Online news media in South Korea and Japan

Online and citizen-journalism seems to have succeeded in South Korea, but not in Japan.

Japan, with its cultural disdain for those who stick out from the crowd, may be inhospitable terrain for the reader-turned-reporter model, Mr. Takeuchi said.

[A]nother reason for Japan’s resistance to alternative sites is the relative absence of social and political divisions. In politically polarized South Korea, OhmyNews thrived by appealing to young, liberal readers.

“It is only when the society sees itself as having conflicting interests that it will seek out new viewpoints and information,” said Toshinao Sasaki, the author of about two dozen books on the Internet in Japan.

Media experts say Japan has yet to see such critical questioning of its establishment press. They say most Japanese remain at least passively accepting of the nation’s big newspapers and television networks.

On top of the cultural and political differences between these two neighbours, does this also have to do with demographics?

This is South Korea’s population profile.


And this is Japan’s.


South Korea is aging fast, but it still boasts a median age that’s almost 7 years younger than Japan.  A younger, politically divided, and more restless cultural undercurrent seems to be driving this battle.

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