How does Dispatch take the ultimate photos of kpop stars?
Who are they?
Dispatch was established in 2011, while it was made up of 11 staff members.(5 writers, 4 photographers, and 2 desk staffs) They are former employees of Korean media outlet Sports Seoul who have taken paparazzi photos of celebrities for years. They insist that they are not a paparazzi, saying they do not sell their photos unlike foreign paparazzis who work on a freelance and sell their photos for the highest price possible. They say they pursue "Paparazzi style journalism" and try to break from unseemly media circus that is just based on rumors.
When I go to cover various k-pop related events, I meet many Korean journalists. We usually talk about our companies just like ordinary office workers. However, the Dispatch people are so mysterious. They never talk about how they work and how their company makes profits, while they seem to be very proud of what they do. What I've heard about how Dispatch people work is that they get a lot of information from people who are working in the fashion and beauty world. Do you think they just chase celebrities without any information? No, they have sources. Celebrities are usually get along well with people in the fashion and beauty world, while they have a lot of information about k-pop stars’ private lives. And I’ve also heard that one of Dispatch's important sources is a tycoon of the demimonde quarters who knows much about celebrities' dirty gossips.
Do they earn big money?
No, not at all. Media environment in Korea is so rapidly changing, while most of Korean media outlets are suffering from economic difficulties. They go undercover day and night but it costs personnel expenses, food expenses and fuel expenses. Besides, they drive expensive cars when they go undercover. And in a special case, they also go abroad to chase celebrities. Lee Minho and Suzy's case is the typical example. However, advertising revenue is about the only thing they get by doing so, while the advertising revenue is not that high. Actually, Dispatch has been suffering from economic difficulty and some of Korean media outlets have tried to purchase it even though the Dispatch people gave a flat refusal to the suggestion. Then, how do they earn money and make a living? They have their family media outlet, TV Report. TV Report is not so wealthy either, but better than Dispatch. That's why TV Report promotes Dispatch's scoops, while Dispatch shares high level information with TV Report.
Do they have a connection with the government?
There is a conspiracy theory that Dispatch has a connection with the Korean government. Some people insist that it is true, saying Dispatch get scoops on celebrities' scandals whenever the government is in danger caused by corruption scandals implicating high-ranking officials, maladministration cases and more. Do you think the government gave high level information to Dispatch and the media outlet got scoops to cover up the government's fault? No. What Dispatch is doing is taking the ultimate photos of k-pop stars’ dating but the government doesn’t have any information about the stars’ dating. Instead, it seems that the government has been trying to reverse its bad situations by leaking legal scandals to various media outlets. For example, 2NE1 Park Bom's drug scandal and Lee Soo Man's tax scandal.