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South Korea is a mountainous peninsula which takes about 70% of the country’s total area. The mountains and rivers that flow from adjacent valleys form a close-packed network that can be clearly seen from space. From ancient times, Korean culture and human communication patterns have been formed. Due to its close-packed network, more than half of the population in Korea live close to the capital city, Seoul. The dense population in the country helps to accelerate the development of fibre to the home (FTTH). Other than that, the concentration of population assists to shape one of the leading society on social communication in the world.
From 2000 to 2002, it was the three years of the development of the Korean mass social media industry. During these three years, South Korea had overcome the aftermath of the financial crisis. Newspapers, periodicals, radio, television and news media have developed to various degrees. The most important indication is that the rise of the Internet and the digitalisation of radio and television broadcasting as well as the era of digital satellite TV was coming. In these three years, the social media in Korea has also experienced fierce disputes and conflicts. It was because of the revolution of news. The public was demanding increasing pressure on media reform. However, people gives different opinions on reforming of social media in the society. Some believe that reform will generate unrestricted free competition and will overcome the economic crisis. On the other hand, others require the media to structure all important events have caused, including widely spread controversies and even conflicts. The role of the community in the media has clearly differentiated. However, an inspiring phenomenon is the increasing contact between North Korean and South Korean journalists.
At the time when the new millennium arrived, the Internet became particularly popular in South Korea. The period around the year of 1998, South Korean public’s evaluation of news media wasn’t so well. By 2000, due to the high exposure of internet, the public’s positive evaluation of the news media tends to rise, turns out to ‘very satisfactory’. For instance, the Oh, My News website, which was launched in February 2000, was greatly welcomed by the public because of its unique way of news reporting. Most of the content it reports is the kind of events that the traditional media ignores and the public cares about. Obviously, people love to urge about the truth of everything, and they would like to what things are actually happening around them. Not only that, financial news websites were also popular. For example, in January and March 2000, the financial websites such as Today’s Money Market and Electronic Daily were launched. Because of the strong stock market and high level of interest, readers of financial websites had grown rapidly around that time period. On one side that the online news was reported quickly. On the other side that the accuracy was not that ideal and caused the decreasing of trust from the public. Therefore, the acceptance and the positive evaluation was not stable. This lead to a serious down for the social media, then it was difficult to carry on more development in these areas. After that, in order to face these problems and recover the social media market, the traditional journalism quickly reacted and chose to join forces with the Internet. They wanted to join together in order to reunion the market back. For example, Jingxiang News agreed to share information and data with Today’s Money City, Korean Medicine, Video Game and other websites. East Asia Daily has established partnerships with sports and legal services from the public. During that time, the North Korean Daily already had over 30 Internet outputs and had invested in more than 20 Internet businesses. That was a big differentiation of social media development between North Korea and South Korea as North Korea already had a significant achievement but South Korea was at the start and still trying to figure it out. What we can see is that, South Korea was starting to develop.
Due to globalisation and the wave of informatisation (refers to the extent by which a geographical area or a society is becoming information-based), people start to get in touch to the whole world and languages from different countries are passing through across the world. It is an undisputed face that English had become the world’s most common language. More and more people around the world are using English. Doesn’t matter whether you like English or not, you still have to learn about English if you wish to integrate in the trend of globalisation. In many areas such as science, medicine, business and politics, they all require English to carry out effective and efficient international communication.
In South Korea, English as a major subject in school gives more opportunity for Koreans to learn English from a very young age. However, according to Lisa, the learning of English in Korea doesn’t focus on conversational skills but more on grammatical skills. Their learning style is based on memorisation and repetition. However, their exposure to English is at a high level. According to EF Education First, a Swiss-based education association that the average time of learning English from kindergarten to university is about 20,000 hours in Korea. Moreover, Statistics Korea reports that one student will cost nearly 3000 USD for private learning each year. What can be seen is that the impact of globalisation is giving pressure on learning English in Korea.
Due to the high maturity of the market, the Korean mobile market has grown slowly over the past few years. However, with the organic growth of the three major mobile operators and the emergence of many mobile virtual network operators (MVNOS), the mobile communication industry is expected to show further growth in the future coming years.
South Korea’s performance in fixed and mobile broadband networks is better than many OECD countries, with fiber (74%), fixed networks and developed mobile broadband penetration rates very high.
Between 2015 and 2016, broadband prices in South Korea gradually declined, and data usage by mobile broadband users increased by 46%. With the deployment of 5G in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, South Korea is also expected to lead the development of 5G.
Undoubtedly, South Korea’s mobile phone and computer use share is the highest in the world. This is reflected in the attitude of Koreans to news consumption. In South Korea, mobile devices are the primary means of getting news, and most Koreans use more mobile phones than personal computers.
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