Oh Yeon Ho
"OhmyNews is a kind of public square in which the reform-minded generation meet and talk with each other and find confidence. The message they find here: we are not alone. We can change this society."
On Feb. 22, 2006, OhMyNews announced an $11-million investment from SoftBank to take citizen journalism global.
Below excerpted from "Is This the Future of Journalism?" by Christopher M. Schroeder (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5240584/site/newsweek/):
Oh Yeon Ho is a lean, intense journalist who came of age during turbulent political unrest in Korea in the mid-'80s--and a media environment in which old-line and often conservative newspapers dominated the national scene. For a decade, Oh worked as a conventional magazine journalist, but in early 2000 he launched his own news site--just before the bursting of the Internet bubble. But unlike many startups, Oh's OhmyNews.com not only survived but thrived, based on the simple notion that "every citizen is a reporter." And now Oh's Internet creation has attracted the attention of media giants around the world who wonder: is this Korean start-up the future of journalism?
The initial premise is conventional: OhmyNews employs 25 trained reporters who cover the major news stories of the day. But the twist comes with another 10 editors who review and post as many as 200 articles written daily by nearly 33,000 "citizen journalists"--anyone who registers can submit a 750-word piece in exchange for a few dollars per story. If the article makes the "Top News" section, the payout is about $11.
Oh began his career as a reporter for the Korean monthly magazine Mahl, eventually becoming chief of staff, and Mahl's correspondent in Washington D.C. Six years before AP won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the No Gun Ri massacre during the Korean War, Oh interviewed survivors and reported the story in-depth for Mahl.
In February 2000, Oh launched OhmyNews, his long-dreamed media experiment. OhmyNews has grown rapidly to over 40,000 "citizen reporters" worldwide and 54 full-time staff reporters and continues to expand. In 2005 the annual Sisa Journal survey named OhmyNews the 6th most influential media in Korea . Oh has a Ph.D. in journalism from Sogang University.