I´m as furthest away from being a professional news outlet as you can get, I barely consider myself a blogger, and cringe at the idea of anyone giving me that title – it´s not because I think I´m better than that, of course not, but it´s simply because I don´t put enough time and effort in it or make it viable enough to make a living out of it to actually call myself that. I just write about the things I like to write about, when I want to write about it and how I want to write about it. Somehow, I earn some DocMarten boots and some novels out of it. I´m extremely lucky and grateful for this, but hey, I´m not a professional, far from it actually, I´m just a highschooler who knows how the internet works.
The big difference – apart from time, effort and money – are definitely the readers; no one goes on this blog to get informed, I just find the articles from other serious pro websites and talk about the things I exclusively want to talk about. No public opinion has this as a base, not like they read Crunchyroll or ANN, anyway.
With that kind of responsibilty comes writers integrity – y´know, there are shitty tabloids, even shittier trash talk blogs that don´t need to get funded to run their mouth; the problem comes when a good ninety percent of these supposed “Kpop news outlets” seem to fall in that category – discount tabloids with no love or care put into them.
So after reading a particularly shocking article I asked myself why Kpop blogs have set the bar so low into the negative, it took me two cups of tea, a small timeline of Kpop popularity and now I think I found the answer; by which I mean I bullshitted some theory in my philosophy class.
Kpop really isn´t that popular. Woah. Okay, It´s popular, now more than it ever has been, in three years even more than it is now – probably – but it´s still a tween in its age; the era of shiny suits, electro pop songs, strict choreographies and a limit to what the performers can do or say being a thing of the past; this era of hip hop, more liberty, kpop videos filmed outside the infamous box and more chill interactions being, as I´ve said, their teenage years.
With that said I´m sure we can all pretty much agree with the fact that Kpop is pretty new, despite the first ever kpop boyband debuting sometime in the nineties; interest in it in the West has only started seriously kicking and buzzing in the past three years. Which means true-professional-serious-ride-or-die-for-the-job bloggers and journalists are either too busy getting the good money, don´t care enough about something like Kpop or just don´t see it being sustainable for them. Which means we´re stuck with fans, writing as fans, writing for fans, just translating and creating sensationalized titles from the existing Korean news outlets and papparazzi.
So with no professionals and websites generally not getting enough traffic to make a living out of it, Kpop “news sites” resort to embarassing, borderline offensive clickbait titles and articles, using cringeworthy tones and presenting rumours as confirmed facts, recent cases, the ones that instigated this rant over Kpop “journalism” (if that´s what you even call it, because I´d rather go for amateurs doing their worst, or fangirls getting paid too much for posting reaction gifs, or the people Buzzfeed rejected outside the Buzzfeed building) being GOT7´s JB´s “sexual harassment” rumour which was proved to be complete bullshit and the fresh case of idols being under investigation for drug use insinuating Jay Park and Dok2 are involved, going as far as to plaster their faces on the thumbnail. Too bad for Koreaboo, which is kind enough to stay true to its name, because Jay Park isn´t about to take any of it.
Jay Park went on a short but strong Twitter rant a few hours after the article was written, this article for your reference, was posted; ” @koreaboo so yall just gon use me and dok2’s pic like that when you know it aint’s us? Lol desperate for clicks huh? ”
Then “Trying to be a reliable new’s source yet they post our pic’s implying that it’s us when it ain’t.”
And finally “Get yo fact’s straight before you indirectly include us in some bullshit we ain’t involved in~ aight now back to being successful #aomgilli”
It was somewhere in the middle of the first tweet when I was laughing very loud and obnoxiously by myself, swarmed under essays I should be doing, in my room. Koreaboo was quick to change the picture from the article to one of “Show me the Money” but didn´t have and won´t have the journalist ethic to apologize, a rat doesn´t have the ability to talk, after all.
The JB rumour, on the other hand, was just Allkpop being the overlords of of shitty Kpop journalism they are, and wrote a potentially devastating article about a supposed fan account of the Got7 member making innappropiate comments to a fan. It got its number one spot on the website in a matter of hours and while most saw through the vague wording and Allkpops history of being unreliable, some still believed them.
Listen, I´m not a professional blogger, they don´t pay me for this shit, I´m just one of the thousands of anime blogs out on the net; I´m not about to be polite to save some face.
Older fans know these sites are full of shit, but new people are much easier convinced, they don´t know about what x idol is more or less likely to do and they´ll assume these websites are actually professional and reliable because really, if they are number one in the Google searches for Kpop news, why wouldn´t they be? this can so easily affect someones views on these people, potentially fuck up their career if things get seriously out of hand – because Kpop just isn´t big enough, it´s a much smaller group of fans where you´re bound to know most idols at some point.
Worst thing is, it´s no ones fault, really; it´s just that out of the three big western Kpop sites, all three are embarassing, clickbait whores who seem to have hired tween girls to write their commentary and reviews, which usually goes something like “omg! oppa looks so sexy, it´s IKONIC, they truly SHINee through the BORN HATERS haha, click the next page for more fun facts :D” so really, we have no choice but to take it, just because there is no choice to choose.
Basically, these websites have no writers integrity, and while we´re all guilty of clickbait titles once in a while, risking someones image for it goes a little too far. Don´t get me wrong, western news outlets do this all the time, but it´s just made worse with the fact that we don´t understand the source articles.
So, dear Kpop sites, here´s a fun idea; either write interesting, coherent articles making clear that it is your opinion or stick to translating and avoid your personal commentary; no, really, it´s that simple. Find a job on the side if you want money, this isn´t like your average celebrity news were dirty tabloids don´t care, you´re Kpop blogs because you fell in love with Kpop once and decided to write about it; respect your craft and respect the things you love, because not a lot of people can make money off of it, thanks.