Yonhap News Agency plays a central role in the Korean press by delivering news and information to its customers in various parts of the world, as well as to newspapers, broadcasting firms, government agencies, business organizations and Internet portals on a real-time basis.
Yonhap's news service provides some 3,000 multimedia news items each day covering politics, the economy, society, culture, entertainment, sports, science, and other topics, helping readers access news from the global village.
Yonhap has 550 journalists and photographers posted at the Seoul head office, regional offices and overseas bureaus, comprising the largest news-gathering network in Korea. Under a 2003 law passed by the South Korean parliament, Yonhap has been charged with promoting the country's image and distributing information -- a task deemed critical to addressing the domination of information by major Western news media.
Yonhap dispatches news and information to international media organizations in foreign languages to help the international community access clear and accurate information on the Korean Peninsula. Yonhap's foreign-language news service is distributed in English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish and French. Launched in 1981 with the merger of several commercial news agencies, Yonhap keeps its customers abreast of the latest news and information by sending out fast, reliable reports. In 1988, Yonhap became the first of the Korean press to establish an electronic system for writing and releasing news articles to its clients.
With state-of-the-art equipment and a superior workforce, Yonhap successfully undertook its role as the key news agency for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 2000 Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Seoul, the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup and the 2005 summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
PROVIDING NEWS TO 73 FOREIGN NEWS AGENCIES
Yonhap currently has 45 correspondents in Washington, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing and 28 other major cities around the world, and employs 16 local correspondents in 16 other cities to cover stories not only on Korean affairs, but also other international issues from the Korean perspective.
Other cities currently covered by Yonhap correspondents include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Mexico City, San Paolo, Santiago, Vladivostok,London, Berlin, Geneva, Brussels, Almaty, Budapest, Osaka, Shanghai, Shenyang, Hong Kong, Taipei, New Delhi, Bangkok, Hanoi, Dubai, Amman, Dakar, Cairo, Johannesburg and Sydney.
The 15 cities where local stringers report for Yonhap are Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Helsinki, Jerusalem, Roma, Tokyo, Jakarta, Singapore, Teheran, Nairobi and Oakland. Yonhap maintains contracts for the exchange of news services with over 70 global news agencies, including such major news companies as the Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, Agence France-Presse, China's Xinhua News Agency, Japan's Kyodo News Agency, Deutsche Presse Agentur of Germany, Itar-Tass of Russia and Press Trust of India.
Yonhap also provides North Korean news under a contract to exchange news services with the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) of North Korea, signed in December 2002.
WINDOW TO KOREA
Yonhap is a channel for foreign readers to get real-time information and news on Korea in English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic and French. The multi-language news service is very meaningful as the country is on the verge of becoming an advanced nation.
Yonhap's English-language news service reaches over 70 news agencies worldwide. In addition, international organizations, 160 government overseas missions and Internet users access the service via Yonhap's Web site.
Of all the local dailies and broadcasters based in Seoul, Yonhap boasts the largest number of reporters covering provinces.
LAGEST PROVINCIAL COVERAGE NETWORK
Over 120 reporters posted in 13 major provincial cities write articles that help narrow the information divide between Seoul and provincial cities, balancing regional development and promoting unity.