As you may have heard, CN Blue’s Jung Younghwa was investigated for supposedly getting into a doctoral program at a fancy university without interviewing or anything. Admission into fancy universities is incredibly competitive in Korea, so there’s a lot of sensitivity about whether or not those who get in deserve it (the trigger for the whole Choi/Park scandal was the admission of Choi’s daughter into a fancy university). Throw in the tantalizing possibility that Younghwa was hoping to use his admission Kyung Hee University to avoid military service, and we’ve got a bona fide shit show.
Note something about all this? It has nothing to do with Zico. It also has nothing to do with Kyuhyun, G-Dragon, Jun. K, or Daesung.
All of whom are arguably bigger names than Younghwa.
Obviously, if you didn’t know who this idol who supposedly got preferential treatment was, it would be a terrible thing to just list random big-name celebrities who more or less fit a vague profile–so that’s exactly what some Korean media outlets did.
Others, of course, did not. Other Korean media outlets have standards. They have journalistic ethics. So they printed stuff like this:
The second paragraph from the bottom reads, “Because netizens don’t know the identity of the idol admitted to Kyung Hee, they are speculating that the ‘famous idol’ is Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, Block B’s Zico, 2 PM’s Jun. K, BigBang’s G-Dragon or Daesung, or several other male idols.”
WOW that’s amazing! Definitely the best way to handle uninformed netizen speculation is to amplify it through “legitimate” media outlets! Especially because–and this is just the cherry on top–the article never actually exonerates any of those people. I mean, they couldn’t possibly just say that rumors are flying about other, unnamed idols who had nothing to do with Kyung Hee University–they had to name the idols and then not say that it wasn’t any of them.
Of course, in fairness (fairness? do I really have to be fair here? I’d be the only one) at this point the “journalists” passing along unsourced tittle-tattle didn’t know for a fact that any of these big, juicy, click-bait names had nothing to do with the Kyung Hee University scandal.
Once they did know….
A headline mentioning Kyuhyun, Zico, and the phrase “Kyung Hee idol.”
Headlines mentioning Kyuhyun, Zico, Jun. K, and (in the second) the phrase “Kyung Hee idol.”
Of course these headlines are utterly ethical in that they are bemoaning the sad, sad state of events that forced media outlets to produce story after story after story after story containing the search terms (deep breath): Kyunhyun + Zico + Jun. K + G Dragon + Daesung + Kyung Hee + idol. It is clearly a time for soul-searching by the Korean K-Pop media; this soul-searching will just so happen to produce many more stories containing the search terms (sing it!): Kyunhyun + Zico + Jun. K + G Dragon + Daesung + Kyung Hee + idol.
ETA: Just in case you think the problem is limited to these four stories or something, here is just a small portion of what you get when you put Zico (지코) and Kyung Hee University (경희대) into Google News.
These are all from the past couple of days, and keep in mind, there is absolutely no connection between Zico and this story.