSD - if a major scandal erupts and their able to handle it coming out good the other end, than I'd say both companies would be on par in my opinion. So far SM is pretty good with keeping any past information from coming to light.

    A fascinating editorial though.

  33. i didn't know k-media is manipulated by companies but i always thought k-media is manipulated i mean k-news are not transparent, coz sometimes they cut or add things to create a buzz, to drag attention. sometimes the news are even one-sided. be it negative or positive. (my opinion)
    this might go off topic but i'm still going to add this. and i'm not replying to anyone, i just want to put my 2 cents in this. so don't hate me for being bias or bash me if you don't agree or if you think i'm wrong it is my opinion and i'm not instilling this to anyone.
    i'm a YG stan so this is a bias comment and i ignore the non-YG articles anyway so i really cant say anything about them. i rarely read about them, YG artists, especially when they are not promoting. i'm an international fan and i can't read hangul, i am very thankful of fan sites, blogs and forums since they either translate some or make their own articles which makes it more fan based not k-media 'manipulated' based and they don't get paid for it. also members post their local (international fans' countries) news about 2ne1 or bigbang or whoever and MAYBE those news are not manipulated anymore, manipulated or not it's still international so it's good. i used to visit korean entertainment news sites but the thing is i don't care about other artists so i gave that up and stick to the fan sites, blogs and forums which kept me updated and is better, more convenient FOR ME. what's good about this sites are it's not all good/positive news so even the bad ones get published so it's not all in favor of our biases and i accept that coz i love them flaws and all. and i can say they have a huge international fan base (members interactions with different nationalities) also maybe other international fans are like me who don't care about others and maybe do the same as i do :) then that's a plus, more LOVING fans. i love YG artists not because of the k-articles, i find those articles some kind of a bonus coz its still news even though every article is similar, especially in 'drought' i take whatever news there is LOL. i love them because of their music so articles are just a bonus for me, who love them no matter what. fans are the reason why they have luxurious cars and clothes so fans are essential to artists LOL and if fan made articles are more hit than k-media manipulated articles for international fans that's better then as PR :)coz every artist in the world wants to have fans no matter how huge they are. maybe YG didn't have to do this much manipulated PR work coz fans are already doing all the PR work for free LOL. like honsetly 1 PICTURE of Dara showing her abs, we get crazy already and to think we haven't even read the caption yet LOL. Haha. 1 poster of GD's upcoming single, we spazz for days. and YGEs very secretive so as a fan i take whatever news i get.
    i didn't get affected much about the manipulation article coz unlike the rest of the kpop world YGEs kmedia articles are few compared to others LOL anyway like i said this is sooo OFF topic and YG bias. if you didn't like it you shouldn't have read it LOL. i'm so sorry i haven't eaten yet so if this is sooo senseless it's my opinion anyway LOL ignore me.

  34. those netizens are just kpop fans like people on allkpop and omona nbd

  35. wow, thanks this was a good read, I really like this site, it keeps things real, I believe a lot of international fans believe everything without even doubting if it's true or not -_-

  36. One word: Tajinyo

  37. to the anon above:
    it's actually what k-fans are most annoyed about regarding i-fans is that i-fans tend to believe every rumor and what-not.

  38. Maybe if the entertainment companies didn't have so much say in the market.

  39. ^
    @AnonymousSeptember 1, 2012 11:44 AM
    First I would like to say....I am not a fan of BigBang or 2NE1. I am just an anti of over-hyped press which is what basically created and maintains SNSD. The fandom I am from has nothing to do with my points so I won't mention it ^^

    I also do not think that BigBang is that popular. Psy is on a whole different league. He didn't have to even sing in English (even though he is fluent) to get this much hype. Its actually amazing. But, I do think that among Korean singers YG groups are the most sought after by popular American lyricists and producers. For example, Bigbang sang with Pixie Lott and even Nelly Furtado wants to work with TOP. Also, 2NE1 worked with American producers. On the other hand....SNSD has only worked with a no-name Teddy Riley. I agree that both BigBang and SNSD are no where near mainstream. They can dream about it lol. My whole point was that since more popular American artists want to work with YG artists.....YG should be growing in hype in Korea in comparison to SNSD....but it really isn't. And my theory is this is a result of SME's PR machine.

    And I disagree with the voting thing. It didn't bring them much success....but it was a great accomplishment for a group. If you look at it the same way....the majority of awards that Bieber gets are popularity awards through fan votes. And he is popular! Also, Rain got number 1 in TIME 100 (also through fan votes), which got him many fans....and a lot of prestige in Korea. I seriously don't understand what the difference is. SNSD went on a few TV shows and got greater success in Korea. Rain got number one in TIMES 100 and got greater success in Korea. BigBang and 2NE! got awards on international TV shows but they are forgotten in Korea?

    @AnonymousSeptember 1, 2012 11:49 AM

    I honestly don't think that YG's PR had anything to do with Daesung and Gdragon's scandals and saving them through PR. The only thing he did was reveal the truth in a timely manner in Daesungs case....and in Gdragons case he remained quiet. Also, considering that the accident wasn't even Daesungs fualt.....I don't understand why his career has to be ruined. Gdragon on the other hand was extremely stupid and shold have gotten a stronger reaction. This all had to do with their strong, already developed, and supportive fanbase in Korea. If they didn't have it....they would be screwed. Similarly, in JYJ and the saesang beating scandal.....the only reason they survived is because of their already developed and strong, supportive had nothing to do with CJes's PR that Jaejoong and Yoochun survived that onslaught. Also, against both groups their fans>anti' negative 'anti' views from netizens are drowned by fan comments on articles.

    Well it was nice talking but no I have to do a lot of school work so my next reply will be very late! TT____TT

  40. I'm curious about what media outlet the blogger works/worked for. I'm guessing Allkpop? " Before the picture is even uploaded to the artist's Twitter, we'll receive a press release regarding said picture along with the titles and netizen comments they want used. They're essentially creating their own hype for the purpose of keeping their artist in the headlines and relevant." <--- Allkpop has a shitload of useless articles about selcas. And I for one would not be surprised of Allkpop is a rigged media outlet as well. I know they simply translate what they find, but many times (when it comes to twitter/selca updates), Allkpop finds the updates on their own.

    Just taking a guess.

  41. Some companies definitely pay allkpop to publish "articles" on their artists: see for example TS Entertainment for BAP and (especially) JYP for the Wonder Girls. So many articles about non-existent hype/accolades in an attempt to build up actual hype...

  42. Anonymous September 1, 2012 9:37 PM

    "I am just an anti of over-hyped press which is what basically created and maintains SNSD."

    That doesn't make any sense. If over-hyped press is what created and maintains SNSD, then that would mean they have a small amount of fans but is that the case? I don't think so. A hype will only do that much. It won't be able to maintain popularity.

    Teddy Riley collaborated with Michael Jackson. Check his wiki if you want to know more. SNSD also collaborated with Snoop Dogg. But these doesn't really mean anything. YG groups being sought after by lyricists/producers falls in the same place. It doesn't equate to them being popular.

    "YG should be growing in hype in Korea in comparison to SNSD....but it really isn't. And my theory is this is a result of SME's PR machine."

    SM isn't the only company that promotes their artists through local shows (variety, drama, etc.). Don't put the blame on SM. That's like Kim Kwang Soo blaming other CEO for his mismanagement of the T-ara scandal.

    Any award gotten through online/text votes is really an accomplishment except for the people behind the vote brigade.

    "BigBang and 2NE1 got awards on international TV shows but they are forgotten in Korea?"

    That's because they won through online voting. Them being not so popular is the fault of their own management. Stop blaming somebody else.

  43. I agree with the author tbh. If you've seen the FIRST episode of MBLAQ's Idol Manager, their new "managers" were writing articles (and headlines) to send to media outlets. Since Park Kyung Lim was close to the contact they called, her article was picked, hands down. Honestly, I'm not surprised this is happening in South Korea. While not all netizens can be trusted, the majority of them consist of the general public.. they're unbiased as opposed to the crap that Korean companies feed us. I'd rather take their word for it, rather than the media.

  44. This article was e-mailed to me days ago and it's, by far, the best editorial article I've read in K-pop. Thank you, OP. Keep it up!

  45. great article. still, i found netizens demanding t-ara disbandment is cringy. if they're really cynical, they should raise issue about kks, yet on the top comment you've shared to us, most of them only question about t-ara. cynical? yeah, but it's a very shallow and distasteful cynic.

  46. The problem is that netizens are just as bad at the reporters when they start making up their own special brand of nonsense just like the reporters do. If all netizens were was a "check and balance" of existing (and yes, completely "bought", author is 100% right here) media that would indeed be fantastic, but when they start manufacturing hurtful rumours and snowballing their own shonky evidence it transforms the situation from a concerned citizens media watch meeting into a modern-day version of the Salem Witch Trials. Readers should be cynical of Korean entertainment meadia, absolutely, but the tide of popular opinion is an equally dangerous master to follow.

  47. Your article was reposted at Omonatheydidnt!

  48. woww i remember all the times my teachers told me not to copy and paste my homework... if I knew this back then I'd told them I could find a job in SK doing this... xDD
    media being paid is nothing new, international fans are not that naive but its still repulsive... with companies like CCM trying to create controversies of other groups to cover their own controveries is shameless and add to that the government paying media to release idol's scandals to cover their own scandals, its a lucrative job afterall.
    I can understand why some netizens question everything but they should hate the game not the player... if they want things to change then they can complain about reporters being shameless for accepting money/copy paste articles and companies blatantly offering it but what they do? they attack the groups or the artist... and not to mention there are some netizens responses that are pretty insane... for example: asking Block B to suicide because of their controversy and calling Daesung a murderer and asking him to kill himself without even knowing what really happened? you can say JYP kicked Jay out but its obvious netizens at that time gave him a hand leaving all kind of hateful messages against Jay without considering how he might fell at the time he wrote it... people cant deny k.netizens have their sadist side.

  49. JYP manipulating the press at the height of Jay Park's scandal is NOT breaking news to long time jwalkerz. I was very active online at that time protecting Jay, responding to comments, helping shedding some light because of all the shit Jay was getting from all these manipulated press releases.

    Thank you for this editorial. First time someone posted this on an editorial. We've been telling this for years but lots of people dismissed it as bitter comments, delusional antics. I didn't blame people for not believing us but we held our ground and stood by Jay and fought for his reputation against the sly antics of JYP.

    I do not speak in behalf of my fandom but as a long time jwalker who stayed up whole night and day just to track all negative articles about Jay and tried posting positive comments to tone down all the hate he is getting, I say there is a big reason why I have so much hate against JYP. This is just my personal feeling and it does not reflect all others in my fandom.

    I will never forget those times. Never.

    Until now, JYP still has a hand in slyly blocking Jay's career. I don't care if you don't believe me... What's important to me now is that for every tricks thrown by JYP against Jay (secretly coz he has to maintain his good brotherly image), I'll make sure that I'll send a thousand more love for Jay.

    The reason why Jay's ship is still not sinking is because of these people:

    1. Jay himself - his talents is too good for people not to notice. and he has always maintain a positive attitude that despite the cockblocking and manipulation he's getting, he remained steadfast. Not once did he tweet against them instead he tweets encouraging words for jwalkerz and always assures us that he is alright, that it's all good, that we shouldn't worry too much. I read somewhere online that once you close a window for Jay, he smashes the door.

    2. Jwalkerz - I can say that this is a very mature fandom. Lots of articles has been written about how this fandom (mostly acting like mothers to Jay) revived Jay's career. We've been featured in editorials on how big of an impact a mature fandom can on an artist. We're a very small fandom but we're strong ^^

    3. SidusHQ - Sidus is the biggest entertainment company in Korea but it has most influence in drama and movies not in the music industry. Even with little influence in the music industry, it's still powerful enough to provide cushion for Jay. And I love that the company immediately defends Jay or issues statement whenever an issue about Jay is brought up. The CEO is pretty vocal himself. lols. I know it's immature but I love that he is challenging JYP in revealing what that "unspeakable mistake Jay committed" whenever JYP mentions that again.

    4. Jay Park's homies - he has few friends in the idol world but he has lots of people backing him up, in korea and overseas. In Korea, most of underground peeps respect him for staying real. TigerJK and Tasha. Bboys especially his crew, Korean Assassins, and Drifterz crew, Rivers crew, Animation crew. Through R16 battles, Jay gained more friends... as long as they are there, I know Jay will be alright. Overseas, Ryan Higa, Dumbfoundead, Kevin Wu, Wongfu production, AJ Rafael, basically lots of popular youtubers... He is also working closely with american producers, known or underground. These people are helping Jay a lot.

    Sorry for this long post.. I just need to get it off my chest. I'm just happy for this article. Also, there is no doubt Jay's behind his twitter. lols.

  50. Reply to Anonymous September 1, 2012 2:29 AM
    Yes for SNSD in Paris, but you have to be conscious that it's not their popularity in France that allowed them on TV but the promotionnal deal with the distribution company: Polydor(Universal) and Canal+ belong to the same group: Vivendi.-->Product placement.

  51. I work in the western music business and talk to journalists and editors often, and I can tell you that exactly the same thing goes on in western music press. K-pop is no different at all in this respect. However the situation is no excuse for Korean netizens to act as cruel as they do. Shallow cynicism and hatred without intelligence and discernment is a stepping stone to fundamentalism and should be avoided at all costs.

  52. is it solely for internet media or it's also for other medias like newspaper and tv?

  53. " By now, you're aware of select entertainment companies manipulating the media or even paying up certain outlets to release articles in their favor, but what you don't probably realize is that it's not only those select companies, but everyone. "

    THANK YOU for saying what I have long insisted is true: The Korean entertainment press copies and pastes corporate press releases word for word. How else could the outrageous assertions and self-serving bullshit of a criminal organization like SME be swallowed whole by the media?? How else can we read time and time again about JYJ's "not being able to appear on TV" with nary an explanation or follow up question EVER about WHY that is?? The Korean entertainment press should be cowering in shame for the sham, piss-poor excuses for decent journalists they are. Here in the U.S. these pathetic excuses for the real thing would be reprimanded and fired in a hot minute.

  54. Lilibaiyu, that's actually not true about the US - music journalism in western countries do the same thing. I know... I work for them...

  55. one thing. Dont brodcast channles PAY to get singers on their SHOWS.

    Also. I dont think media is supporting SME . THEY ARE OBEYING KFAPC korean federation of pop and art ( whatever the order maybe its korean culture of art and pop or ect u get the idea) KFAPC are the ones that fear the change of the traditional system SME JYP and other music companies in korea use . It means singers will make more money than the companies and two they singer wont be restricted nor controlled to show the korean pop culture the federation is promoting world wide. This is why singers in korea are mainly banned from the music scene they belive the culture and money will be downhill if this happens so the federation sent even letters to media abrode to not consider or deal with JYJ as offecial Korean singers so JYJ or any other singer who tries to leave the system will be banned abroad as well not just locally.

    How dark this might seem. The federation can still be won if I-Fans can unite and show KFAPC that JYJ are brining in profits to koreas economy due to sales connected to them including JYJ promote koreas culture positively. If i-fans can make KFAPC see the new system is better " which c-jes uses" that JYJ have positive effects Bringing internationals towards Korea blah blah because the federation cares about the image culture promotion thingy it would rethink the banning they placed they could lift the ban if they are convinced deplomatically in a way they see JYJ are more positive in influnce of international favor more than SME and that SME is causing international fans displeasure the thing is to make the federation favor and support JYJ c-jes rather than SME . i assure u KCFAP is JYJ's big hope, and probably Solution 99%, for TV appearance attending music awards recieving the deserved music awards they will be no longer banned both locally and in japan and other countries the federation sent letters to to not deal with JYJ. AGAIN KCFAP CAN BE WON IF U KNOW HOW TO WIN THEM FOR JYJ I-FANS.

  56. Anon above --> excuse me but I think you are mixing things up.
    KFAPC is a real organisation, and I don't think they are against JYJ.
    The organisation that had sent a threatening letter to TV channels in 2010 was "KPFCAI" and it doesn't really exist. It 's fake organisation made up by entertainement company (SM,CCM...)as a scarecrow to TV channels and other idols that might want to follow the same route.
    Honnestly now I think, it's just the PD of variety and music program that are chickening to have the same backlash (no SM idols appearances) that MNET had to suffer for a year after JYJ attendance at MAMA 2009.
    And that is why the fine the court decided on if SM where to interfere directly on JYJ activity, is not efficient in that case.
    Bribery and backdoor pressure is more difficult to prove.
    But the real KCFAP should do something about it.

  57. this is very interesting. never found this kind of manipulation before in my country, well maybe there are, but it is not such as bad as what it happens in Korea. this is the consequence of having the fastest internet speed in the world, anything becomes so easy to accessed and manipulated.
    i always thought that Korean netizens are very harsh toward celebrities and now i think i understand why would they do that. that's because they don't believe in everything they read in articles. hmmm,,, so much fakes, not only their plastic faces but also fake news.
    i like korean concept of dramas and music but not their entertainment industries which are all full of fakes.

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