Most people have something that they put all their efforts into at one time. It can be paintings, notebooks or diaries etc. These things make us recall our past and arouse feelings. To Hongik Tidings members, it’ll be their articles. Through articles, writers of the past are able to recall memories of the past, and the present writer can experience the situation at the time. To celebrate the 200th issue, a past reporter and this present reporter, who might be considered the future of the past reporter, go on a time travel through articles.
Hongik Tidings (hereafter HT): Could you introduce yourselves?
Song Simgeun (hereafter SG): I’m Song Simgeun, who was the 27th Editor-in-Chief of Hongik Tidings. I’m so devoted to Hongik Tidings that I can say Hongik Tidings was my campus life. Thus, my major was law, but also Hongik Tidings.
HT: I think that working in the field of law is a little bit different from working in Hongik Tidings, because I think practicing law doesn’t need English very much. Considering this point, do you think the experience of Hongik Tidings was helpful to your career?
SG: Experiences at Hongik Tidings itself are very helpful to me. When we had meetings, we always needed discussions because it was difficult to agree with all the other people’s opinions. Through these meetings, I learned the way to persuade people and coordinate contrasting opinions. In the broad view, it can be part of social life. So, these lessons were a good influence to my career
HT: There are articles where you did interviews with celebrities such as singer Kim Changwan and FT Island that were written by you. Did you have any motivation and/or difficulties during the process?
SG: I thought that the fact -Hongik Tidings is the English newspaper- can be a big entry barrier to students. Therefore, I decided to do interviews with celebrities to gain student’s attention and to increase the number of readers. At first, there were debates that the interviews with celebrities were not articles about Hongik University. However, if Hongik Tiding interviews them by students, articles can include stories for students. That way, we could end the discussion.
During preparation interviews, we encountered obstacles. The biggest problem was contact. It was very difficult to make an appointment with unknown people. We didn’t even know how to get contact numbers. Therefore, we had to do things with all our might. In the case of FT Island, we could solve our problems with help from acquaintances. Thanks to an owner of a coffee shop, we could call the PD, who was the shop owner’s friend. Like 6 Degrees of Separation, the idea that we can know all these people around the world through personal connections, we could get the interview with FT Island.
To do the interview with singer Kim Changwan, we went to his concert. We met him after the concert and he willingly accepted the interview. After that, however, the recording file was gone. We had to decide whether to call again or to write articles based on memories. Finally, we contacted him again and were invited to his house. It was a fun experience – interview while eating noodles.
These experiences became chances for me to grow. We learned how to develop strategies depending on interviewees and readers. Especially, when we contacted interviewees, it was quite helpful, appealing to them with “we are students!”
HT: I saw that when you worked at Hongik Tidings, you wrote many articles. Do you have any memorable articles you wrote as the Editor-in-Chief?
SG: The most memorable article was about the school library. At that time, we had to do a survey by ourselves with about 1000 students. The amount of students was so huge that this article was written by all of the Hongik Tidings members. We spent much time assembling data and analyzing the survey’s results. During this process I was embarrassed, because we had to stand in front of many students. On the other hand, I was proud of Hongik Tidings, because many students participated diligently and some people told us “I enjoyed your article!”. We were drunk from these reactions. The process was very difficult, but we worked together and learned a lot. So rather than interviews with celebrities, this was an unforgettable article.
HT: Do you have any know-how that you want to share with Hongik Tidings?
SG: As I speak briefly, it’s a standard tactic. You have to do direct research rather than just search the internet. You will see your abilities develop, and you will love your articles. These kinds of articles will be written with other members, after this you can make unforgettable memories. In short, it’s an article made directly and together.
HT: Celebrating Hongik Tiding’s 200th issue, please tell us what you want to say as a former reporter and an Editor-in-Chief!
SG: I wish you, Hongik Tidings, will make articles that both writers and readers can pleasantly read. Unlike other school newspapers, Hongik Tidings has its own flexibility. Depending on an Editor-in-Chief, magazine outlines are made and disappear. Its cover has also been changed from matt paper to glazed paper. Therefore I want writers to make Tidings freely getting out of the past frame work. The Hongik Tidings is a university students’ newspaper, write what you want and make a new tiding frame work.
Choi Hyejin firstname.lastname@example.org
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