In a surprising move, allkpop recently released a bit of pseudo-journalism, reaching out to sources* of theirs in the K-pop industry to comment on the T-ara bullying scandal.
*Yes, they do have connections. No reason to doubt that these are legitimate thoughts.
Why is this journalism attempt significant?
Well, I found it extremely odd because they’ve never done it before. Most of us here are aware that they used to be a troll site of sorts, but they’ve never previously used their own industry sources to create a rumor mill on their own.
So it begs the question: why now?
For starters, we should establish that the relationship companies have with media outlets in this situation is quid pro quo.
If you just look at the exclusives that sites get then you have a general understanding of which companies they do and do not get along with. That observation shouldn’t be anything groundbreaking, but I can confirm that it more or less accurately portrays the reality of the relationships.
Now take that knowledge and further observe that they’ve always had no involvement with Core Contents Media and T-ara. While they do have connections with the parent company, Mnet Media, the subsidiary is a different beast altogether. Connecting the dots yet?
I’m not going to say that they wrote the rumor story on T-ara because of a negative relationship with CCM, but I will say that it’s not a coincidence that you won’t see a similar article released about 2PM‘s Nichkhun‘s scandal (well maybe now you will?). allkpop has previously shown an extensive relationship with JYP Entertainment, even getting an exclusive on the company’s statement of apology. Both situations are ripe for rumors and editorials, but only one got a full range of damaging speculation.
Still though, if they are going to attempt actual journalism, why not do it correctly? Instead, we were left with this shit:
allkpop reached out to industry insiders to gain more perspective on this matter, and here’s what we learned (these are rumors):
*CCM forced both nip-slip incidents as a publicity stunt
*Member Jiyeon’s live strip cam incident in the past was leaked by CCM on purpose, and then covered up by CCM because Jiyeon was misbehaving, to teach her a lesson (i.e. we can ruin your career if you don’t follow orders)
*The big announcement is either that Hwayoung is going to be kicked out of the group or that it may even be Jiyeon, because she is still “misbehaving”
*The big announcement may possibly be that T-ara is disbanding completely.
*All of this is another major publicity stunt for an upcoming event or promotion
These speculations have come from idol group managers, reporters and industry insiders who have been around T-ara over the past few weeks, and choose to remain anonymous.
The accusations leveled in this article are stunning*. Seriously. At best, it’s irresponsible. At worst, it’s libelous.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Well they just got wind of these rumors and are letting us know what people are thinking!”
No, just no.
*I’ve seen some people rail on them for using anonymous sources, but that’s out of line. If you don’t use anonymous sources, you’ll never get any interesting information. That said, the point of using anonymous sources is to acquire quality information from reliable people who don’t want to be identified, not to spew a bunch of shit.
1) That’s not how journalism works.
Even for rumor/speculation based articles, you don’t just copy/paste a bunch of shit random people tell you, especially when the information they give is insane and/or conflicting. All that does is make you look confused/unreliable and as if you’re endorsing the crazy/insane sources.
2) A ton of rumors come through the desks of these media sites.
To this point, they’ve passed on making a rumor post using their own independent knowledge on all of them. So why do it now? And if this is the start of a new direction for them, why do it so shitty?
I’m trying to wrap my head around this whole thing, but I still can’t understand why anybody would think it’s normal to ask sources in rival companies what they think of another company’s scandal. Hypothetically, it’s a bit like polling Super Junior fans on what they think of an EXO scandal and then publishing it. Like … how could that possibly go awry, right?
Come the fuck on, journalism isn’t about taking a bunch of contradicting/inflammatory opinions at random and then putting it out in the open. It’s about reporting reality/facts from reliable sources.
I think it would have been fucking awesome if they did a story on this scandal where they actually broke news. As in, they found a source who knows what’s going on behind the scenes and then they formed a cohesive piece about it. Would have been sweet for international fans to get the scoop before Korean fans, right? I think so. Instead, we’re left with this sloppily compiled clusterfuck of contradicting information, conspiracy theories, and shit I’ve seen fans/antis fantasize about.
It’s just … confusing.