“Someone had to bring the subject to the surface, I couldn’t just let the subject remain under the carpet any longer. People are aware that it needs to be talked about more overtly. In that sense, I believe I did the right thing,” he said.
Until now, out of thousands of magazines in Korea, none had touched on the subject of divorce. According to Lee, readers are already over-exposed to the idealistic charade of consumer magazines, but none were “practical.”
Despite the bumpy road ahead for the publication, Lee is positive that it will soon attract more readers. “The readership will eventually increase. Now people are just hiding their desires, but soon will start reading it. We will try our best to bring the topic out to the public. People should really start talking more about the subject. Covering up will not help solve the social problem.”
Today, on average, 300,000 couples marry annually, about 120 of whom get divorced. “The divorce rate is about 30 percent. If you count the immediate families involved in one divorce ― be it their parents or children, the magazine will have quite a huge readership that’s much more than a culinary or golf magazine I bet.”
Lee thinks both marriage and divorce should receive the same amount of attention, preparation, and significance. “Divorce and marriage are both a matter of choice, and I believe that people should give the same amount of preparation for divorce as for marriage.
“The desire for divorce is actually stronger and more passionate than desire for marriage,” he said.
He believes that the magazine can also work as a means of preventing divorce. “Since many divorce cases are attributable to the anger of the moment, I believe, readers of the magazine will get help in avoiding impulsive divorce.
“The magazine is not just for divorcees, but also a guide for the remarried couples, a solace for divorcee families, a counseling material for children, and for anyone who is interested,” he added.
Lee disagrees with those who think that the theme is limited and will soon be out of material to cover. “Fashion magazines talk about one subject, which is fashion, but has a trend to follow up every month. Likewise, divorce has a trend to chronicle and a large amount of content to fill upcoming editions,” he said.
Content also extends to related subjects like remarriage, single life, single parenting, financial advice for singles, legal advice, psychological counseling, cohabitation, match-matching, domestic violence and even dating tips, just to name a few.
“As long as people find this magazine helpful and practical, I don’t care if I make a huge profit out of this,” he said.
Lee said that he will highlight such concepts as dignity and class and goals to make “Divorce Story” a refined, top-notch reading.
“Divorce does not only affect two people, but also their children. If someone does not bring this up onto the surface now, it will only snowball into a bigger social problem. Someone had to do it.”
By Hwang Jurie (email@example.com