[HT to Korea Beat.]
Why is it that one of Korea’s oldest, most sober, and ostensibly serious journalistic outlet is always publishing pictures of underage girls in their school uniforms, or pictures of foreigners in their bikinis at the beach?
[Source: Chosun Ilbo]
In case you were wondering, if you look at some other pictures, there WERE boys there, too. Except the editors chose to put in a shot of this girl THREE times, I guess because you could see her belly button.
At the same time, last summer, a group of South Asian men were arrested for apparently doing the same on a beach on the east coast (although they were also reported to have “groped” some women, but that wasn’t confirmed as fact in the article). This was called “sexual harrassment” with cameras, however, and set a dangerous precedent, in this author’s opinion.
But why is it that when the Chosun Ilbo continues to publish upskirt shots of underage girls, or graduation celebrations that show their bodies through wet (and hence transparent) white uniform blouses, or foreigners in bikinis without mosaicing or other efforts to preserve anonymity, this is OK? If you are a Chosun Ilbo photographer, you can publish bikini shots and upskirt photos of teenage girls, but if you’re a brown foreigner, it’s “sexual harrassment?”
This doesn’t make sense. And legalities aside, is this really journalism? Or a bunch of old men sitting around, making excuses to dispatch staff photogaphers with telephoto lenses to snap pictures of underage teenagers? This adds to the media enviroment that legitimizes the sexualization of underage girls, and the sexual objectification of women in general. One should expect better from one of the nation’s oldest newspapers. If I want to see skin, I should go buy a magazine that shows such things. I don’t know how Koreans feel, but as an American, I’d be very ashamed if The New York Times photo and multimedia sections wasted time recording teenage girls at graduation spraying one another with water, or had staff photographers with 300mm telephoto lenses taking upskirt shots of underage girls.
[Source: Chosun Ilbo]
Is this national news? I can understand perhaps one shot of a legitimate story on the problem of girls violating uniform standards that showed how they were sneaking about and doing it. But if you look at the gallery linked above, there are more than 10 shots of the girls in the “changing area”, some of which nearly reveal underwear. Do we need this to get the point? No. As a heterosexual reader, might I be curious about such compromising shots? Sure. But they have no place in a serious, national newspaper. And the sheer number of shots in the photo section of that newspaper that day outnumbered those of real political demonstrations, real news happen domestically and around the world.
Can the Chosun Ilbo really even call itself a completely professional newspaper with this kind of pornographic and pedophilic photo coverage?