When one thinks of an announcer, a neatly dressed professional TV presenter comes to mind. However, Kang Min-ji, a freelancer announcer, stands out from the crowd. Kang, a graduate of Ewha, is always on the lookout for where her talent could serve those best. This unique career has exposed her to so many experiences.
Announcers, in Korea, include terrestrial TV announcers regional announcers, and cable TV announcers based on the broadcasting company they work under. Recently, the number of announcers who have declared themselves as freelancers have increased in Korea. Freelance announcers d i ff e r compared to regular announcers and are considered ‘broadcasters’ in Korea as they work in various fields other than TV.
Kang has worked in most of the fields where announcers would find themselves in. After graduating university, she began as an announcer reporting for TJB Daejeon and ETN entertainment TV.
In 2016, she joined On Game Net (OGN) and worked as an affiliate announcer for E-sport games. Since then, as a freelancer, she worked as a host on Work TV and channel J, and reported on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics for KBS.
In the midst of a naturally challenging industry, Kang is always looking for ways to overcome obstacles, and gain more experience. In university, she was often portrayed as a student “who finds her own way to do her job”. She enjoys taking risks to discover interests and achieve results.
“It seemed to me that an announcer is the most beautiful job that I could do in my youth,” Kang said. “I also thought being an announcer would also help to achieve my goals in my next stage of life.”
With her preference for having more freedom to experience work in various fields, Kang mentions her role as a freelance announcer is more suitable to her compared to a regular announcer that broadcasts on TV.
“In the case of OGN, I could not get in touch with all other channels or activities,” Kang said. “Even in the seasons when games leagues were not presented, I was unable to work in other areas due to the contract I had with them. This made me frustrated.”
After becoming a freelancer, Kang branched out to daily broadcasting, morning and evening live broadcasts, and reporting.
“As a freelancer, I can plan my own broadcasting schedule,” Kang said. “But there is always uncertainty and tension about the possibility of replacing hosts with other announcers. I should say that the competition between freelancers is fierce, but this also means that the fruit is sweeter when I get work.”
Many freelance announcers are even branching into entertainment industries, as the boundary between announcers and entertainers becomes more vague. In an increasing trend, broadcasting companies now require traditional announcers to be ready to fit into other programs such as entertainment.
“As the working environment for announcers vary nowadays, each broadcasting company has different ideas about the characteristics of announcers,” Kang said.
Kang concluded with some advice to students who aim to be announcers in the future. She suggested that a steady passion and love for their dreams will guide them to their goals.
“It is important to gain lots of experiences, so that you can get a broad understanding of the field you want to enter,” Kang said. “Rather than being attracted to the superficial sides of being an announcer, I recommend you to experience that broader world and require a deep understanding to step further towards your goals.”