ISSN : 0023-3900
The 16th presidential election in 2002 marked a turning point in Korean politics. Above all, it was a departure from the authoritarian era symbolized by the three Kims who had dominated Korean politics for the last three decades. In addition, it marked Korean politics' entrance into an era of full-scale utilization of the media politics. But the 2002 presidential election exhibited both the bright and dark sides of media politics. Despite the immature state of media strategy in Korea, the election demonstrated that a candidate successful in mounting media-friendly events and issues could win an election. Roh's triumph can largely be attributed to his media events, MDP's semiprimaries (dubbed "the weekend drama"), and candidacy unification negotiations with Chung Mong-jun. The election also witnessed a sharp increase in the influence of the Internet and the declining influence of major conservative newspapers. The major traditional newspaper failed in their efforts to affect the election by focusing on the North Korean nuclear crisis. On the other hand, public mourning of two teenage girls and demand for a revision of SOFA emerged as a critical issue through the medium of the Internet. Despite the power of media politics, several problems arouse, including those of the media's impartiality and the sensationalism of election news and programs.