One of the sad things about ex-President Roh’s death is the lack of news coverage it has received in the UK. The sad event was on Saturday morning 23 May, Korea time. Reuters, with the advantage of the date line on their side, managed a 22 May report. To their credit, the BBC has had the item as lead story on their Asia Pacific page for over 30 hours – since lunchtime on Saturday – but it has yet to hit the radio or TV news. Sadly, two weeks into the UK’s parliamentary expenses scandal, news editors still feel it appropriate to make this long-running story lead item.
The printed media haven’t done much better: today’s Telegraph, the paper which has been responsible for keeping the expenses saga going on for so long, only found room for a 50-word tweet entitled “Ex-leader in Death Leap” in its cut-down international news section. A scan of the various newspapers’ websites, though, suggests that the broadsheets should catch up with the story properly in tomorrow’s printed editions.
Update 26 May 2009: With the DPRK’s nuclear test yesterday, there’s every likelihood that Roh’s death will be completely squeezed out from the news. However, all credit to the Guardian for commissioning an obituary from seasoned Korea-watcher Aidan Foster-Carter — an in-depth piece written to a tight deadline.
- FT, Christian Oliver, 24 May
- BBC, 24 May
- Guardian, Aidan Foster-Carter, 24 May
- Times, 25 May
- Telegraph, 25 May
- Recriminations and Regrets Follow Suicide of South Korean, Martin Fackler, IHT, 24 May
- Thousands in Korea mourn Roh’s death, Christian Oliver & Song Jung-a, FT, 24 May
- Suicide may deepen Korea’s political rifts, Christian Oliver & Song Jung-a, FT, 24 May
- The grim tragedy of Roh Moo-hyun, Neil Drewitt, FT (editorial), 25 May
- In remembrance of President Roh Moo-hyun, Ambassador Martin Uden, 25 May
- South Korea’s ex-leader loses Mr Clean image, Christian Oliver, FT, 1 May