OhmyNews and Softbank shared an understanding that OhmyNews will have to strengthen its Korean main operation to effectively realize the globalization of citizen participatory journalism. To this end, Softbank will invest US$5.2million to OhmyNews. OhmyNews will spend the invested funds on the expansion of OhmyTV, an Internet television arm of OhmyNews, to advance citizen participation in the video journalism and the development of OhmyNews’ English language edition, pushing citizen participatory journalism to the next level. Softbank will own 12.95 percent of OhmyNews’ outstanding shares as a result of this investment.
Softbank and OhmyNews will jointly launch OhmyNews International Co. Ltd. in early March and use this business arm to globalize citizen participatory journalism. Using the company as a global stepping stone, Softbank and OhmyNews agreed to work together in spreading citizen participatory journalism worldwide, which was pioneered by OhmyNews based on the concept that “every citizen is a reporter.” …
As its first international news venture, OhmyNews International will establish ‘OhmyNews Japan’ before August 2006 in Japan. ‘OhmyNews Japan’ will provide Japanese citizens with a multimedia platform of citizen participation, hence introducing a completely different kind of news media to Japan’s media market that will live up to the spirit of Web 2.0.
Until now, OhmyNews has been largely a Korean phenomenon and many have wished and wondered about expanding it to other countries but so far, this has not happened. The question has been whether Ohmy is uniquely suited to the Korean media, political, cultural, and technological landscape or whether it will work elsewhere. I’m moderating a panel with EunTaek Hong, editor-in-chief of Ohmy, at the Online Publishers Association next week and I’ll be eager to hear more. [via Craig]