Posted by: Juweon | March 17, 2009

Where are you NETIZENS…

Here are some media files that I was able to get my hands on.  Some are files that I have just been able to get from interviews that I did during the first week of this process, others are recent articles that came out.


SBS – “좋은 아침 +1” (Good Morning +1)
This is a short interview featuring myself and my local rival, Gina Maeng.  The entire clip is in Korean… so… yeah, get yourself a translator if you need it.  😉

RADIO: click on the names of the show to listen.  both of them are in English.

EBS – “EBS Morning Special” – One of the most popular morning programs on the network with a huge nationwide following. The interview is conducted by Ahn Jung-hyun and Rich Scott-Ashe (the guy who also wrote THIS ARTICLE) and both Gina and myself are in the studio, along with a TQ Korea representative.  The interview is 95% in English.

TBS eFM – “On the Pulse with Robert Joe” – this is a late night music program for the BRAND SPANKING NEW English radio station here in Seoul, basically, the rival to the station I work at, but Robert and I are close friends and we are both UT LONGHORNS!!  Hook’em!!!


The San Antonio Express News – My hometown paper coming through.

Here’s an electronic copy because the jpg file will bring vertigo-like symptoms if you try to read it.

The San Antonio Express News - Bringing you the Best of SA!

The San Antonio Express News - Bringing you the Best of SA!

I must admit, taking a look at some of my fellow finalists’ list of media exposure, the interviews that Gina and I did probably make up about a quarter of what some finalists did by themselves.  I guess that’s one of the pitfalls of being a candidate in a country where the main language isn’t English.

Honestly, this whole story is not BIG news for the Korean people.  The only reason it got so big on the internet portals was because the media got a hold of the fact that Gina was related to Kim Bum, an up and coming actor on a very popular show here.

With that said, even though that initially got us some press, the focus was not on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, or the Job; it was solely focused on Gina’s cousin, the new hot actor.  Thus, even after giving a 40 minute interview talking about how I want to carry out my job, what environmental issues are facing the region and how I want to contribute back to the communities that I grew up in through this opportunity, the TV crew for the SBS show showed me talking about what my reaction was when I first found out that I made the top 50 and thanking the Korean public for their support.  The interview literally could’ve been done in 5 minutes.

So in conclusion, I think there are three main factors that hindered my chances of getting the support of the Korean Netizens, who could’ve easily helped me overtake Claire if they wanted to.  The Korean Netizens can be scary strong, like the zombies in “Resident Evil.”  They come at a steady pace and in droves.  They can bombard a server like nobody’s business, but guess not this time.  (I don’t want any hate mail from Koreans saying that I called you zombies.  It was a FIGURE of SPEECH)   Anyways, the reasons…

1.  Koreans speak this language called “Korean,” not English.  The email voting page was never translated into Korean, thus the Korean public never got the proper instructions unless we painstakingly spelled it out for them and on top of that, the confirmation emails from TQ got automatically filtered to the SPAM folder in the majority of the Korean email servers.  Oh yeah, even the date “countdown” was translated wrong so instead of counting down the days till the 24th of March, to the Korean visitor, the final day of voting kept moving backwards in time.  Example:  “voting ends on the 20th, no the 19th, no 18th, wait just kidding, the 17th of March now and so on and so forth.”  On top of that, many didn’t know they could vote more than once.  Oh the small intricacies of translations… no wonder the UN has no REAL power… too many languages.

Kim Bum... why do you have to be so famous?!?!

Kim Bum... why do you have to be so famous?!?!

2.  The whole “Gina’s Cousin is a famous actor” story ended up hurting both Gina’s and my chances to clearly state our positions and to show our personality and potential as a possible “island caretaker” to the Korean media.  Once the initial “WAVE” of media attention ended, we no longer had the “entertainment/star news” and the media wasn’t interested in pursuing the REAL story anymore.  Very unfortunate.

3.  The indifference of the Korean public.  The country is suffering one of the worst economic downturns since the Asian financial crisis 10 years ago.  Nobody really cares if a guy with a decent job wants to move onto a better job because THEY are busy trying not to get laid off at their jobs.  And I can’t really invoke that whole Patriotism argument to garner votes because there are some Koreans who think I’m a “fake” Korean because I have a US citizenship and I didn’t serve the mandatory 2-year military service that all Korean men have to serve.  (why does the world always try to label us, categorize us, and shove us into a box?)

Luckily for me, I have some really loyal supporters both at EBS and at Arirang and I also have some amazing friends who are pumping me up to the local media back in Texas, thus I was able to get some face time on the local TV network, KSAT12, the Express News, and even my old college newspaper.  I honestly believe that at least 60 – 70% of my votes are coming from the States.

Amid all these frustrations, I have to remind myself that there is no second place in the wildcard voting anyways.  BBUUUTTT… that doesn’t mean that I don’t want your votes.

Throw a hungry dog a bone will ya?

Picture Courtesy of

Picture Courtesy of



  1. With the competition really heating up why not pop over to

    Not The Island Reef Job is a forum for the people about the people.

    The site was created when I didn’t make it into the next round and decided I wanted to help out anyway.

    I don’t have your picture up or the link to your voting page as I didn’t want to cross any privacy boundaries, but if you send me an email giving me permission I will do so and we can get the world talking about you and all the things regarding the island reef job.

    On the site you will find a page dedicated to you.

    The forum isn’t officially open yet but people are already finding the site and making comments.
    Remember every vote counts and to be part of a community that will give you positive feedback on your work, well it can only be win win.

    Good luck and send me an email at


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