Public Role

Public Role

Defending the informational sovereignty of the Republic of Korea

Yonhap News stands at the forefront of defending informational sovereignty as it covers and reports on issues taking place on the Korean Peninsula and in the world from South Korea's perspective. Through its Washington correspondent's persistent questioning, Yonhap was able to elicit comments from U.S. President Barack Obama about the Korean victims of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Marking the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation, Yonhap followed the footsteps of Korean independence fighters in Beijing. The agency was also the first to report on the parallel usage of the name "East Sea" for the body of water between Korea and Japan in "Le grand atlas geographique Le Monde" and the Islamic State's inclusion of South Korea on the "crusader coalition" list.

Yonhap News distributes such content to some 900 client companies nationwide. It also supplies them to 83 news agencies in 70 countries with which it has contracts.

The agency believes it is its role as the nation's representative news agency to promote Korea to the world and heighten its national image and prestige.

Delivering news from Korea to the world in 6 languages

Yonhap News brings news from Korea to the world in six languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Arabic. Its foreign language news service has become a "window to Korea" through which it strives to accurately inform the world of Korea and prevent foreign press from distorting the facts.

Yonhap News has more than 60 people, including native speakers, writing news in foreign languages. Running a foreign language department that requires considerable human and material resources is one of the public roles the agency takes on for the national interest and a difficult one for commercial media to fulfill.

Its foreign language news sites saw a 600 percent increase in the average number of visitors per month since 2009. With some 14.9 million visits per month, Yonhap is continually expanding its global territory. The English newsletter "Yonhap Weekly Newsletter" is sent to 83 news agencies in 70 countries.

Helping reunification with North Korea news

Yonhap News contributes to the peaceful coexistence of the two Koreas and leads the coming reunification era by reporting quickly and accurately on North Korea. It operates a team exclusively handling North Korea news in order to supply detailed news on the communist nation at home and abroad. The team monitors about a dozen North Korean news outlets, including the Korean Central News Agency and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, and produces stories based on their reports. Yonhap also monitors North Korea's news agencies and TV and radio stations 24 hours a day and carefully analyzes the material. In cooperation with state research agencies specializing in North Korea and unification affairs, it also operates a North Korea portal that serves as a search engine for North Korea-related news. By doing so, it seeks to benefit the public with the large amount of North Korea-related material that has accumulated since Yonhap's takeover of the Naewoe News Agency in 1998.

Yonhap News, in partnership with the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, invites prominent North Korea scholars from home and abroad and hosts an international symposium on Korean reunification every year.

Helping national and social unity with news on overseas Koreans, multicultural society

Yonhap News is at the forefront of efforts to unite the Korean people as it gathers news on overseas Koreans and builds relevant networks. By writing stories on the multicultural aspect of Korean society, it helps promote the rights of multicultural families and create social harmony.

Yonhap News is the only media company in South Korea to have a department exclusively handling news related to overseas Koreans and multicultural families. The company runs a site, www.koreancenter.co.kr, which serves as a channel between the 7 million Koreans overseas and their home country. Through the site, the agency provides news related to overseas Koreans and multicultural families to more than 130 relevant news outlets. Yonhap also hosts international events together with various groups of overseas Koreans, including the World Federation of Overseas Korean Traders Associations (World-OKTA), which has more than 6,600 members under its 137 chapters in 70 nations and some 16,500 next-generation members.

Covering islands, mountains and border areas

Yonhap News strives to reduce information disparity between the capital and other regions by placing more than 140 journalists in the provinces, the largest number among South Korean news companies. The idea is to inform the entire nation of key issues across the country without exception. In order to do this, Yonhap has resident journalists and correspondents on islands and in mountainous and border areas where it is difficult for other journalists to reach. The agency is considering placing additional correspondents in places such as the border island of Yeonpyeong, the islands of Woodo, Chujado and Biyangdo in Jeju, and other unique areas.

Yonhap News will also work closely with local governments and local news companies to ensure the information that is concentrated in the capital area is delivered to the regions that need it and that communication remains smooth between the areas.

Yonhap will also work with key government agencies such as the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to ensure watertight coverage of disasters.

Using Open API to build win-win ties with minor media

Yonhap News is strengthening its cooperation with local newspapers and newspapers for overseas Koreans and other minor media companies and supporting their financial independence. Firstly, it uses Open API to help raise the ICT levels of minor and local media firms. Open API is a standardized public news database that enables the exchange and production of news content. About 50 companies are currently taking part in the Open API project and using it to produce news content. Some 14 million news items have been distributed through this system.

Yonhap News has opened its news content database to local newspapers and sells photos on their behalf. It posts local newspaper stories on its website and broadcasts them on Yonhap TV.

Also, Yonhap News has a media lab that serves as a research center for blending content. The lab shares the results of its research on the media industry with Yonhap's client companies in all regions.

2015 07. Host news agency for the 2015 Gwangju Universiade
11. Host of 39th Executive Board Meeting of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies