CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Congratulations to Jane Pyo, a doctoral student at the Institute of Communications Research, for winning a Dissertation Travel Grant from the University of Illinois Graduate College. She plans to travel to South Korea, her home country, and conduct interviews there.
Pyo's project, "The politics of uncivil news comments: Negotiating the power dynamic between journalists and the audience in South Korea," focuses on the current struggle of young Korean liberals to make their voices heard as they collectively troll journalists with aggressive comments as a part of resistance. Her dissertation includes ethnographic interviews with journalists and commenters to describe the deep-rooted conflict and how different actors negotiate the struggle for power.
“I hope to discover ways for journalists and citizens to really interact with each other. It is especially crucial for Korean society because citizens have lost so much trust in journalism, while journalists are also doing their best to regain that trust,” Pyo said. “It seems like initiating the conversation between them and providing reasons why citizens are dissatisfied with journalists and why journalists are experiencing distress from citizens' aggressive commenting is the first step for that conversation start. I hope I can contribute with my research not just to Korean society, but to overall communication academia by providing a nuanced and contextualized understanding of newly emerging online social movements, as well.”