The impact of news on culture is profound and far-reaching, and perhaps there is no clearer example of this than the phenomenon of “Gangnam Style.”
In July 2012, the South Korean musician Psy released the music video for his song ‘Gangnam Style.’ The video, with its catchy beat and unique dance routine, quickly gained traction within South Korea’s pop culture. However, it was not until the international news outlets got wind of this new cultural phenomenon that ‘Gangnam Style’ exploded into a worldwide sensation.
CNN was one of the first global broadcasters to report on the ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon. The news that a South Korean song was gaining massive popularity and breaking records on YouTube caught the attention of viewers worldwide. Before long, clips of the music video were being aired repeatedly on news channels across the globe.
The news coverage did not only broaden the audience but also amplified the cultural impact of ‘Gangnam Style.’ People across the world found themselves drawn to the catchy beat and the charismatic Psy, with his distinctive dance moves. Suddenly, K-Pop culture, previously largely unknown outside of South Korea, was thrust onto the global stage. The song’s popularity prompted a significant rise in interest towards South Korea and its music, food, fashion, and language.
The news continued to fuel the ‘Gangnam Style’ craze. People worldwide wanted a piece of this new cultural trend. Dance classes sprung up to teach the famed ‘horse dance’. Restaurants began serving Korean cuisine. Learning Korean became trendy. All because international news had amplified a cultural trend originating from a corner of Asia.
Particularly noteworthy was the surge in tourism to the Gangnam district itself. Many international tourists, spurred on by news reports about the song and the district it was named after, flocked to Gangnam to experience the real-life inspiration behind the viral sensation.
In essence, the news coverage of ‘Gangnam Style’ kick-started a global fascination with South Korean culture. It showcased the power of news in spreading culture globally and shaping cultural trends. The reach and influence of news can turn a local cultural product into a global sensation.
The example of ‘Gangnam Style’ illustrates the significant role that news plays in shaping and impacting culture. It serves as a reminder that news is not just about reporting events but also about spreading ideas, sparking interests, breaking down barriers, and fostering cultural understanding.