1. Brief introduction on the Sideview
– John J. Lee: Sideview offers fresh, timely, and occasionally funny blog entries on all things related to Korea and its place in the world. It provides a chance for the Institute’s Program Officers to tackle ‘Korean’ issues that may not be particularly well-known or talked about.
– Lisa Collins: Sideview is a blog that provides various unique perspectives on issues related to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Blog entries seek to reach a broader audience comprised of people not just interested in politics or foreign policy issues but also social, economic, cultural and historical issues as well.
– Peter Lee: Sideview began as an attempt to unravel and demystify Korea for foreign audiences. Rather than focus purely on foreign affairs or security issues, Sideview pieces are simple yet sophisticated treatments of a wide range of topics.
– Ross Tokola: Sideview is a blog contributed to by Asan Institute program officers for general readership, particularly for those who browse the Asan Institute website.
2. What made you to participate as a contributor?
– John J. Lee: Northeast Asia is becoming a major economic, political, and cultural hub of the world. With South Korea playing a critical role in this development, I have been looking for ways to address some of the issues and concerns that it has been facing. Sideview provides that opportunity.
– Lisa Collins: I decided to write for “Sideview” because I am interested in many aspects of Korean society and culture and the blog is a good platform for exploring alternative viewpoints and issues which relate to that interest. I also think the experience of writing short ‘journalistic’-like entries is helpful for further developing my writing skills and also pushes me to keep learning new things about Korea-related issues.
– Peter Lee: The contributors to Sideview come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This is because in order to better explain Korea to foreign audiences, one must also have a deep familiarity with other cultures.
– Ross Tokola: I was happy to be asked to write for Sideview in order to have the chance to explore issues that are of interest to me and have the chance to receive feedback on my thoughts on aspects of Korea about which I enjoy learning.
3. What makes Sideview most distinguished among other publications from the institute?
– John J. Lee: I think Sideview differs from many of our publications (issue briefs, reports, etc.) in that it is less formal in terms of the format and the range of topics that it addresses. Many of our ‘traditional’ publications mostly deal with technical and specialized issues. On the other hand, Sideview provides a chance for young scholars to take on fresh and ‘young’ perspectives on issues that are not necessarily serious in nature.
– Lisa Collins: The blog entries are much shorter than the Asan Institute’s formal publications and they generally address the issues in a more informal way. From start to finish the program officers are entirely responsible for all the content of the entries – this means the choice of topic, writing, and editing are all completely the work of the individual program officer.
– Peter Lee: Sideview entries are short, timely articles that deal with breaking issues. Sideview is like a snack between the institute’s regular publications.
– Ross Tokola: Sideview entries are shorter and meant to be more accessible than regular Asan Institute publications. Also, these entries cover issues related to Korea that do not necessarily fall under Asan’s regular research focuses.
4. Please share any aspiration on Sideview.
– John J. Lee: We currently have 4 Program Officers serving as contributors and it is our hope that we can expand it to include more young writers, which would eventually lead to more interesting points of views and arguments.
– Lisa Collins: I hope that it will gain a broader audience and that Sideview will become a respected blog that provides alternative viewpoints on important issues not generally addressed in other forums or publications on Northeast Asia.
– Peter Lee: Over the long term, I hope Sideview will show readers that the Asan Institute can cover a wide spectrum of issues from many angles, from data-driven reports to humorous op-eds.
– Ross Tokola: My hope for Sideview is that it will draw attention to the work of the Asan Institute and encourage discussion on wider issues related to Korea.