This incident triggered Kim Eun Hye (’93, Mass Communications) to become a reporter in order to unite the weak and notify them of important information. Along with this new-found goal, Kim also established a philosophy that has formed the foundation for her life: “Be weak to the weak and strong to the strong.” Throughout her versatile career as a reporter, news anchor, spokesperson for the Blue House and senior vice president for KT (Korea Telecom), Kim has remained faithful to this principle.
Even though Kim was inspired to pursue her first career by a sense of justice, she warns against an exaggerated blind pursuit of justice, especially because she herself had inflicted immoderate justice on her own part.
Once, a taxi driver was admitted to the hospital after a car accident with the son of a wealthy family. When the police report said that the case was closed under agreement, Kim wrote an article criticizing the wealthy son, assuming he had used his social and economic power to cover up his faults. A few months later, however, Kim discovered that the accident was actually quite minor and that the taxi driver had faked the injury to get insurance benefits. This incident served as a catalyst for Kim to acknowledge her prejudices and stereotypes. She also learned that while a “fact” may stand clear for all to see, the “truth” behind it may differ according to each individual, making the circumstance or situation very vague. This realization triggered Kim to be more flexible in deciding a frame for the news she covered.
During her career as a reporter, Kim was offered the opportunity to work as a news anchor, and she became the first anchor with a reporter’s background in Korea. Several years later, Kim was offered a position as a governmental spokesperson, which she accepted out of curiosity and desire to increase her capacity.
While her previous experiences helped her understand the viewpoints of the receiving end comprised of reporters and readers, Kim says the work as a spokesperson for the government was extremely challenging and burdensome because every issue was national.
“Every second was like standing on the edge of a knife,” Kim said.
Although government affairs took up most of her time with family and gave her few opportunities to enjoy the achievements of her work, Kim still had some moments when she could fulfill her life philosophy. Such was the case when she had helped a 10-year-old girl and her mother receive government beneficiary.
“In a letter to the president, the girl had expressed her grief about how she and her mother had become exempt from the beneficiary of national basic livelihood just because her mother owned an old rusty van with which she did community service with members from her church,” Kim said. “I personally delivered the letter to the president, and the next day, the president ordered the necessary adjustments after visiting the area where the girl lived and calling her.”
Kim says her current position as the Chief Communications Officer for KT is in line with her principle of life as well.
When asked about future plans, Kim replied that her life always has been and always will be about following her principle.
“Thinking about what you want to be is not that important because things do not always turn out that way,” Kim said. “What is really significant is how you want to live your life, and for me, that is what my life principle is about. I want to live a life where I can help and support people who are in desperate need of help, and I plan to keep up with this desire and faith.”
Stressing the importance of youth and its nature of forgiveness, Kim advises Ewha students to treasure their time in university and use this time to do things that are only possible as university students.
“Youth is valuable in that there is still time to recover from mistakes,” Kim said. “In my current position, even one mistake would get me fired. Enjoy this moment and do not be afraid of failures. Opportunities usually come from unexpected places, so do not worry about following the ‘right’ path. Do things you cannot do after graduation, like reading all day, playing wildly and traveling freely. As proud students of Ewha, you are all worth it.”