Squid Game: the real debt crisis shaking South Korea that inspired the hit TV show by Sarah A. Son for the Conversation, 10/11/21

Squid Game, Korea

(Conversation/Netflix/)

In this biting commentary on life in South Korea today, viewers are presented with a twisting, technicolour story of violence, betrayal and desperation. All of this is set around a series of macabre games in which players literally fight to the death. Despite its brutal content, the show has captivated audiences globally, becoming Netflix’s top show in at least 90 countries.

Squid Game adds to other recent South Korean screen productions, most notably the 2020 Oscar-winning film Parasite, in providing a sharp critique of the socio-economic inequality that plagues the lives of many in South Korea. More specifically, it speaks to the deepening household debt crisis affecting the lower and middle classes.

Household debt in South Korea has risen sharply in recent years to over 100% of its GDP – the highest in Asia. The top 20% of earners in the country have a net worth 166 times that of the bottom 20%, a disparity which has increased by half since 2017.

New Report Shows Black Media's Critical Role in Covering Issues Affecting Black Communities by Center for Community Media, 10/11/21

Black Media, Black

(Author Provided/)

As protests against police violence and racial injustice swept the country and a pandemic disproportionately claimed Black lives, Black‐owned media covered these events earlier, in more depth, and with more Black voices than their mainstream counterparts. That's the essence of a groundbreaking content analysis released today by the Black Media Initiative of the Center for Community Media at CUNY's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

“Many people speak of the importance of Black media in the context of history,” Black Media Initiative Director Cheryl Thompson-Morton said of the sector, which has been vibrant in communities across the country since the early 19th century. “This research shows why Black media is critical today. It provides data and backing of what Black media publishers have been telling us for years. My hope is that this report spurs more support and investment in the sector.”

The report, “Why Black Media Matters Now,” analyzed the coverage of nearly 100 Black-owned news outlets over 15 momentous months between March 2020 and May 2021. In general, it found that Black media publishes as much as six times more coverage than mainstream outlets on issues of importance to Black communities, including racism, health disparities, and voting access.


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