Faith and News Media
All this week at WitnessLA.org we’re featuring the stories and testimonies of Christians in the entertainment industry. Our friend Yealee Song shares about how God inspired her to combine her faith with her passion for news and media.
Q: Thanks for speaking with us! Could you please share how you are currently involved in the entertainment industry? What kinds of projects have you been working on?
I worked for nearly ten years in broadcast news and am currently the director of production at KAC Media, a faith-based media company. I also host and executive produce a Christian talk show called “Upper Room” and was co-producer of the short film, “Elijah’s Liquor Store.” I am most interested in human interest stories, documentaries and testimonies.
Q: How did you first enter the industry? Did God speak to you on this calling?
I was always interested in journalism because my dad was a photojournalist and ran a Korean language newspaper company in LA. I wrote for the school paper from junior high to college and also wrote for Rafu Shimpo and KoreAM Journal. But in my senior year of college, I got an internship at KTLA-TV and switched from print to broadcasting. At the time, I did not think God spoke to me on this calling. I was just pursuing something that I was good at and passionate about.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as a Christian in entertainment? (financially, morally, ethically, etc.)
I’m in a unique situation because I actually work for a Christian media company, so the challenge we face is: how do we produce content that is just as high quality as the ones produced by mainstream media and how do we get people interested in watching? We always walk the line between being counter-cultural but still relevant.
Q: How do you think God has protected and guided you in your entertainment career? How has He directed you in making career decisions?
It was crazy because I probably would not have left KTLA had I not come down with a disability. I woke up one day with excruciating pain. Turns out, I had developed two bulging discs in my neck! I ended up quitting my job and spending the next year and a half rehabilitating. At church, I would get words from people that God would open the doors for me. Little did I know that the doors he would open would be at KAC Media. I was confused at first. Why would God want me at a small, Christian company that focused on the Korean American community? I wanted to go mainstream! But on the day of my interview, I prayed with the CEO and while we were praying, I felt something warm go up my right arm and linger on the right side of my neck. I have not had the same pain since! I believe God healed me so I could work at KAC Media, and it’s been such a tremendous blessing.
Q: Could you share a story of a time where God provided for you, spoke to you about a project, or was otherwise present in your situation?
We depend on God everyday just to survive as a company and keep doing what we’re doing. The miracles are too numerous to count! But I remember one incident that stands out. Shortly after starting at KAC Media, I was praying about the state of our finances, resources, equipment and manpower. I felt like the Lord gave me 2 Chronicles 2. In it, King Solomon asks for skilled laborers to be sent to help him build the house of the Lord. What encouragement that was to me! Since then, the Lord indeed has sent skilled staff and volunteers to KAC Media to literally help build the company from the ground up.
Q: How does working in entertainment affect your walk with God?
I’m just honored and excited to be working with other Christians in the entertainment industry. I see us truly working towards establishing a “new” Hollywood! I don’t think working in entertainment has affected my walk with God. It’s been the other way around. My walk with God has affected the work that I do. I feel so free now. I know I don’t need to strive to make things happen for myself. I just need to keep working hard and do things with excellence and integrity. In His time, God will open the doors. I also am convicted that as Christians in the industry, we must pray more!!
Q: How are you able to express your faith in Jesus in your work?
You all need to go to www.kacmedia.org and check out our shows! The content you’ll find is an expression of not just my own faith but the faith of our brothers and sisters throughout the city from all walks of life and backgrounds!
Q: What advice would you have to other Christians considering entering your field?
It all depends! I love taking people under my wing and training/mentoring so if you want advice, contact me sometime!