SCVs of internet media step up

온신협등 6단체, 뉴스·콘텐츠 유통질서 바로잡는다 : 사회일반 : 사회 : 뉴스 : 한겨레

It has been for years that the Korean internet portals (Naver.com, Daum.net, Nate.com, to name a few) have outpowered newspaper companies in the Korean internet news provision market.  Newspaper companies are mere small subcontractors for the internet portals. 

It was reported (somewhere) that the internet portals buy all news articles from each newspaper company on a yearly bulk purchase basis.  The internet portals pick and choose from the bulk news articles that are best selling to the internet readers. 

Those who read news articles mainly from internet portals appear to prefer scandalous and sensational pieces of junky news.  Yeah, yellow journalism again.  This triggered a vicious circle of competition to the ground.

The vicious circle may not be as big a problem for news “paper” companies as it is for independent internet news companies. Independent internet news companies rely solely on internet advertising and royalties from selling their articles.  Stats show that internet news companies’ exposure rely heavily on how many of their articles were picked by portals and displayed on the main pages of the portal sites. Their major revenue stream hangs on the fingertip of portals. 

So, as the linked article says, internet reporters and internet news companies made an association, named News Contents Copyright Holders Association.

As much as the problems they raise are about copyright law, are they  about anti-trust and unfair competition. 

I haven’t seen an agreement between internet portals and newspaper companies.  But, I wouldn’t be surprised to read a fairly one-sided contract in favor of the internet portals.  The Korean FTC will step in if the Association petition for adjudication.  Before that, what can be done by the news companies and reporters?

I think the power structures in many industries in Korea, especially the internet, media, and entertainment, have dramatically changed for the last decade, cracking sound of which are only being recently heard. 

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