Cake-cutting ceremony at the event venue (photo: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
The Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club (SFCC) hosted a end-year charity gala dinner at Seoul Plaza Hotel on December 9. The proceeds gathered by a raffle from the annual dinner party will be donated to non-profit organizations to help people in need.
The dinner party started with a speech by Ito Ryoji, the president of the SFCC, and it was followed by congratulatory addresses by Choi Kwang-shik, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Lee Bae-yong, the chairperson of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding. All VIPs of the event participated in a cake-cutting ceremony, and Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik proposed a toast.
Choi Kwang-shik, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, delivered a congratulatory speech (photo courtesy of Visionstyler Press)
"International media coverage of Korea has been steadily on the rise", said Minister Choi Kwang-shik during his speech. "Especially in 2011, Korea made many achievements during the year, including becoming host of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, having Jeju island designated one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, and hosting the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. Thank you for all your interest and support".
After the dinner, awards were given out for contributions to raising awareness of Korea overseas. The awards are given to individuals or groups who have fostered a positive perception of Korea in the fields of sports, movies, and performances through foreign media. Foreign correspondents participated in the vote to pick the winners.
(left) Kim Yuna receives the award for sports (photo: visionstyler press); (right) Baek Chung-gang wins for performer (photographed by Lee Seung-ah).
The awards were given to figure-skater Kim Yuna, director Hwang Dong-hyeok who produced the film "The Crucible", climber Um Hong-gil, and Baek Cheong-gang and the musical group Infinity.
The fashion designer Lee Sang-bong, who received the award last year, attended to select the best-dressed male and female among all members present. The award for best-dressed man was a correspondent from the Wall Street Journal who dressed in a green vest with red bowtie to spread the festive spirit, and the award for best-dressed woman was Lee Bae-yong, the chairperson of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding who was in a bright pink outfit.
In the second part of the event, the Five Big Topics of the year chosen by foreign correspondents were announced. The top topic was PyeongChang winning the 2018 Winter Olympics bid. News about Professor Ahn Cheol-soo's meteoric rise in the political arena followed in the second spot, and ratification of the Korea-U.S. FTA and the popularity of the podcast titled "I am a petty-minded creep (Naneun ggomsuda)" followed in third and fourth place respectively. Two topics, Park Won-soon's election as Seoul mayor and Hallyu's spreading further around the world, tied for fifth.
The SFCC was originally organized for purpose of protecting the interests of foreign correspondents and enhancing solidarity. The club consists of 260 members from 90 top international media and circulation agencies such as AP, Reuters, and ABC.
The Korea Culture and Information Service under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism supports the coverage of news in many aspects such as helping with collecting news materials on VIP guests visiting Korea, interviews with government officials, and press tours.
By Lee Seung-ah
Korea.net Staff Writer
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