Nieman News

Kim Yong-koo, a 1963 Nieman Fellow—the first from South Korea—and former managing editor of The Korea Times and, died August 19 in Seoul. He was 90.

After working as an army chaplain and as an interpreter between Korean and U.S. forces during the Korean War, Kim began his journalism career as a reporter at The Korea Times—the country’s oldest English-language daily newspaper—in 1954. He went on to serve as the paper’s managing editor from 1959 to 1961. He then became director of the Press Center, an ethical journalism institute managed by The Korea Times. After his Nieman fellowship year, which was sponsored by the Asia Foundation, he wrote for the Hankook Ilbo—a sister paper of The Korean Times— starting in 1963. In 1998, he became a distinguished professor of journalism at Korea University.

Kim was a founding member of the Kwanhun Club, a Korean journalists group, and he served as a chief of the international Congress for Cultural Freedom’s Korean branch. A staunch advocate for press freedom, he often wrote and lectured about the subject, and worked with the International Press Institute to promote press freedom worldwide. Following his retirement, Kim published Bushitdol, a small literary and philosophical journal.