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Korea’s foremost English daily dedicated to core mission

The Korea Herald marks its 58th anniversary on Monday. Over nearly six decades, the country’s biggest English-language newspaper has taken steps to provide accurate and reliable news and analysis to the readers.

The Korea Herald started as The Korean Republic, a humble four-page tabloid, on Aug. 15, 1953. Then as now, the newspaper’s mission was to make the country better understood by the outside world after the armistice thrust Korea in the spotlight of international attention.

The Korea Herald came into being just weeks after the end of the Korean War. At the time, it had only three reporters, a managing editor and one photographer. The type-setting was done on a single Linotype machine ― the cutting-edge technology by the standard of the era as it was the first such equipment to be brought into the country. The paper did not have a press of its own, so the printing was done by a Korean-language newspaper.

The paper switched its format to broadsheet on July 11, 1961 and, more importantly, adopted a new paper name, The Korea Herald. In the following years, the company continued to build its reputation as a leading English-language newspaper at a time when the Korean economy grew at a brisk pace and interaction with foreign firms became more important than ever.

As its readership expanded, the paper expanded the number of pages, from four to eight pages in 1975 and later to 12 pages in 1986. Currently, the paper publishes 20 pages on weekdays.

During the expansion era, The Korea Herald also saw its physical base change from one location to another. The original office was located in a dilapidated two-story building in Mugyo-dong, Seoul, near where the Lotte Hotel stands today. One year later, the company moved to into a four-story building on Taepyong-ro, across from the former headquarters of the National Assembly. In 1978, the paper and its sister paper, the vernacular Naeway Economic Daily ― which has been renamed as the Herald Business ― moved to its own modern building in Hoehyon-dong. In July 2005, the paper changed its address again to its current building in Jeong-dong near Gwanghwamun ― the center of the vibrant metropolitan city.

The design of the Korea Herald also has changed several times in the past decade, adopting news summary section on the front page and other elements that make it more readable and visually enjoyable for its readers.

In March this year, Yoo Byung-chang took office as the new chief executive officer and publisher of Herald Media, parent company of The Korea Herald. Yoo, 61, former president of POSCO ICT, succeeded Park Haeng-hwan, who retired after three years in the post.

By Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldcorp.com)
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