The new semester has begun. As a college student, are not you tired of the expectations? When we transition from being a high school student to a college student, the world demands a lot more from us. I also have a hard time fully understanding the news and making the hard decisions like a grown-up. But there is a person who helps those of us who struggle to grow up and become adults. The Argus met Guk Beom-geun who makes videos to help young adults to softly land on the destination called ‘adult station.’
The Argus: Please introduce yourself.
Guk Beom-geun (Guk): Hello. I am Guk Beom-geun and I run a YouTube channel called “G Pictures” that creates fun and informative content for readers in their late teens and early twenties. The name of the channel was named after G in my name. I am 22-year-old and finished my freshman year at Sungkonghoe University. Now I am taking time off.
The Argus: Could you explain what you do?
Guk: I mainly make two kinds of contents. One type provides the background for somewhat complicated current events that young people are interested in. The second type delivers knowledge that is essential in real life but nobody teaches at school. These two types of contents are shared via SNS platform such as Facebook or YouTube.
The Argus: Why did you start making videos of current issues?
Guk: I did not start making videos with a certain vision, but purely for my pleasure. Since I was a child, I enjoyed expressing myself by writing and drawing cartoons. It was also a rewarding experience to receive the positive feedback from others when my video was broadcasted to all students in high school. It was then I created channels and upload videos.
Soon after, I started to think about how I could make my videos’ contents better. I thought about what kind of things my friends would like, what I liked and what I could do well. The answer I found was the current issues.
The Argus: What does ‘current issues’ mean to you?
Guk: I thought teenagers hated news because it is not funny and but only difficult. I now think that it is a hasty conclusion to say that teenagers have no interest in what happen around us. I think there is a gap between the ages. School does not teach students current affairs issues and does not help us to form our own perspective on them. We are forced to study for the entrance exam without knowing what is happening. When we graduate, society suddenly demands that we read the news and stay attuned to social matters as a good citizen.
Last year, I talked about the movie “A Taxi Driver (2017)” with my friends. One of them asked me what the Gwangju Democratic Uprising was. My friend had great difficulty understanding the movie because he did not know the historical background, though it was touching.
They now need to know about it. They do not need the facts but historical background explaining why the facts matter. I decided that I would bridge the gap.
The Argus: What course do you select for each topic?
Guk: I always try to listen to readers in their late teens and early twenties. It is difficult to accurately read and reflect the common needs of these two close age groups, since people in their late teens and early twenties are just looser communities of the same generation, as their interests, education levels, ways of thinking, and economic levels can be a bit different. So, I am trying to focus on those who want to have their own view of the news rather than trying to satisfy everyone.
Therefore, the principle of creating contents is to help readers know about context and background knowledge. It is always the only criterion when I select a topic. I summarize issues that people generally lack understanding of in terms of background and context. I do not touch issues that everyone has an awareness of, what I can only talk about the problem. The theme is determined and planned according to my point of view.
The Argus: What are your efforts in video production?
Guk: I am not an expert, so I study a lot before I make a video. Issues with sharp or very complex contexts require a lot of research. I seem to be studying all the ways I can; I also read articles and look at pictures. If I need to study papers, I often have difficulty doing that.
As I study, I learn about society. I seem to be learning more about the process of creating contents itself as I progress with my ideas. I am always thinking about how to make more quality content to increase the density of this learning and how to approach the attitude or methodology when I do research more effectively.
The Argus: What was the most memorable thing while making videos?
Guk: I made a video about the MBC public broadcasting strikes. The context was so complicated that it was hard to make, but when people saw the video and told me it was easy to understand right away, I realized that many people were feeling or experiencing the same problems that I had had before creating the video; I was proud of the video.
The Argus: What are you going to do in the future?
Guk: I will proceed with what I am doing now. I am preparing to make contents to inform people about the basic knowledge of politics. This work is about telling background knowledge that we should know before reading the news such as the position of the ruling party and the response of the opposition party.
Also, I want to make videos about history, which I think history is the first thing that people should learn to grasp the context of what is happening in the present. The book I wrote about my contents will come out later this year.
Filling the gap between those in the periods of late-adolescence and young adults is both my channel’s ultimate goal. I think that purpose is the most important thing. I feel good if my videos have a lot of view counts, but I think it makes me feel much better to look at what the view counts are for and based upon versus just the topic. I think I should consider how valuable and meaningful my work is, based on whether it has contributed to the lives of people who have seen the videos.
The Argus: Do you have any last words?
Guk: There are people who see and do not see the news, but more important than that, I think that it is coming more to the fore in people’s consciousness about whether there is a compatible, comfortable, medium for them. It seems that they are still lacking so much. I do not think the news is kind in general. Because the readers that are in their late teens and early twenties are not major consumers of the established media, the media will have to make news faithful to the people who consume their news.
Further, the gap between the old mainstream press and the younger generation will grow bigger, so everyone should think about how to close the gap, to quash it. So, I occasion so that the established media would have a kinder inclination to the readers in their late teens and early twenties.
We have learned much about a person Guk Beom-geun. At a glance, what he makes is just videos, but it is actually a bridge to connect the two sides that have been far apart. If the news is difficult, Guk’s works may make it more palatable for you, as it is designed for your specific age group. We can take steps to become adults and look for answers within each other as well, guiding each other along the way. And do not worry. We can all make a safe landing to the other side of the bridge.
By Han Byeong-ji
Reporter of National Section