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Taehoon Lee

Seoul, Korea

Taehoon Lee, AAJA Asia Seoul VP and executive producer of the N3Con Seoul 2016, is an award-winning journalist and the CEO of two media startups, Newsbacker and The Korea Observer.

Newsbacker, which is on beta, is a crowdfunding and collaboration platform to support independent journalists dedicated to investigating and exposing inconvenient truths about society.

He cofounded Newsbacker with fellow Korea Observer journalist and passionate videographer James Hyams.

The Korea Observer, founded by Lee in February 2013, is a self-funded and independent online news site that relies on no corporate sponsorship or advertising to maintain editorial independence.

Lee is also a producer for investigative documentaries of several networks, including SBS Australia, Channel4 and Channel NewsAsia, as well as the presenter of an investigative radio segment at TBSeFM in Seoul.

In his previous stints at Arirang TV and The Korea Times, he was honored as reporter of the year by The Korea Times and received the Award for Outstanding Watchdog Journalism from the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, for which he received $60,000 for his investigative reports.

Lee left the Korea Times after the newspaper ran advertorials with no mention of them being paid content and generating revenue under the guise of helping multicultural children and others in need.

He also resigned from Arirang TV, which sadly serves as the mouthpiece of the government, after protesting embezzlement by senior managers and firing of its staff to cover up the network’s irregularities.

Lee later ran a series of investigative articles disclosing corruption at the state-run TV station until the then CEO of The Korea Times demanded him to stop publishing more articles about Arirang TV to “protect the English-language media industry in Korea.” His articles prompted prosecutors’ investigation and led to jail terms for the heads of the then news and programming departments of Arirang TV.