Where to Get Your KPop / K-Drama News
The number of KPop and K-Drama fans is increasing, but even if Hallyu has been around since I-can’t-even-remember-when, it’s still difficult to get some news, let alone follow your favorite stars. The first barrier one has to conquer is the language. Almost all of us don’t have the time to learn Korean/Hangul despite the fact that it is a very beautiful language. Perhaps the most that we can say in Korean may be a catchphrase in a drama like So Ji Sub’s “Kojo.” (Get lost / Go away) in Master’s Sun, or a word in one Korean song like “gizibe” (bad girl) in CL’s The Baddest Female.
So, one of the fundamental questions a fan has to ask him/herself is:
Where should I get my KPop / K-Drama news?
Through time, you may have made up your own preference of websites, and it’s good! But if you are a new KPop / K-Drama fan, there are a few sites from where you can start. The following sites have their pros and cons, but news is news, and anything to get you your KPop / K-Drama fix is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, better than nothing.
DISCLAIMER: Subjective and random list ahead! The list does not include girl group or boy group- specific sites.
In 2010, when I was a new KPop fan [and when I declared that I will be SHINee's fan forever], my go-to source for KPop news was allkpop. According to the site, it was established in 2007 and caters to over 10 million monthly readers. The site is also said to be the "most trafficked English based K-pop news site in the world."
What I liked about allkpop (usually abbreviated AKP) then was their bright interface. You can also go to threads where KPop fans thrive. I haven't been using allkpop as my primary source of news since 2013, but it really is useful for those who are new to the genre.
Recently, they also offer KPop goods and freebies.
Soompi was established in 1998, and according to the website, it is the "world’s largest and longest-running English online media providing complete coverage of Korean pop culture." Basically, you can find everything in Soompi: news about celebrities, music, TV shows, movies, and style.
Viki, a famous streaming video service (if you don't already know), acquired Soompi in 2015.
Personally, I don't remember a time when I've been consistently visiting Soompi, but some of my friends prefer this site.
With current membership of 19,000 (imagine the diversity), OmonaTheyDidn't is definitely a go-to for fans who prefer to get news, interact with people with similar interests, and form friendships. Usually abbreviated either as as Omona or OMNTD, it is a community that claims to "bring current and interesting Korean news to the hungry masses ( So yum yum )."
I have been visiting Omona since 2012, and I still do. What's interesting about Omona for me is that it caters to the fangirl in me and surprises me with image-heavy posts of Korean stars which I'm sure no one is complaining about. Also, there are privileges for members, but you can basically access the posts. I'm not a member but I'm still enjoying every bit of what Omona offers.
There will be a point in your KPop / KDrama life when you'll ask certain questions like, "Why is the culture like that?" or "How can this star be underrated/overrated?"
If you want to know the answers to your KPop / KDrama culture questions, you can visit Seoulbeats and they might just have the right article for you. Seoulbeats was founded in 2008 and according to the website, it is "a platform for reflections on Korean entertainment."
Analysis of Korean shows and stars might not be your cup of tea, but if you want to widen your horizon and know about others' opinions and analysis, Seoulbeats, for me, is the go-to site. You may or may not agree with the opinions, but what's important is that you've opened yourself to a whole new world of perspective.
There will also be a point in time when you'll think about what Korean netizens think. Good thing there are a number of Korean comments-translating sites like NetizenBuzz (NB when abbreviated). What's intriguing about NB though is that the news translated are those with the negative sentiments of Korean netizens. However, the site clearly says that its purpose is to translate those articles. I think it's good to know how Koreans feel about a certain news, but as with all things and people, remember that we must also not be quick to judge.
I visit NB often since it sometimes translates and delivers faster news than other Korean news sites.
Kkuljaem is also another site that translates Korean netizens' comments. Unlike NB, what I encounter in Kkuljaem are a variety of Korean sentiments ranging from positive to overly mean comments. I also visit this site as often as NB since I think they go hand-in-hand. It also translates from sites such as Pann and Instiz.
Same with NB and Kkuljaem, K-Pop, K-Fans is a site that translates netizens comments. What is different is that it focuses more on Kpop.
Although Dramabeans (DB) is primarily an episode-recapping site, it also delivers K-Drama news like casting offers, entertainment awards, and casting confirmation. What I like about DB is the way the writers write - they make articles that are engaging and interesting.
I always watch out for their red carpet articles since they are really fun to read.
I know there are a lot more websites to choose from, but from my experience, the websites above satisfy my KPop / K-Drama fix. Do you have some recommendations for me to explore? Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.