The Yeungnam Observer, the monthly English publication of Yeungnam University, proudly brings to you its 300th edition. We would like to reflect back on The Observer� 40 years of history as well as address our future and ultimate goals.
Yeungnam University Media has performed the roles of communicating news, circulating information, expressing opinions on issues, and other matters arising on campus. There are three media outlets on campus: The Yeungdaeshinmun, The Yeungnam Observer, and the University Broadcasting System.
The Yeungnam Observer began publishing a four-page tabloid English monthly in 1969. The format was changed from a tabloid layout to a magazine in 1994. It was originally named The Yeungnam Chronicle, but in 1982 the monthly was renamed The Yeungnam Observer. YNO has a circulation of 5,000 copies eight times a year. The magazine is written, designed, and edited by students under the supervision of faculty members.
YNO not only distributes the magazine to YU students, but also to professors, staff and alumni, as well as many other domestic and foreign universit
The Yeungnam Chronicle
in the 1970s
The Yeungnam Chronicle was the monthly English publication of Yeungnam University. Pioneered by four students, the paper made its first appearance in October 1969 as a sister paper Yeungnamdaehakshinmun. The Chronicle was positively endorsed by the University and subsequently approved by the Ministry of Education. At its height the publication had a monthly circulation of 11,000 copies. It was easily the university's largest publication.
The Chronicle was highly regarded and enhanced the reputation of the university. Before long the original staff of four reporters increased by three times. The Chronicle moved into the biggest editorial room in the Student Center, and was given an independent budget. The small tabloid paper was able to change to standard form. At that time it seemed that the paper's reputation was enhanced on a monthly basis. YNO interviewed Tae-Woo Kim, one of the original reporters at The Chronicle, and asked him about those times. He said, "Before The Yeungnam Chronicle, there was an English news section in Yeungnamdaehakshinmun. The staff of the English news department and the editorial staff of Yeungnamdaehakshinmun had philosophical differences about the role of the English news section of the paper. However, the English news department didn't have any independent control, they were under the direction of Yeungnamdaehakshinmun. After I arrived, I negotiated with the president to be independent. At the end of those negotiations, we were able to establish The Yeungnam Chronicle, which is now The Yeungnam Observer. The Chronicle developed from there and we were able to separate ourselves from Yeungnamdaehakshinmun. After that, people called me the 1st reporter of The Chronicle."
In the editorial to celebrate fifth anniversary of The Chronicle, October 25, 1974 Editorial "A Defense of 'The Chronicle'" says, "The Chronicle was at first envisioned to be a complement to Yeungdae Shinmun, offering wider language diversity and news delivery. In that time the Chronicle maintained its editorial independence, serving neither as a mouthpiece for the University administration nor as a vehicle for muckraking, on campus or in the community."
At that time, The Chronicle announced campus news in detail. The first page of the paper was dedicated to reporting all the important news on campus. (No. 31, 1973)
The Yeungnam Observer
in the 1980s
In 1980, undergraduate students in Korea were at the forefront of a movement to bring together political power and issues that concerned society. University press also influenced local communities a great deal. University media became a powerful voice of the student body, and the government attempted to suppress it. From November 6, 1979 to April in 1980, a captain from the army inspected our articles before allowing them to be published.
This situation was reflective of media censorship throughout the country at that time. The Yeungnam Chronicle was forced to cease publication in 1980. Moo-Han Kim, Editor-in-Chief at that time, said most mass media were severely suppressed and had to cease publication. After The Chronicle was discontinued, there was a connected effort to reestablish it. After a two year hiatus, the paper was reestablished with the new name "The Yeungnam Observer" in June 1982. Dong-Sun Lee, Editor-in-Chief in 1982, was also there during the crisis. He said that every effort had been taken to petition the president and the directing professor to revive the publication. One year passed, and The Observer was reinstated as the political situation became more stable.
The slogan "To bring the world to the campus and the campus to the world" was made at that time. Moo-Han Kim said that they needed a fresh perspective for the restart of The Yeungnam Observer. The first Editorial Advisor, Prof. Kook Chung, and the Observer staff decided on the slogan. This motto has been the guiding principle of YNO ever since.
At that time, the undergraduate press was still being suppressed. Unlike local media, the university press didn't ignore reality. The student press was against the military dictatorship of President Doo-Hwan Chung, and acted with other university reporters to share information that was difficult to find separately. At that time, professors inspected every article to make sure stories that were considered "left wing" were not published. On one occasion National Intelligence Service staff members monitored an interview between YNO and Sung-Hwan Yoo, Mayor of Daegu city. YNO asked the Mayor whether or not he would pass legislation preventing undergraduate students from demonstrating.
The Yeungnam Observer experienced a renaissance in the 1980's. YNO's achievements and quality were recognized over all other university publications at the third National English Newspaper Contest in 1987.
The Korea Herald commented, "As for the case of last year, members of the screening panel stressed the importance of boosting and encouraging campus newspapers published in local provinces, and chose The Yeungnam Observer as the winner of the Encouragement Award. Despite the various disadvantages it has had to suffer solely because of its being located in a local province, The Yeungnam Observer has successfully exhibited talent and wisdom in all fields of competition in the contest, that is, in editing, planning and reporting."
The Yeungnam Observer in the 1990s
Major stories of the 90s
In the beginning of the 90's there were still many mass demonstrations after a democratic revolution that took place in June 1987. The demonstrations were getting larger, and the efforts of the government to prevent these demonstration were becoming more forceful. The principal proponent of these demonstration was university students.
In the mid-1990s, Korea was faced with severe economic difficulties. Young people had difficulties in getting jobs.
The evolution of The Yeungnam Observer
Originally, The Yeungnam Observer was published in tabloid. It was changed to a magazine in September, 1994. The new look enhanced the readers experience and the image of the magazine. This change had an immediate impact on how the publication was viewed by the public.
The point of view of The Yeungnam Observer at that time
YNO didn't mince words, and was not afraid to criticize the immature democracy.
YNO boldly stated that Korea's immature democracy was a "crippled democracy."
YNO organized a petition campaign for the release for a UBS (University Broadcasting System) editor who was arrested while demonstrating.
"The Observer wants your signature and seal to release him as soon as possible if not earlier." This is only one example of YNO's support of political demonstration.
YNO has had critical views of YU. In the 1990's, there were several articles that criticized YU policies.
€ YNO criticized inefficiency at YU.
"For whom are the offices and the officers in the university? There is no room to know clearly that they work for students, for professors or for the school." (No. 179, 1992)
� YNO criticized YU for prohibiting freedom of the press and worried about the students who were not concerned whether YNO was published or not.
"Freedom of the press is very difficult to maintain. But, it is necessary for university students to fight for this freedom." (No. 235, 1999)
The Yeungnam Observer in the New Millenium
The big stories of the new Millenium
The Internet and communications technology developed rapidly. We are now able to get information from every country, and the trend of globalization gained more and more momentum. Another big issue was the world financial crisis. After the crisis in 1997, university students encountered difficulties finding jobs.
Concerns about the university press and university students
In the 1980s, university students were a driving force for social change. Students from that time were interested in politics, economics and other social issues. However, students today are not as interested in social problems. We can't ignore the fact that university students are only concerned about finding a job. Even with these concerns we should pay attention to social problems.
Globalization of YU and The Yeungnam Observer
YU has made a great effort to become a global institution. YNO also works toward YU's globalization. YNO encourages communication between foreign students and Korean students thorough special features such as the Date section. Also, YNO sponsors contests. For example, the English Essay Contest and the English Speech Contest. Though these events students get more interested in English. In August 2003, YU totally reformed English language programs to become a truly global university. YNO has written articles about these reforms. YNO advised that YU should consider more and more changes to improve language programs.
The 1st English Performance Contest
YNO sponsored YU's the first English Performance Contest. The performance contest was created because students were losing interest in the English Speech Contest which had been put on 22 times previously. The contest consists of various games and different genres of plays, musicals, and speeches.
The 1st English Essay Contest
The English Performance Contest was discontinued due to administrative difficulties. After the English Performance Contest ceased to exist, the English Essay Contest was created. The contest ran smoothly well even though it was the first contest.
Special issue on globalization was published in No.294, 2007
The cover story, ''What's your Globalization IQ?'' of the 294th issue was an introductory story addressing how students felt about globalization and what we have to do to become internationally competent people.
YU has committed itself to educate students who have a global point of view. The Yeungnam Observer has also tried to help YU students along the global path.
€ YNO recognized the difficulties of the university students' employment as a serious problem.
"Employment for university graduates has become a serious social problem." (No. 267, 2003)
� YNO also said "If you get a job related to your major, you're lucky" (No. 251, 2001)
� "But we doubt that the CIP, which consists of an international cooperation and international education team, is performing very well in the global market"
(No. 266, 2003)
As you can see The Yeungnam Observer has changed many times in its history. From tabloid to magazine, extending our reach to the Internet. The Yeungnam Observer is a part of the history of Yeungnam University, and in small part of the history of Korea. We are fortunate that we can look into the past and look forward to the future of The Yeungnam Observer. We want to keep on eye on the future, and we want The Yeungnam Observer to become even more active. In addition, as YU builds its reputation, YNO also wants to stay at the cutting edge of university press.