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Online Grassroots Journalism And Participatory Democracy In South Korea

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how grassroots journalism and online participation embody the ideals of participatory democracy in the South Korean context. Since 2000, online alternative media in Korea have played a pivotal role in many political events including the 2002 candlelight protests against the SOFA, the 2002 presidential election campaign, and the 2005-06 exposure of the stem cell research fraud of Hwang Woo-suk. A Korean news website OhmyNews, founded in 2000, has played an important role in spearheading a challenge to the domination of public opinion and the public agenda by the conservative mainstream press. Drawing on the idea of the public sphere pioneered by Jürgen Habermas, the chapter examines the creation of new online forms of organisation by netizens as part of the new public sphere made possible by the Internet.

Keywords: grassroots journalism; OhmyNews; participatory democracy; Roh Moo-hyun; South Korea



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