Culture ministry to update Wikipedia entries on Korea, enhance national image with AI

Yong Ho-seong, head of the International Cultural Affairs and Public Relations Office at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, speaks during a briefing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul’s Jongno District, May 23. Courtesy of MCST

By Park Jin-hai

As part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance its global recognition and reputation, Korea will update and correct information about the country on influential platforms like Wikipedia and tourist websites, aiming to address the rapidly changing digital and media landscape and reinforce Korea’s status as a top-tier nation.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) announced the Global Public Relations Plan for the Era of Digital Transformation (2024-2027), Monday, which includes establishing the Global Public Relations Strategy Committee in the latter half of this year. The committee will focus on delivering accurate and up-to-date information about Korea through various channels.

“It’s quite embarrassing to find that searching for information about Korea on Wikipedia often yields outdated or inaccurate results. When searching for Korea-related information on travel information platforms, one often encounters topics such as the demilitarized zone (DMZ) tourism, while the rich and diverse aspects of Korean culture and society remain largely overlooked. This lack of comprehensive and well-organized information can be frustrating for those seeking a deeper understanding of Korea,” Yong Ho-seong, deputy minister for International Cultural Affairs and Public Relations, said during a press conference at Government Complex in Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Monday.

To ensure a strategic overhaul of its overseas promotion efforts, the ministry unveiled a mid- and long-term global public relations plan inspired by successful models in countries such as Sweden and Finland. These models have outlined strategic directions to position their national images and promote them effectively.

The public-private committee — comprised of government officials, brand specialists and journalists from international media outlets — will use generative artificial intelligence (AI) and embrace the growing influence of non-traditional media to identify what representative images Korea has and what information global audiences really want to know about Korea through annual surveys.

The nation’s image and narrative will be crafted around the vision of becoming a “global backbone country aligned with the world,” a concept that emerged during a forum of experts. This vision will be bolstered by six keywords characterizing Korea: innovative, creative, friendly, trustworthy, growing, and safe. These keywords were derived from a survey conducted among 13,000 people from 26 countries last year.

The MCST will also improve the accessibility and timeliness of information for foreign media by ensuring that they receive major policy updates and news about international events simultaneously with domestic media. Regular policy briefings will be organized specifically for foreign media to ensure they are well-informed and engaged with ongoing developments.

Reflecting the changing media landscape, the strategy seeks to broaden cooperation with non-traditional social media platforms by incorporating foreign opinion leaders and influencers. Programs will be designed to promote positive perceptions of Korea, inviting international students, correspondents and foreign laborers to become Korea’s honorary ambassadors.

Moreover, influential social media personalities will be invited to Korea to experience and share their insights into their areas of interest, helping produce content that highlights Korea’s culture and society, thus enhancing the country’s global image.

“In terms of content, immigrants who have settled in Korea and expatriate employees in Korea serve as bridges, conveying information about Korea to their home countries. However, until now, we have been unable to provide them with accurate information. We’ll offer resources like a guide to living in Korea to help them share their positive experiences and become honorary ambassadors for Korea,” Yong said.



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