Korea's Top Anchorwoman Owes All to Self-Persuasion

      February 21, 2005 14:03

      Paik Ji-yeon

      Korea's top anchorwoman Paik Ji-yeon, known for her brash confidence and leadership qualities, recently published a book to pass on her skills titled "The Power of Self-Persuasion." "Self-persuasion is the power to avoid yielding to temptations around you or debasing yourself and to cultivate your dream," says the host of YTN's "Paik Ji-yeon's News Q." "Only people who have convinced themselves can convince other people. I, too, have faults, but I have never forgotten my goal and worked sincerely... My power was self-persuasion, and I am sure this strength is latent in everyone." 

      A graduate of Yonsei University's psychology department, Paek in her book explains psychology in terms of her 18 years of broadcasting experience. She offers simple guidelines like, "Don't say too much," "Only if you first listen well can you be persuasive," and "Never get over-excited."

      Paik joined MBC just before graduating from university in 1987and during her five-month apprenticeship caused her first storm when she was given the anchor's job on "9:00 News Desk." She is credited with being the first TV journalist to show the public what an anchor really is. Later, by hosting news, culture and entertainment programs and appearing in commercials, she showed the nation what an anchor can do.

      Having lived much of her life in the public eye, she pointedly stresses in her book, "Speak fewer words and don't reveal your feelings." She should know. Five years ago, a tabloid paper raised suspicion that her young son was not her husband's, a rumor that quickly took on a life of its own. She went through a defamation suit, paternity tests and divorce.

      Being at the receiving end of media attention was a frightening experience, and she learned the hard way that public adulation and persecution are two sides of the same coin. Proudly showing a picture of her son, a playful-looking nine-year old in her cell phone, she now says, "I no longer want my son to be exposed to the media." "Still, I was able to keep my son," she reflects. "Most women lose their children when they are unfairly divorced." 

      Paik remarried three years ago -- a financial specialist 13 years her senior -- but her son still carries her ex-husband's name. When women's groups asked her to be the public face of a campaign to abolish the country's patriarchal family registration system or hojuje, Paik hesitated at first out of concern that some might believe her political activity was motivated by personal reasons. But she adds she has always believed the old system should be abolished. "The atmosphere is ripe to abolish the family registry system, but because there are quite a few lawmakers worried about what others might think, I'm not sure what will happen with it." 

      Paik is inundated with offers to join political parties each election season. But she prefers to contribute through her skills and experience rather than through party politics. In March, she plans to establish a communication consultancy, to be named after her.

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