Tuesday, January 24, 2023

2005: Media Today criticizes the SBS program on foreign English teachers

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children
Part 10: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!' 
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1
Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave!
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructors should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor' at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine
Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise"
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: [Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident 
Part 46: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here
Part 47: Investigation of the realities of 'foreign instructors' methods for luring Korean women'
Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'
Part 49: To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise
Part 50: "If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds... 
Part 51: A new message from Anti English Spectrum
Part 52: 
SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 1
Part 53: SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 2 
Part 54: SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 3
Part 55: Viewers of 'Realities of unfit foreign instructors' outraged
Part 56: Foreign instructor: "Korea is a cash and women dispenser."
Part 57: Frustration with low-standard foreign instructors: "Korea's pride damaged"
Part 55: Viewers of 'Realities of unfit foreign instructors' outraged
Part 56: Foreign instructor: "Korea is a cash and women dispenser."
Part 57: Frustration with low-standard foreign instructors: "Korea's pride damaged"
Part 58: Netizen anger over 'foreign instructor' broadcast
Part 59: Video On Demand service for "I Want to Know That" temporarily suspended
Part 60: TV Program Warms Up Foreign Teacher Controversy
Part 61: A country where foreign English instructors play
Part 62: "Let's not use foreign actors": Controversy spreads over SBS's 'I Want to Know That' report 
Part 63: Anti English Spectrum distributes pamphlets in Seoul taking advantage of the SBS broadcast, part 1
Part 64: Anti English Spectrum distributes pamphlets in Seoul taking advantage of the SBS broadcast, part 2

Part 65: Problems with the report on native-speaking English instructors

And here, five years after finishing this series, I thought it was done! But today I discovered this March 2, 2005 article from Media Today which criticized the infamous SBS report summarized in parts 52-54.

Problems with the report on native-speaking English instructors

[Media Today] On February 19, SBS’s 'I Want To Know That' reported on the reality of native-speaking English instructors.

The report focused on the illegal employment of foreigners without educational qualifications (no E-2 visas), the trend of excessive English education, and racial discrimination in Korea.

The direct motive for the production of this program was a website that became a problem in January due to expressions by a community of native-speaking English instructors that, among other things, denigrated Korean women.

However, this program denigrated fellow Koreans with a narrow-minded perspective and a broadcast based on prejudice, when the topic should have been reported objectively.

First of all, after beginning by showing the physical affection shown between foreign men and Korean women at clubs near Hongik University, most of it is premised on prejudice against native-speaking English instructors, and it sensationalizes the behavior of unqualified English instructors until the middle of the program.

What’s worse, according to the testimony(?) of a Korean who ran an English academy, it’s concluded that "only 5% of native-speaking English instructors are properly qualified."

This is can be characterized as denigration and collective insult.

What is the rationale for the 5% figure? This program denounces law-abiding native-speaking English instructors who are helping our citizens learn English as "people who do drugs, rape teens, and enjoy adult entertainment."

By the time we reach the middle of the program, it makes even bigger mistakes through leaps of logic.

It shows the Ministry of Justice's Immigration Bureau's heavy-handed crackdown on foreign workers and the employment stories of Korean-Americans, and while discussing the problems of policies related to foreigners, it concludes that at the bottom of it all "there is our own citizens' pro-white policy or racism."

Then, there is an interview with a woman who married a native-speaking English instructors and is now preparing for a divorce, but this cannot be understood.

How is this a practical example of how to inform the public about the problems of native-speaking English instructors? This interview can only be understood in the flow of the program as arguing that "all native speaking instructors are scam artists."

The basic framework of the program, which says that there should be no racial discrimination in cracking down on illegal employment of foreigners and that excessive consumption of English learning should be eradicated, is correct.

However, its way of proving this claim is wrong.

Why are all native-speaking English instructors collectively criticized and the crackdown on them expanded and reproduced under the theme of "racism"? The intention of the program was good, but what about the native-speaking English instructors who will be harmed by it, the parents who entrusted their children to them, and all of us who suddenly became racists? Should we reflect? Why should we reflect? What will the media reflect on for instilling unfounded favor towards white-skinned English speakers? It was a moment when I desperately felt the limitations of the accusatory program made without thinking deeply.

This article is abbreviated from a post at ‘Blue Moon’s blog (http://blog.naver.com/kickthebaby.do) with the consent of the author.

I'll admit to being a bit confused by the criticism of SBS for 'making Koreans all racists' by pointing out a preference for white-skinned English speakers. That, and the comment about "the media... instilling unfounded favor towards white-skinned English speakers" seem to make the program responsible for the "unfounded favor" of Koreans, when it is merely noting it exists. 

As well, considering the influence of this program, a more correct way to put the question would be "What will the media reflect on for instilling unfounded [dis]favor towards white-skinned English speakers?" Mind you, as the criticism above notes, the issues at hand (illegally-working foreign English instructors long being overlooked) were worth criticizing, but the program was too sensationalist and rushed to collectively blame foreign instructors as a group. Its longer-standing legacy, though, was to inject a negative tone into reporting about foreign English instructors that lasted for the better part of a decade.

(Also, in looking at the blog address, it would seem the author of this criticism, was a fan of South Park.)

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