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A Study on the Use of Hangeul in Jeguksinmun and Reader Strategy―Focusing on Unpublished Data and Contests

Kwon Duyeon 1

1한세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Jeguksinmun distinguished itself by succeeding in publishing only in the Korean language starting with its first edition and carried out various strategies for Hangeul (Korean language) readers: the prize contest was one of them. This study focused on the prize contest in order to examine Jeguksinmun’s use of Hangeul and strategies for its readers, since the contest provides a useful perspective for a study on media. The prize contest was different from readers’ contributions, in that both the company’s position and readers’ responses can be understood through it. The prize contests held by Jeguksinmun were divided into <Malmodeum> and <Gukmunpungwol>. The former was a kind of quiz in which Hangeul words were suggested as questions and players solved them, while the latter was a contest of writing in which participants created poems in Hangeul. Such contests were widely held in 1907 and 1908 and are found to have commonly used Hangeul. Response to the prize contests was considerable, and the participants were mostly comprised of teenagers and female readers. It is demonstrated that the contests effectively attracted young male readers in their teens who spoke Hangeul. Thus, the prize contests was measures for Jeguksinmun to extend its directivity of media, use pure Korean alphabet toward the masses, practice of language toward readers. In addition, that was one of the strategies designed to compete with a variety of Hangeul media, including the Korean language version of Daehan Maeil Shinbo. The contest not only enhanced the readers’ understanding of the Korean language, but also induced their active participation. However, it could not be sustained, as the difficulty of questions and the level of verse writing could not satisfy the expectations or needs of the company and financial difficulties did not cease.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.