South Korean Cinema and the Korean Wave

In recent years, South Korean culture has become a critical and commercial success. Its appeal has spread worldwide, notably the immense popularity of K-pop. When most people think of Korean pop culture, they think of Psy, the singer behind the world-wide smash ‘Gangnam Style’. However, South Korea has much more to offer us.

South Korean cinema is becoming increasingly popular in neighbouring Asian countries, and is also proving successful in international film festivals. South Korean cinema has become a major export and as a result, has become the seventh largest film market in the world. The films often contain dark elements regarding the problems people face in modern-day South Korean society, including family issues and love. These themes have proven popular with audiences around the world, and have led to several South Korean films earning a cult following. One of South Korea’s most prolific films is Old Boy, a bloody revenge movie starring Choi Min‑sik.

South Korea, historically speaking, has been more concerned about fending off cultural domination by China and Japan, than in spreading its own culture abroad. However, South Korea has nonetheless emerged as Asia’s pop culture leader (Ryoo 2009). South Korean cinema is important in reforming the identity of East Asia.

Kim 2010 argues “South Korean media is an outgrowth of South Korea’s struggle for cultural continuity against the threat of global cultural domination”. This marks back to the division of Korea into two separate states, and the close ties South Korea has had historically with Japan and the United States. South Korea attempts to secure its own culture within the entertainment industry, and break away from the cultural domination of other countries in Asia and the West. This leads to South Korean cinema being enjoyed in countries outside Korea and South Korean culture being more accessible throughout the world today.

Old Boy – A hugely successful Korean film known for its dark themes and extreme violence.


Kim, H, 2010. South Korean Cinema and Hybridity of East Asian Identity: A study of South Korean cinema’s place in (re)construction of East Asian identity. CreateSpace.

Ryoo, W, 2009. Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication, [Online]. 19, 137-151. Available at: [Accessed 22 August 2016].


War and Peace Journalism

Peace Journalism is defined “when editors and reporters make choices – about what to report, and how to report it – that create opportunities for society at large to consider and to value non-violent responses to conflict.” (Lynch & McGoldrick 2005).

Johan Galtung originated the concept of Peace Journalism and has published over 165 books on peace and non-violence since 1953. Galtung 2014 states that Peace Journalism aims to enter the world of conflict to find how it can be solved peacefully with nonviolence, open dialogues and empathy. Peace Journalism offers a more comprehensive assessment of conflict than often expressed in the mainstream media.

Peace Journalism is an alternative to War Journalism, which Jayakumar 2014 argues “concerns itself only with the visible or tangible effects of violence, making the conflict opaque. The focus is on an ‘us-and-them’ rhetoric while seeing the enemy ‘them’ as the problem and dehumanising them.” Peace Journalism doesn’t use winner-loser rhetoric, but instead explores the context and background from which conflict arises.

In an article written for The Guardian, Mark 2014 reports on Nigeria’s main religious groups joining together in order to react to militancy and terror. The article doesn’t delve into the specifics of the two religions, but instead recognises that people suffered and seeks out solution. He writes “the youths…were not out for blood; they went hoping to prevent more being spilled”. The article is an example of Peace Journalism as it seeks out knowledge and an understanding of what has happened and why. Peace Journalism looks at the source of conflict in an attempt to address it carefully.

Source: Stefan Gustafsson


Jayakumar, K. (2014). Peace Journalism and Boko Haram. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 August 2016].

Lynch, J. and McGoldrick, A. (2005). Peace Journalism. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Hawthorn Press.

Mark, M. (2014). Faiths unite against terror in Nigeria’s beleaguered city of Jos. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 August 2016].

TranscendMedia. (2014). Prof Johan Galtung Peace Journalism is a Nutshell HQ. [online video]. 26 October 2014. Available from: [Accessed: 12 August 2016].