Saturday, January 05, 2008

Random Notes - Vol 3, No. 1

  • There was a potentially interesting story a couple of days ago in the Korea Herald about President-Elect Lee Myung-bak's transition plans, in particular about PE Lee thinking about getting rid of Korea's numerous press regulations. Which would be quite welcomed, at least by me. The Korean government's endless meddling in media (and so much else) is always annoying.

    Not controlling the press. Allowing universities to set their own admissions policies. If PE Lee really going to pull the government back and reduce its clumsy, authoritarian tendencies, I think it would be very good for Korea.

  • My story on AFN getting kicked off of cable here in Korea has finally been published at The Hollywood Reporter. I am not exactly happy about the headline, but the story itself was fun to write (especially tracking down John Lee, AFKN engineer 1958-64).

    As my story says, AFN is being taken off the local cable systems solely because of copyright concerns (unlike a lot of the more conspiratorial and even bizarre theories I have seen floating around). While the American networks are not exactly happy about anyone with an antenna being able to see their programs, what really pissed them off was the cable companies adding AFN to their selection of programming -- in effect, getting paid for an unauthorized retransmission.

    Actually, it is quite unusual for AFN to be available on free-to-air TV, in the heart of a bustling metropolis. Most US Military bases are not in such heavily populated areas. Certainly AFKN was not in that sort of situation when the channel went on the air in 1957.

    With a large military and military-related population to serve in Korea (and in particular, a large population that would need evacuating in the event of war), free-to-air AFKN was the most efficient way to make emergency announcements (at least in the pre-Internet era).

    Anyhow, the pics AFN sent me did not make the online version of the story, so here are a couple for you.

  • HANSEL & GRETEL review to come tomorrow.
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