This paper is one of the first in a series of case studies that examines the impact of the Internet and technology on democracy. This specific case investigates the influence of the participatory media Web site OhmyNews during the 2002 South Korean Presidential election. It begins with a discussion of the phenomenon of citizen journalism and the importance of an independent media to democracy. It next moves to a discussion of the motivation for the creation of OhmyNews by Oh Yon Ho. The case also explains the OhmyNews model for producing and editing news. It then discusses how real world activism may have contributed to online activism and lays out a narrative of OhmyNews' activity during the Presidential election. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of the feasibility of the OhmyNews business model, the site's struggle to remain profitable, and the organization's less than successful attempt to expand to other similar markets, notably Japan.
Last updated March 25, 2009