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Looking Back at the Very First Edition of Hongik Tidings

As a reader of the Hongik Tidings, have you ever wondered about the meaning behind its title and where it got its name from? The 1st edition of the Hongik Tidings has the answers to these questions. In the section where it explains the answers, it is mentioned that the word “tidings” has a meaning of news, which is similar to the German word “zeitung”. Zeitung was the world’s first printed newspaper, which adds even more specialty to its name. Other than the origin of our magazine’s title, we can find a lot of special and unique features in the first edition. These include stating the principles that the Hongik Tidings should obey, a poem dedicated to the birth of the Hongik Tidings, traces of the past and even a cute, minor mistake that might have caused a tiny problem for our former reporters. If you are interested, stay tuned!

Principles of Hongik Tidings

Hongik Tidings wasn’t made without rules. It set its base on four elements. The first element was that it had to be unique and original. Our founders didn’t want it to be just like any other newspaper. Even if it went against the public taste, imitation of the trends – lacking originality – was not acceptable. The next element was that it should work as a tool of academic communication. Instead of a useless, diary-like newspaper, it should focus on being an informative publication to satisfy the curiosity-hungry students. The third element was good English. There shouldn’t be any sentences that the readers may find vague and awkward. Of all the elements, the following rule is probably the hardest one to follow: keeping the article interesting from the beginning to the end. Perhaps this is what agonizes the writers of Hongik Tidings even now.

Celebrating Its Birth

At its birth, Hongik Tidings received much celebration and expectations from the professors and students of Hongik University. There was even a poem about it written by an English Literature professor. Shall we enjoy it together?

In the poem, we can see that Hongik Tidings is portrayed as hopefully becoming a deep-rooted tree. My deepest thanks to the professor for blessing Hongik Tidings with such a refined poem.

There was also an essay congratulating the start of Hongik Tidings, submitted by one of our students. In the essay, the student wrote that he once lied about the existence of an English newspaper in Hongik University, when he was serving in the army. One of his comrades* was boasting about his school’s own English newspaper, and he had no choice but to tell a lie to keep up with him. When the announcement of Hongik Tiding’s publication was made, he wrote that he couldn’t wait for the day to unseal the Hongik Tidings.

Seeing the Past from the 1st Edition

One of the perks* of reviewing the past articles is that we can observe the past vividly. Let’s see if things have changed or remained the same.

Differences: 1) One of our former editor’s major was foreign trade. Unfortunately, that major is gone now.

2)Slums: On the section where the reporters talk about working as part-timers, one of the them said that he had worked in a slum neighborhood. Nowadays, slums are quite rare in Korea.

Similarities: 1) Academic warning: In the first edition of our newspaper, it is mentioned that 5.7% of our students got an academic warning because of low grades.

2) Students having a hard time paying the tuition fee: Sadly, needy students in the 1980s didn’t have an easy time either. Lots of students called for the expansion of the loan benefits.

Oops!

stroies->stories

This small mistake surely added the friendliness to the point where it might have been too formal otherwise.

A lot of people say that there are many things to learn from old books. I think there are also plentiful benefits to reading old magazines and newspapers, because it leads us to a wider understanding of the state of society in those days’. Besides, we will be able to broaden our imagination and think about how their lives would have been back then. If you have any magazines or newspapers from the 80s, or even older, why don’t you try reading them for a while?

*Clarion — a medieval trumpet with clear sharp tones

*Lo — used to call attention to or to express wonder or surprise

*Lest — for fear that

*hewn down — cut down

*comrades — friends who have been involved in military together

*perks — advantages

Kim Junhwan  dogedoggo@naver.com

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