"In a rigid media landscape, Dotface finds a large — and growing — audience by publishing on issues that are passed over (or unevenly covered) by legacy news outlets."
Sodam Cho dropped out of studying for the South Korean media exam after her little brother was beaten by his teacher. When the incident made the news, the tables turned for the young aspiring journalist, who was now the one being interviewed by the press. That was when she experienced disappointment in what she saw as the superficiality of South Korean traditional outlets — ask a few questions prodding for emotional quotes by deadline, then sensationalize the story without getting to know the victim’s situation.
“I was really skeptical,” she said. “They would just get one or two sentences for the story, and that would be the end of it. In contrast, I would want to sit with the person on the floor together and have a conversation.”
Seeking a more intimate connection with subjects is what fueled Cho, 27, to start Dotface (styled as .face), a new social-native video outlet for South Korean millennials launched last September. With 40 million won (about $35,000 USD) in financial support from Seoul-based media incubator and seed investor Mediati, Dotface has focused its coverage on five areas it deems important to a younger generation: social justice, LGBTQ issues, feminism, urban ecology, and how technological development impacts societies. The nine-person Dotface team provides articles and videos on community, national, and international topics, from presidential contenders to Emma Watson’s thoughts on college, guided in part by their followers’ chatter on social platforms.