... or even not really.
Koreans, whatever else you may say about them, are readers. Every time I go to the bookstore here, I am amazed at how crowded it is. It's like a Jeff Foxworthy book-signing event back home on a daily basis. You might not be a redneck if ... you own more than five books that don't have pictures.
Korea has hundreds of publishing houses to serve its fifty million people (and it's not all TOEFL prep titles, either) and a long list of daily and weekly newspapers, including at least three with a larger readership in Korea than the NYT has in America. Walk past any subway entrance at peak hours and you will find several stands with free newspapers.
Not that the content is necessarily stellar, as you can see from the Daily Mail/New York Sun stylings of the Korea Times, above.
I happened to notice in the subway Saturday morning that five of the people standing in my immediate vicinity were reading books--fiction books, not textbooks or language primers. Of course, almost everyone else was playing a video game or watching a DMB TV.
Anyway, the paps, as those of us who have seen Disney's [insert adjective here] 1992 musical Newsies invariably call them. Or the Fourth Estate, as those of us present in the British House of Commons in 1787 when Edmund Burke used it to refer to the opening up of the House to "press reporting".
The news media in Korea is still in it's toddlerhood, roughly equivalent to a really strong US comprehensive high school's newspaper: slick graphics that somehow don't quite get their point across; in-depth reporting of the latest successes and scandals of the current pop culture icons; interminable "he said-she said" political coverage; grossly unfair treatment of voiceless minorities; rumor reported as truth; sophomoric editorializing on world events of importance; and rah-rah coverage of local sports figures who've hit the Big Time.
Things aren't much better back home these days, I must say ...