State-run broadcaster KBS said it has recruited Lee Chang-hoon, a disabled man with first-degree visual impairment, as a news anchor.
Lee was selected from among 10 final candidates on Monday. A total of 523 people applied for the job.
The 25-year-old received high scores from all the judges during a news reading test, as he was able to quickly and precisely deliver news while his hands were reading the script from a Braille machine, the broadcaster said.
Lee is Korea’s first disabled news anchor, KBS said.
Born in Jinju in South Gyeongsang Province, Lee lost his sight after suffering inflammation of the brain and spinal cord when he was seven months old. He has been living in Seoul by himself since he entered the Hanbit School for the Blind for elementary school courses. Although he majored in social welfare at Graduate School of Soongsil University, he has always been interested in becoming a news anchor. Recently, he worked as a program host for the Korea Blind Internet Cast. Since his childhood, he liked to shadow other people’s speeches including TV news anchors.
“When I was young, I especially liked broadcasts of baseball games,” Lee told The Korea Herald on the phone.
“I’m so excited now. I hope to deliver various kinds of news including sports and lifestyle news,” he said.
Starting Aug. 8, Lee will undergo three months of training as a cub anchor and will then take a regular anchor post on one of KBS news programs, he said.
By Kim Yoon-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)