Internet broadcasting jockey (BJs) has been a lucrative occupation in Korea, but it has not necessarily been a legitimate job. However, the recent boom in independent internet broadcasting shows spearheaded by an online video streaming service AfreecaTV has brought these shows and the BJs into the limelight. Not only do some of the popular BJs earn millions of dollars, but they also garner fandom that surpasses television and movie stars. Whereas the line between these internet celebrity BJs and more traditional type of celebrities (TV, movie) have been clear with neither breaching into the others’ realms, the delineation has been less clear recently. Some BJs move into television and some television celebrities are moving into BJ-ing. To go one step further, in 2015, a major Korean television broadcasting corporation decided to create a television show that imitates the structure of internet broadcasting. What is the implication of this increasing ambiguity between television shows and internet broadcasting? In the past, the merit of internet broadcasting has been the instant accessibility and interaction between the BJs and their viewers as well as its relative freedom from censure compared to television. It was connoted as the freedom of average viewer to become the producer of media content. Is this power dynamic rapidly changing with the conflation of internet broadcasting and television broadcasting? I will analyze Korean television and internet broadcasting systems and weave my findings with the theories on media power dynamic to take a stance on the implication of this movement.
Min Joo Lee, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Stream: Critical and Cultural Studies
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