Saturday, January 2, 2010

Herald most-visited English media site in Korea says Herald,

Korea Herald articles on

The Korea Herald has been the most-visited English-language media site in Korea since the third week of November, according to
The gap between The Korea Herald and the runner-up has widened to about 100 ranking spots on average since the former took first place in the third week of November. Of the total websites in Korea, The Korea Herald ranks 201 while the runner-up ranks 286, as of the third week in December.

The Korea Herald showed a steep traffic hike during the last two months, skyrocketing more than 1,400 rankings among total websites, according to, an online market research site. Approximately 300,000 to 400,000 internet users visit the website daily.
The Herald article provides a chart, and it's interesting to see that for the last week of October the unnamed competitor was ranked 450th while the Herald was 864th. I made my own with, comparing the Herald and the Korea Times.

I tried to compare those two with Korea's other big English-language, Yonhap, Joongang Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo, Hankyoreh, KBS World---but they didn't show up. The cringe-worthy Arirang TV is ranked 3,339.

The Herald ought to be pleased with this, and I think one big reason not mentioned in the article for its jump in popularity is a much more readable website. Before April 28th, 2009, all articles older than a week or so---I don't know exactly---were pay-per-view, meaning blogs and forums rarely linked to the paper. The article continues with some other reasons for the rise:
Newscast, the renovated online news section of the nation's leading portal site Naver, seems to be the driving force of the newspaper's rise online. The Korea Herald started to provide its contents through Newscast on a regular basis from October.

Other than newscast, The Korea Herald's articles are offered through diverse media such as opencast, a newsletter-type-blog on Naver, and Twitter. Audio services and Korean translations of some articles that can be found on the newspaper's website are gaining public favor as well.

Offline, The Korea Herald has long enjoyed first place in market share, circulation and readership among English media in Korea.

The newspaper takes up 63 percent of Korea's English media market share and is distributed to 80 countries.

It also says that according to a survey done by the parent company, 94% of foreign readers trusted the paper.

However, on November 1st the Korea Times said its website took up 70% of the English-language online media market here.
What is drawing attention is that its online market share of the local English newspaper industry surpassed 70 percent early this year and this trend has been kept since then.

Several factors are cited behind the newspaper's briskness in the cyber world. More than anything else, both qualitative and quantitative improvements of news content played a key role in attracting more visitors to the Times' Web site. The structural change in the online news section of the country's leading portal sites also affected the traffic hike.

With interest in English mounting domestically, the number of registered members reading the Times' Web site has reached more than 300,000 daily, a figure hard to achieve in a country where English is not spoken as a mother tongue. Of course, many of these members are foreigners who have a keen interest in Korea, one of the world's major economies.

Anyway, I ran a google search just now for "South Korean newspapers," and the Herald comes in first, the Chosun Ilbo fourth, the Times fifth, and the Joongang Ilbo eighth. "South Korea news" brings the Herald first, the Chosun Ilbo third, sixth, Yonhap eighth, the Joongang Ilbo 11th, and the Times 12th.


Stafford said...

And yet neither The Herald, nor the Korea Times will render correctly in any browser other than IE6 running on Windows XP!
The Times is touting it's new iPhone "App" but it's really just a link to .pdf files which, in my experience with the iPhone thus far, are terrible to read.
I'll stick with The Chosun's Joong Ang's English offerings thanks very much.

B_Wagner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kwandongbrian said...

The featured articles are inaccessible with Safari - I have to use the search to access them. Still, there aren't quite so many errors as the Times has. I prefer Joongang Ilbo, overall.

B_Wagner said...

This is timely news considering the Korea Times' recent pretensions of becoming a (cough) "Global Newspaper".

Stafford said...

What gets me is this line in the meta tags for the front page:
meta name="description" content="An Influential English Daily in South Kroea"

"Kroea" indeed!

Brian said...

lmfao, Stafford, good find!

I'm pulling for KBS myself. Their website is pretty good about news, but their articles are short. I have a special place in my heart for KBS because they had great profiles on obscure places in Jeollanam-do years ago, back before it was cool to pretend to care about rural Korea.

Roboseyo said on Korea Sparkle (I think) that it's time for one of the other news sites in Korea to step up and take the place of the Times (which, like it or not, still has a lot of news stories, even though you can't trust much of what's in the paper). I wish KBS would do it.

Stafford said...

There's absolutely no market for it, but I would like to see one of the commuter rags (You know the free ones at the Metro Stations in the mornings and evenings) to put out something in English.
Something that is a little more "throw away - Tabloid-ie" that didn't take itself so seriously might make for a nice change

ZenKimchi said...

The only thing--the only thing--that the Times could have over the Herald on its web site is that it posts the title of the news story in the title bar, making it easier to add to bookmarking services. The Korea Herald just has its name in the title in all its stories, making me take the extra step of copying of pasting the headline into the bookmark. Not a big deal but small annoyance when I'm collecting stories for @KingSejong.

MikeInSeoul said...

Within the last year or so, the Korea Times also started being blocked from US Army bases (military network, at least). That's a pretty large block of English speaking foreigners who can't read the Korea Times - probably some 60,000 or more.

It might not be a significant amount of traffic in reality, but my guess is that they started looking for Korea news somewhere else.