Korean media has come a long way since bursting out of the dictatorial straitjacket of the 1970s and 1980s, but most of it remains inaccessible to anyone not versed in Korean.
Newspapers and magazines
The two big English-language newspapers are the Korea Times (wwww.koreatimes.co.kr) and Korea Herald (wwww.koreaherald.co.kr), near-identical dailies with near-identical addictions to news agency output and dull business statistics. This said, both have decent listings sections in their weekend editions, which detail events around the country, as well as the goings-on in Seoul’s restaurant, film and club scenes. The International Herald Tribune is pretty easy to track down in top hotels, with copies containing the eight-page Joongang Daily (wjoongangdaily.joins.com), an interesting local news supplement. You should also be able to hunt down the previous week’s Time, Newsweek or Economist in most Korean cities – try the larger bookstores, or the book section of a large department store. An interesting source of information is Ohmy News (winternational.ohmynews.com), a large online compendium of articles written by members of the public that has long been a quirky bee in the bonnet of local politicians and “proper” journalists.
Korean television is a gaudy feast of madcap game shows and soppy period dramas, and there are few more accessible windows into the true nature of local society. Arirang (wwww.arirang.co.kr) is a 24-hour English-language television network based in Seoul, which promotes the country with occasionally interesting documentaries, and has regular news bulletins. Arirang TV is free-to-air throughout much of the world, and though not free in Korea itself, it comes as part of most cable packages.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
Planning your trip to South Korea
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
South Korea features
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
10 top places to eat Korean food
Korean cuisine is world-famous – and with good reason. It's this wonderful food that keeps dragging our author Martin Zatko back to Korea. Here he rounds…
Rediscovering South Korea: why the time to go is now
It’s a beautiful, culturally and economically wealthy country with much to see and explore – but South Korea is often viewed as off-limits thanks to its ira…
Video: the 1 minute guide to South Korea
Though it may appear deceivingly small compared to some of its gargantuan Asian neighbours, South Korea is packed full of unforgettable things to do. While …