BUSAN, South Korea — As the year finally comes to an end, we want to look back at what made headlines in 2012 with our most read articles of the year.
In all, Haps published 675 articles for the year, including local news, features, sports and tons of events around the city. We would like to thank the countless writers, photographers, sponsors and contributors for allowing us to bring you the best information and stories from around the city and local area.
We have a few new ideas for 2013, so keep checking in to see what new changes will be coming. We’re looking forward to another, even bigger year of helping you enjoy Busan and to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening.
Below are the top 10 stories (in terms of number of website hits) from 2012.
1. Protest Style – ‘Gangnam Style’ was the runaway song of the year, accumulating over a billion views on YouTube, but Bobby McGill broke the story about his anti-American past, which then went viral, causing the singer to apologize before a trip to the White House to perform in front of President Obama.
Time Magazine, The HuffPo, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post were just a few of the major news outlets to cite Haps on the story.
2. MBC Under Fire For Racially Charged Video – Back at the end of May, MBC-TV ran a documentary about for a segment on their Think Different documentary news program, titled ‘The Shocking Truth About Relationships With Foreigners‘. The instant backlash from netizens caused thousands to flood to website to complain, as well as start Facebook groups to demand an apology from the broadcaster.
3. The Great Dog Meat Debate – Always a touchy subject between dog lovers and dog eaters, Haps took a look into three sides of the story: from a person who is curious to try it, an animal rights activist and a defender of the practice. Suffice to say, it raised interesting discussions and comments, and the subject is still fiercely debated every day.
4. Photo Exclusive – A Look Inside North Korea – Niall Cavanaugh visited North Korea and took some remarkable photographs from inside the usually reclusive Communist state. The pictures of daily life around the North show a more human side to the country not usually seen by outsiders.
5. Interview with World-Class Surfer Christian Wach – You may not have heard of Christian Wach before, but the 22-year-old surfer and board designer certainly has a following. His company, Canvass Surfboards, has grown massively since its opening in 2009, and can be purchased at Kai Surf Shop in Gwangalli.
6. Ode to the Commode – Yes, believe it or not, there is a toilet-themed park in Suwon that pays homage to the loo. Ex-Suwon mayor Sim Jae-duck’s dream to promote city tourism is quirky to say the least, but, hey, at least you shouldn’t be scrambling for facilities should nature call at any moment.
7. Super Typhoon Samba – After the dud that was expected from Typhoon Bolaven, Samba came rolling into Busan in the middle of September and caused havoc across most of the peninsula, closing over 850 schools and causing billions of won in damages. Luckily only two people were injured, though, unfortunately, a 53-year-old woman was killed falling victim to a landslide.
8. Jenny Hyun and the Cyber Insanity – Back in February, a nobody Korean/American songwriter named Jenny Hyun sparked a huge race debate when she tweeted about boxer Floyd Mayweather’s comments about then-basketball sensation Jeremy Lin. Jenny’s tweet about the extinction of the black race caused, to say the least, a little more than an uproar.
9. The Korean Ad Industry’s Celebrity Obsession – James Turnbull, who runs the popular blog The Grand Narrative, took an in-depth look into the Korean ad industry and the reasons for using the same celebrities for ads we see in print or on TV. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a very interesting analysis of the psyche of advertising on the peninsula.
10. Busan to Cut Native Speaking Teachers – Earlier this year, the Busan Board of Education decided to eliminate 75 teaching positions from EPIK. The recent trend in downsizing has made it that much tougher to find employment as an English teacher as the demand for native speakers in schools seems to be reaching its end.