An unlikely meeting took place at a restaurant in Hongdae, Friday night, May 6: Choung Byoung-gug, the new Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism who took office just 100 days ago met with bloggers. The voice of bloggers has now come to almost parallel with other mainstream media including major newspapers. And apparently, Minister Jeong decided to take into account their viewpoints and influence in setting out his policies.
One of the changes he brought to the Ministry is the philosophy that 'all the answers can be found in the actual field.' In fact, Minister Jeong has been holding a number of meetings to listen to staff and experts from various fields, and then apply their opinions to policy making process, which consequently increased the efficiency of the organization. In just 100 days after Minister Choung took up his post, the Ministry has come up with over 150 projects - and 35 of them have already been completed.
Minister Choung's recent achievement includes the introduction of 'web hard drive registration system' that was designed to prevent copyright infringement by suspending or canceling the business license of the service providers who have been repeatedly fined. In addition, 'the self-regulated rating system for open market online games' allows online open markets to rate and categorize the games on their own in accordance with the standards negotiated with the Gaming Committee.
Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism is also promoting Korean food as part of Korea's tourism product: the Ministry is planning, for instance, to give extra credit to hotels that operate Korean restaurants. Furthermore, they will make a public black list of the travel agencies that often exploit foreign tourists as well as building government-authorized restaurants for foreigners.
"Korea's culture industry has not been able to keep up with the rapid economic development so far," Minister Choung concluded, "All those culturally advanced countries around the world achieved their status over a long time by focusing equally on culture and economy. Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism are making a lot of efforts to improve Korea's cultural environment, and we believe Korea will soon see the results."