On the 2nd of last month, ‘s current affairs radio program (hereinafter referred to as ) ranked first (10.3%) in the overall radio listening rate after three months of broadcasting. This was the result of the second round of listening survey (April 4-17) after Kim Eojoon’s News Factory (TVS), which held the top spot for six years, was canceled at the end of last year. In the first round of the survey (January 4-17), “Dusi Escape Cult to Show” (SBS) took the top spot with 9.2%, followed by “News High Kick” with 3.6%.
The host, Shin Shin-sik, is a lawyer and politician. He started his political career in the Democratic Labor Party and served as the secretary general of the Justice Party. He started hosting “Shin Jang-sik’s Kidney Opening” on TVS Radio in August 2021, but left the party ahead of last year’s presidential election due to broadcasting regulations that state that current affairs broadcasters cannot have party affiliations during presidential elections. When the program was canceled at the end of last year, he moved to News High Kick in January this year. While Shin’s “outspoken voice for power” has been credited with the program’s popularity, critics say its panelists and content are biased. I met with Shin on April 4 at the Hankyoreh offices in Gongdeok-dong, Seoul, and he meticulously jotted down the interview in a spring note. He said he usually takes notes whenever he has a good idea.
Current Affairs Radio’s wraps up
“I want to ask President Yoon, what is ‘real freedom’?”
– became the No. 1 radio show three months after its debut on January 16. Why do you think this is?
“I think it’s the ‘thirst’ of the listeners. I think has quenched the thirst felt by many people to hear voices that are different from the one-sided stories of the government and ruling party. There is a book called “How Do People Gather in the Square?” written by Michael S스포츠토토. Choi, a professor of political science at UCLA. In the book, he uses the example of protests against dictatorships. If only a few people are out in the streets, their lives are at risk, but if a large number of people are in the square, the authorities back off. What you need is ‘common knowledge,’ where like-minded people feel empathy and identification with each other, and I think that’s what happened with News High Kick, where a lot of people listened and thought, ‘I’m not the only one who feels this thirst.”
-What was the reaction of the staff, including the producers and writers, after the #1 ranking?
“The whole radio station was surprised, because when we first started, we set a goal to be No. 1 in the evening or in the top 10 overall, but within three months, we were No. 1 in the whole radio, so the Culture Broadcasting Company gave us an early bonus at the end of the year.”(Laughs)
-There have been a number of issues since you took over News High Kick. Can you name three people you’ve interviewed about it?
“First, the Netflix documentary I Am God: People Betrayed by God,” about the president of the Christian Gospel Mission (JMS), Jung Myung-seok, shocked our society, and Kim Do-hyung, a professor of mathematics at Dankook University, played a crucial role in making this documentary come out. I remember the shocking story of Kim’s departure from JMS. Second, when Mrs. Kim’s March 31 photo of her touring Suncheon Bay Garden on a Ferris wheel became controversial, I interviewed Administrator Jang Chul-young, who was former President Roh Moo-hyun’s exclusive photographer. Jang told me that a reporter from the presidential office asked him, “Nowadays, the staff of the presidential office calls Mrs. Kim Gun-hee a VIP2, but did the previous government use such an expression?” It wasn’t in the questionnaire beforehand, but the phrase “VIP2,” which shows the power relationship in the presidential office, became a hot topic. Finally, I remember an interview with Dr. Seo Kyun-ryul, professor emeritus of nuclear and atomic engineering at Seoul National University, about the Fukushima contaminated water discharge. There’s a term called a ‘black swan’ (something that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, but actually does), and scientists have to keep in mind the possibility of everything happening and give scientific opinions, and that’s especially true when it comes to life, and I think that’s what he was talking about.”
-When do you start preparing for the show (6:05-8 p.m. weekdays)?
“I prepare 24 hours a day. (Laughs) I check the news all day long. At 10 a.m., I have a meeting with the production team on KakaoTalk, and from 4 p.m., I find articles, papers, judgments, and bills related to the issue in the conference room and organize them by underlining them with a highlighter so that I can broadcast them in three dimensions. From 2 to 3 p.m., I write daily for the ‘Today in Xinjiang’ segment, which is a commentary with the host’s perspective. I write about a page in 13-point type.”
-Who would you like to ask to appear on NewsHighKick and what questions would you like to ask them?
“There are many, some living and some dead. The late President Roh Moo-hyun used to tell his entourage, ‘Don’t do politics,’ and I’d like to ask him, ‘But someone has to do politics.’ For President Moon Jae-in, I’d like to ask him, ‘Why did you choose Yoon Seok-yeol to be the Central District Prosecutor and Prosecutor General?’ To former President Roh Hoe-chan, I’d like to ask, ‘Don’t be too hard on Jisun (Roh’s wife),’ and to Yoon Seok-yeol, I’d like to say, ‘You talk about freedom out of context every time, but I’d like to hear what real freedom is in specific areas such as politics, economy, and human rights. In addition to politicians, I would like to interview Dr. Kim Jang-ha, who has been running ‘Men’s Righteous Pharmacy’ in Jinju, Gyeongnam for over half a century. He has been working in the fields of education, human rights, women, labor, and the environment without making a sound, and I would like to introduce people like him to the world.”
-Do you have any criteria for selecting broadcast items?
“Two things. First, since the program is broadcast daily, we select the hottest issues of the day. Second, we prepare content that is not a hot topic, but shows insights. For example, Hong Jong-ho, a professor at Seoul National University’s Graduate School of Environment, shows that environmental issues are inseparable from the economy. Park Tae-woong, chairman of the board of directors of Hanbit Media, talks about the ethical issues that arise in the era of artificial intelligence driven by chatbots.