As we mentioned, it was a press conference like seen before.
In this time of Covid-19, Seoul's top office has been extra creative with its format both to accommodate all media requests to take part and be as interactive as possible AND observe social distancing measures.
Their solution? A hybrid press conference that embraces on-site reporters, reporters joining via video link AND questions via groupchats.
Our Hong Yoo with the details.
The Blue House was extra careful this year when hosting the President’s New Year's press conference amid the pandemic.
To avoid transmissions, only 20 reporters were invited on site and 100 others joined through video link-up.
Those attending in person had temperature checks and filled out medical forms, and the briefing room was disinfected beforehand.
Only President Moon Jae-in was allowed to take off his mask during the press conference.
The on-site reporters were seated on separate desks with a transparent partition on each side.
Each reporter was given a picket with a number on it to raise if they wanted to ask questions.
This was to make it easier for the President to call out those joining online.
“It’s our first time trying a non-contact video link-up conference. So I'm a bit worried whether it will go smoothly, but I hope that we can work together so it becomes a time for good communication and a time to provide answers to what the public is interested in.“
However, there were some technical problems.
A reporter participating via video link-up lost her chance to ask a question as her voice could not be heard due to bad connection.
President MOON Jae-in: Reporter number 52.
MC: Let's move to another reporter as the connection status is not smooth.
And another reporter had to repeat his question three times.
President Moon tried to give a fair chance to both the reporters present and those attending online.
Unlike past press conferences, the President left the conference room without shaking hands with reporters in line with disease prevention efforts.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.