In Tonga, a country located in the South Pacific, a large-scale disaster caused by a nearby volcano erupting and subsequent damage is expected, but criticism has been raised that the Korean media are consistently too passive in reporting. It is pointed out that the media is buried only in reporting for attention, as the amount of international disaster reporting that has damaged 80,000 people is only one-fifth of that of ‘Kim Geon-hee’s 7-hour report’.
In a statement on the 18th, the Center for Journalism and Human Rights said in a statement on the 18th, “Korea’s coverage of the Tonga volcanic eruption and Japanese tsunami, which may have a huge impact on Korea, is absolutely insufficient, and the speed of reporting is very poor.”
The eruption of the volcano in Tonga is also affecting countries far away. A tsunami was observed in Japan, while two people drowned in high waves in Peru, more than 10,000 kilometers from Tonga. The fact that Japan is particularly affected is the reason why volcanic eruptions are emerging as an important issue in Korea.
According to CNN, the volcano’s first eruption occurred on January 14 local time. However, in Korea, the first YTN report (Tonga, South Pacific, tsunami warning … evacuation of residents) was released at 11:34 pm on the 15th in Korea, and on the 16th, two days after the eruption, News 9 (South Pacific submarine volcanic eruption… According to the Center for Journalism and Human Rights, the fact that Japan’s tsunami warning ordered 230,000 people to evacuate) reported this fact.
The Center for Journalism and Human Rights also pointed out the lack of absolute coverage. As a result of media today’s search through Big Kinds, a news search and analysis site, from January 14 to 17, 2022, the number of reports searched for ‘Tonga Volcano’ was 160. This is less than one-fifth of the number of reports (886) searched for ‘Kim Geon-hee 7 hours’. The Center for Journalism and Human Rights pointed out, “It is important for the public to know the position of Kim Gun-hee, a public figure recognized by the court, but the media should not be so complacent about natural disasters, a common problem around the world.”
In addition, he added, “The public also has the right to know what important events are taking place around the world and what kind of influence it has at home and abroad.