Establishing an independent Internet TV station, bus ad project displays [fandom’s] evolution once more
The fans of group JYJ (Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu) are gathering attention for the diverse and creative methods they are using to cheer on and promote their idols, who are in the middle of a legal conflict with their ex-management company, SM Entertainment, and being attacked by the Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Arts Industry (KFPCAI) so that they are unable to appear on media broadcasts.
The fans united together are promoting JYJ’s music through an independent Internet TV station, supporting the musical <Tears of Heaven>, and launching a campaign to reign in false rumours; they are planning other means of support that are equally diverse.
Among all these, the Internet TV station stands out as a creative approach never before attempted by a fandom. Coming this March 3, the Internet station will “show nothing but JYJ music for viewers to get drunk on and is a response to the persecution against JYJ by terrestrial TV stations who still don’t give them a call.” Currently in the process of setting up giant-size servers, the TV station is advertising open positions for a web designer, a DJ, scriptwriter and contents staff. For now, the TV Station is planned to operate like a non-profit organisation.
JYJ fans are also planning joint advertisement projects. As of the 18th, 3 pm, they have raised an incredible 120,000 USD. Japanese and Chinese fans are also showing keen interest in this fundraising activity.
Up to now, fans have laid the groundwork for buses, which will sport on their sides messages cheering on/supporting JYJ in the format of printed ads. The bus advertisement campaign has already started in Kyeonggi province and Seongnam, where city buses displaying the words, ‘[JYJ] we cheer on your youth’ as the main message along with ‘JYJ, three youths, we look forward to seeing you soar higher’ are running. Fans are also manufacturing goods with the logo of JYJ-member Kim Junsu’s musical <Tears of Heaven> printed on. Already one fansite, through funds gathered in this manner, gifted food and various souvenir items and sent them to the rehearsal location of <Tears of Heaven> as expressions of support.
The reason why fans have gotten so directly involved is because JYJ’s media activities are proving to be anything but smooth. It’s already been a while since they released their first worldwide album <The Beginning>, but it is still difficult to see them on TV. They have started to slowly show themselves on the news and in talk shows, but they have yet to make an appearance on a music programme. Until now, we haven’t been able to see them [on a music programme] even once.
Ever since the legal conflict involving SM Entertainment and their unfair contracts began gaining attention, the fans have played a big role in notifying the National Human Rights Commission, the Fair Trade Commission, the Korean Consumers Association and various state and civil society agencies about the abuses of slave contracts; one anticipates how the sincere fandom culture displayed by JYJ fans will develop in the future.