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What matters is not technique but content
  • Writer : KU Today
  • Hits : 634
  • Date : 2019-05-30

Special Theme Intro
What matters is not technique but content
Professor Ji Hoon Park from the School of Media and Communication


How we think of the world—to Professor Ji Hoon Park this is essence of media. Creator platforms are encroaching on the influence of traditional media at the speed of light, but he believes that even if change comes like a tidal wave or new things pour out like rainfall, only “inspiring content” can survive. We talked with Professor Park about what universities should do to nurture talents with content competitiveness.

Korea University is leading media content.

Professor Park’s laboratory is aglow in the light of a gentle, calm yellow light that creates a warm and comfortable space. It looks like an incandescent lamp, but actually it is a fluorescent lamp. Even though low efficiency incandescent bulbs are disappearing from our daily lives, their warmth remains here through fluorescent lamps. In the same way, media has transformed, but content has not changed. The soft tones of the lamplight are a reminder that good content lasts forever.

"Just four years ago when a PhD student told us he was writing a paper on creators, we all tilted our heads to one side quizzically. At that time, not many people thought that one-person media like YouTube would become popular. Now the vast majority of people consume news, information, and knowledge through videos, which has deepened the anxiety of the education industry as well as existing broadcasters.

The half-life of knowledge-- the time it takes for half of the knowledge we obtain to be found wrong--is getting shorter. One-person media outlets, including YouTube, are gaining a competitive edge through quick updates and smooth performance. Professor Park believes that universities should take the lead now. The biggest weakness of a creator platform is the lack of public confidence. According to Professor Park, universities should actively intervene in the knowledge production market, gradually encroached on by one-person media, by providing accurate and dense high-quality video content.

As the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) of Korea University, he thinks that futuristic discussion classes offered by Korea University, including flipped class, are the best method of knowledge content production using videos. In the flood of one-person media full of stimulation and antagonism, KU is already on its way towards the type of content that education can aspire to.

"In the past, we had to become a producer at a broadcasting station to make videos, but now anyone can do so. At this time, I think that one of the missions of a university is to provide a likable platform to enjoy videos.' In this regard, KU has offered its students the best environment already. The CCL (CJ Creator Library) studio the basement of the Main Square in 2017 is a great example of this. The studio is the best place to cultivate the best creators as it provides both equipment and space for video shooting and video editing."

On the first and second floors of the basement of the Media Hall is the recently opened Media Creators Bunker, with sound and TV studios, which appears to have been an immense help to KU students hoping to produce video content. Aside from universities that specialize in broadcasting technology education, Korea University is the only four-year university in Korea with such a cutting-edge video production training facility. It is a pioneering move in the golden age of video content.

Content as Reflection

“Writer and social activist Susan Sontag once said, “An image can give only one stimulus, but reflection on it should be done in a different way”. I totally agree with her. Even in the age of one-person media including YouTube, education that helps students analyze and discuss texts critically is indispensable. My students often find it difficult to make videos that run over 10 minutes. Media is a way of thinking about the world. Short and shallow video content alone cannot lead us to reflection or thinking.” Professor Park thinks the students can’t do so because they are lacking in knowledge. The ability to collect news sources and information comes from knowledge, and robust content is based on meticulous coverage. To nurture liaison skills and the ability to collect news sources based on knowledge—to Professor Park, this is the core of video education. There is little or no need to teach students skills because they already know them well.

"In 2008 when I was a professor in the United States, I directed a documentary film "When the West Brings Civilization Back to Africa." It was about how American students who participated in a short-term volunteering service in Cameroon to improve water quality in the country made the people there feel racial inferiority despite their good intentions. The New York Times mentioned the film in February 2019, over 10 years later than it was first aired on U.S. public broadcaster PBS. It is a great honor for me that the film provided activists with useful ideas for thinking, and the old video is still being talked about."

Although the paradigm of media has changed totally, the content arousing thought and reflection survives. He has proved it.


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