Today I joined about 500 out of 3.000 Honorary Reporters of KOCIS (Korean Culture and Information Service) of the South Korea Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Tourism, from all around the globe for an online gathering.
Pandemic has hindered our opportunity to gather on site (or in Seoul!) but it didn’t stop all of us to be introduced to each other and to have fun.
Being one of the honorary reporters means becoming a part of a global team which works hard to promote the virtue and benefit of the Korean culture. During the selection process I chose K-Drama as a foundation to base my writings, but I am open to other possibilities.
I haven’t known many honorary reporters from my own country or other countries. There are several honorary reporters whose articles I enjoy reading (and I hope they read mine, too), but I didn’t see them in the Zoom meeting room.
In the online gathering we were introduced to Enny and Kal, two managers for the honorary reporters whom we interact with on daily basis. Their jobs cover reviewing articles, setting up monthly mission/challenge, arranging onsite and virtual tours tailored specifically for honorary reporters, and much more.
At the beginning of the gathering we watched a video of their daily routines at work. Kudos to them for working so hard to run the system and keep everyone posted and included.
We also watched the presentations by Alaa from Egypt and Laura from Mexico. They were very insightful.
While Laura’s presentation was technically about the Talk Talk Korea website, Alaa’s was more about how to get ideas, how to collaborate with other reporters, and how to write outstanding articles. Their presentations complemented each other.
After that we had some quizzes, in which many honorary reporters proved themselves as dedicated fans of K-Pop. Seriously, who could guess that it’s Baekhyun EXO just by looking at a picture of supposedly random eyebrows? Kudos to my fellow reporters.
The end of the gathering was about September missions.
The first one was to be done on the same day. The mission was to make a guestbook from one’s country. So, all honorary reporters from the same country gathered up and wrote down their impression, message, greeting, and everything about the gathering or about the honorary reporter program itself.
The second one is due on September 15th and to be done in a group. The theme is autumn magazine. September is coming and it’s the start of autumn. Autumn is a season for reading books in Korea. Schools hold book festivals and students create literacy booklets and participate in literacy contest.
The group can be cross-nationalities. The number of group member is not limited as long as we can work together on a chosen topic. So, it’s as few as two people to form a group, or as many as twenty people (fellow reporters from my country do this; the group is just so big).
On the same day I posted on Honorary Reporter Facebook Group about forming a group of fiction writers to tackle the mission. I had an idea in mind, but I’d like to know the opinions of other group members.
A lot of people responded by sending me direct message. I regretfully turned down reporters who are not fiction writers, hoping that someday I’ll be able to work with them. After some fallouts and unexpected events, my group consists of me from Indonesia, Debbie from Nigeria, and Shayne from Philippines.
Our group dynamic is fun, and everybody is doing what she’s good at. I just hope everything runs well considering our very different time zones and other responsibilities. So far, everything is just fabulous.
September, here we come!