115-year-old record rainfall coverage of breaking news programs under fire

Heavy overnight rain caused a landslide in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul, on Tuesday morning. (Yonhap)

South Korean broadcasting companies have come under fire for their media coverage of the worst rainfall in 115 years in and around Seoul.

Record rainfall overnight claimed hundreds of flood victims and endangered citizens of the capital on their after-work journeys. Roads and sidewalks in the capital were flooded, forcing some people to leave their cars on the road. A number of cars and buses were stuck for hours on highways connecting Seoul to Gyeonggi Province due to traffic checks. Some areas of Seoul experienced power outages.

Broadcasting companies aired breaking news programs at night and broadcast live news on their YouTube channels. Breaking news broadcast by the country’s major precipitation news companies recorded viewership of 7.8%, 2.9% and 4.7% for KBS1, MBC and SKS, respectively, more than any other TV program in the time slot. YouTube channels that broadcast the latest rainfall news attracted thousands of viewers who wanted information about the floods and how they were affecting their daily commutes.

“There wasn’t enough information during breaking news coverage, such as what I should do in an emergency situation like a power outage at home,” a 34-year-old resident who raises a child told the Korea Herald. two children in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province.

Citizen complaints about the content of the cover were shared on social media. A tweet on Twitter read: “Breaking news coverage repeatedly shows footage of the flooding across the city, collected by citizens. I wish I could see more tangible information such as a safety manual or a map of specific flooded regions. What is the point of a disaster show? The tweet was shared by more than 9,100 people on Tuesday afternoon.

“I fell asleep late last night after watching breaking news coverage on major news outlets, but it wasn’t helpful as they repeatedly broadcast similar flood footage,” he said. said another tweet.

Rainfall will continue through Wednesday, according to the Meteorological Administration. The rainstorm dumped up to 141 millimeters of water per hour in parts of Seoul on Monday evening.

By Park Yuna ([email protected])