By Julie Jackson
April 23, 2012
Journalist Andrew Salmon hosts the new economics and business news program “Bizline” for Arirang TV.
If you want to be global, you have to have global faces, according to Andrew Salmon, a longtime Seoul correspondent and freelance reporter and now one of two non-Korean hosts on Arirang TV ― Korea’s English-language international broadcaster.
Salmon came to Korea from London in 1998 to study hapkido, but later found himself not wanting to leave country. He began finding ways to stay, including working for the British Council and teaching English at Ewha Womans University before eventually entering the field of freelance reporting.
TV host Scott Thompson poses on the “After 10” news program set at Arirang TV. (Arirang TV)
After working as a freelancer in Korea for the past decade, the reporter and author is now hosting his own business news program on Arirang TV. Despite the broadcast station being an English-based medium, the network’s on-camera hosts have been English-speaking, but Korean faces.
“If you look at the benchmark of English-language TV networks (BBC, Aljazeera and CNN), if you look at their coverage, they have a very multicultural range of presenters,” he said. “This is a good lead to follow.”
Salmon is currently the host of “Bizline,” a weekly news program that is now in its sixth week. Although it is still in its infancy, the host considers the program to be a stepping stone for Arirang TV to move into more serious journalism. “Bizline” covers a wide range of news topics including local businesses, the state of Korea’s economy as well as political segments on North Korea.
“These are the big stories,” he explained. And as for the political tensions between the South and North Koreas, “This is the last big story in the world.”
American journalist Scott Thompson came to Korea in 2007 to teach English after hearing stories from his friends about teaching here.
After making his rounds as an English teacher and in various English media outlets across Seoul, Thompson is now the host of Arirang TV’s news program “After 10,” which focuses on political and social issues.
“It is an unusual thing, not just for Arirang, but for Korea to have a non-Korean hosting a show like this,” he said. “The questions that I ask will not be from the same perspectives as it would from the Korean media. The fact that I am not Korean and that most of the guests are Korean, I think it gives them a different interview experience.”
Thompson expressed his desires to inform the global viewers of his show about the important political news and current affairs issues in Korea by interviewing local experts and officials.
“The things that this country has been able to accomplish in the past 20, 30 years are astonishing,” said Thompson. “Seoul is such a dynamic city; it has such a personality and the longer I live here, the more I start to see that personality.”
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)