By Hwang Dong-hee
The Korea Times video team received a "Video Storytelling Award" at the 10th Korea Digital Journalism Awards, Wednesday, for the documentary film "The Nth Room case: The Making of a Monster."
The film covers the notorious online sexual blackmail ring case which shocked the nation last year as a string of appalling cases of sexual exploitation crimes that were committed through chatroom groups of the Telegram messaging platform, particularly the group named 'Nth room,' were revealed.
From Oct. 2020 to May 2021, The Korea Times' video journalists collaborated with Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, Indonesia's Tempo magazine, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and Manila-based broadcasting company ABS-CBN to cover the issues of digital sex crimes in Asia.
In addition to reporting cases of digital sexual violence in each institution's respective country, the media organizations jointly cooperated to cover similar patterns of sexual exploitation that cross national borders in the digital space, highlighting the need for international policing efforts.
Including in-depth interviews with experts, among who were the two first informants in the case, lawmakers, detectives, and cryptocurrency experts, the 50-minute documentary film investigates how the Nth room happened.
After its release, the video team participated in an interview with South China Morning Post's podcast about digital sexual violence cases in Korea. Also, an Australian documentary director Lauren Beck filmed a documentary about this media organizations' first collaborative coverage in Asia.
The grand prize was awarded to Dong-A Ilbo's Hero Contents Team for the series "Reincarnation: People who shared lives," which covered the issue of organ donors, transplant recipients and their families.
Six members of the jury with expertise in various fields such as academia, media and IT conducted intense reviews to determine winners among the 30 finalists.
Sponsored by Korea Press Foundation, the award ceremony for the 10th Korea Digital Journalism Awards will be held at Seoul National University, Dec. 6.