As the year finally comes to an end, we want to look back at what made headlines in 2013 with our most read articles of the year.
In all, Haps published 795 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 2014, 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 2013.
1. Korean Baseball Star Catches Heat Following Racist Remarks Towards American Pitcher – Hanwha slugger Kim Tae-kyun’s racist comments about Lotte pitcher Shane Youman early in June caused a stir in the KBO, with Haps’ story being picked up internationally by the Global Post, Black Entertainment TV, NBC Hardtalk and some major newspapers in the U.S. covering it as well. After the scandal broke, Youman talked to Haps to give his take on the whole situation.
By the time the scandal had ended, the Korean Human Rights Commission chimed in stating that the KBO should conduct racism training to all their players, though Kim Tae-kyun never really apologized to Youman over the incident.
2. Cartoon Depicts Korean Baseball`s Dominican Pitcher Being Chased by Ku Klux Klan – Jeff Liebsch’s early English report in the media about a popular sports blogger for Nate.com drew thousands of LG Twins fans who were furious over a cartoon penned which depicted pitching ace Radhames Liz of the Dominican Republic being chased down by the KKK over a hit by pitch incident during a game with Samsung in July.
Though the cartoon was taken down within the hour and the story largely ignored in the Korean media, the damage was done as local media eventually ran the story after outraged LG fans made it the most popular on Naver.com’s sports twitter feed for the day. It was also picked up by the country’s biggest baseball sites and Deadspin in the U.S.
3. SAT Canceled in Korea Due to Continued Leaking of Questions – Bobby McGill’s synopsis of the SAT scandal which hit Korea was number three on the top ten of the year. The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office raided eight private academies in Gangnam on suspicions that they were leaking test questions to students, causing the American Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to be canceled for the first time ever for cheating, causing a huge embarrassment for education officials, and years of wasted study for the honest students.
The scandal hit every major media outlet in the U.S., while locals once again felt the need to address the widespread cheating allegations in the country’s education system.
4. Top Female Korean K-Pop Star Caught in Nudity Scandal – While it was another year of scandal for many Korean entertainers, none as big as K-Pop princess Ailee’s nude pics which surfaced in November were quite as shocking to the public. The Korean-American singer rode through the storm relatively unscathed, though pessimism towards her and her representatives excuse for the pictures is still in debate.
5. Hot Summer On Screen: Sizzling it up with More Provocative K-Pop – James Turnbull’s look into what has widely been described as an unprecedented, unacceptable pornification of K-pop looked into the controversy of singers baring it all in order to become famous. He delves in-depth into many different areas of the topic, including how the Korean music industry has long been predicated on using sexâand anticipated bansâto keep groups in the public eye.
6. Smoking Ban: The Era of Korea as a Smoker`s Paradise Soon Coming to an End – Back at the beginning of July, smoking was banned at a majority of establishments to the delight of non-smokers. Bobby McGill examined the issue which is just one of the many steps the country is taking to curb its smoking problem, notably as it is ranked second in the OECD in cases of adult male smokers.
7. History in the Hills: Busan`s Gamcheon Culture Village - Jessica Steele’s brilliant look at Saha-gu’s little art village treasure focused on one of Busan’s poorest areas. Visited by thousands each year, the village has recently attracted renewed interest by winning the 2012 UN-HABITAT Asian Townscape Award as well as a cultural excellence award from Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
8. Shaking the Model Taboo: More Korean Magazines Portraying Korean Women as Sexy – This summer surprisingly marked the first year that both Allure and Vogue Girl magazines featured Korean women on their covers, despite being in the country for years. James Turnbull look at an industry and its models slowly shedding the taboo that only non-Koreans should be portrayed as sexy.
9. Crossing the Lines: The Trends Reshaping Women`s Bodies in Korea – James Turnbull’s look into the alphabetization, or the exhortation by Korean companies and the media to (overwhelmingly) push women to purchase products and services to help mold themselves into various ideal body-shapes, or âlines’, looks at many of the issues and historical examples young women in Korea are facing today.
10. Hyundai Shocked as Toyota Camry Wins Korea`s Car of the Year Award – With tariffs lifted and many foreign cars than ever on Korean roads, pundits where very surprised when Korean carmaking giant Hyundai Motors was recently humbled when the Toyota Camry was voted Car of the Year by the Korean Automobile Journalist Association. The sudden rise of Toyota in Korea showed the simple fact that choices on the Korean consumer’s shopping list are finally blooming with options.
BEST OF THE REST – A few extra reads which also may interest you.