International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Journalist Profile

Yong Jin Kim

Yong Jin Kim, Korea, is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ), the first nonprofit online investigative reporting organization in South Korea.

He started his career as a journalist in 1987 at Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), a public broadcasting corporation. He mostly covered police, courts, labor and media. He exposed that the national spy agency had helped big corporations block people who had experience in labor unions from getting work by doing illegal surveillance and establishing a huge blacklist.

In 1992, he received the Journalist Association of Korea (JAK)'s “Korea Journalist Award,” the most prestigious journalism award in Korea for the exposure. He also has won three “This Year's Broadcasting Journalist” awards.

In 2005, he founded and led an investigative reporting unit in KBS. The unit has so far received about 30 prestigious national and international journalism awards, including an IRE award. In 2005 and 2006, he worked as a visiting professional at IRE.

He quit KBS when the former president Lee Myung Bak took office in 2008, because he felt freedom of press in Korea was being severely oppressed. He then established KCIJ.

He is the author of They know, but we don’t, a best seller based on the cables of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul that were first exposed by Wikileaks.

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