Credit: Public domain.
In July this year, the New York Times announced that it would move its Hong Kong-based digital news operation to Seoul. While the relocation out of Hong Kong, with its darkening prospects for press freedom, was understandable, the selection of Seoul over Tokyo came as a surprise to many.
In an interview with JoongAng Ilbo 중앙일보’s English language edition, Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, president of the International of the New York Times Company, said Seoul was “quite an easy winner.” Dunbar-Johnson said the company put together a scoring chart comparing Seoul and Tokyo, with the heaviest weighted scoring for freedom of press. In addition to press freedom, Dunbar-Johnson noted Seoul ranked ahead of Tokyo in terms of education, cost of living and digital connectivity.
The new Seoul office of the New York Times is in the Standard Chartered Building in Jongro-gu 종로구 District in the center of Seoul. Dunbar-Johnson expects the office will have approximately 35 staff members, with capacity to hold up to 50 members.