Korean visitors tour Record, News-Times newsroom

Korean visitors Byoung-Kil Son (left) and Keun-young Song pose with South Whidbey Rotary Club member Bill Lewis in front of the local paper’s archives dating back to the late 1800s.

The offices of the Record and the Whidbey News-Times took on an international flavor this past week with the visit of two South Korean media representatives.

Keun-young Song and Byoung-Kil Son were touring Whidbey Island on Tuesday as guests of the South Whidbey Rotary Club, part of a Rotary International exchange program.

They were accompanied by Bill Lewis of the South End club, who acted as tour guide and chauffeur.

Song, 28, is a culture reporter for a 600,000 circulation daily tabloid newspaper, the Jeolla Reporter, a position she’s held for the past five years.

Son, 41, is on the management planning team of Jeonju Television.

They were shown around Sound Publishing’s Coupeville office by Record editor Brian Kelly, and traded Korea stories with News-Times editor Jim Larsen.

Later Tuesday, they were to visit the Oak Harbor High School TV studio, followed in the evening by a presentation to South Whidbey Rotary.

Lewis said the pair were part of a group of six Korean Rotary members representing different professions who made the trip to North America, dividing their time between the United States and British Columbia, Canada.

Friday they were to visit La Conner, followed on Saturday by a Rotary conference at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia.

Son said he had been to the U.S. twice previously, but this was Song’s first visit, she said.

Son said a highlight of his Whidbey trip was Deception Pass — “very high and wide” — and the residents of the island — “kind people.”

Lewis said the Rotary exchanges are popular with hosts and guests alike.

“It’s a great program,” he said. “We get to meet people from all over the world.”