I’m honored to be the new chief editor of the 100th edition of the UOS Times. At the same time this is my first time editing the magazine, I feel great pressure and a sense of responsibility. Our magazine is distributed quarterly only on the campus, and we carefully write sentences in our articles that do not distort the facts. Needless to say, the larger media companies which are read, heard, watched daily by our nation should always be fair to everyone.
Summer is over, but the heat of the exhausting confrontations in the National Assembly is endless. Because we are fed up with the scuffles between the ruling party and opposition party in the National Assembly, I even feel embarrassed about mentioning it. But it is important to know about the facts.
On July 22, 2009 the national assembly approved the Broadcast Law revision bill centered on allowing newspapers and corporations to own shares in broadcasting stations. However, some people point out that there were second balloting in the same session of the National Assembly and proxy voting. The vote record should be confirmed by reviewing CCTV footage. If the procedure was illegal the government should repeal the laws.
The Broadcast Law revision bill permits large corporations and newspapers to own up to 10% of equity in global broadcasting and 30% in cable television system operators. Korea’s three dominant TV stations - KBS, MBC and SBS - have had a monopoly or oligopoly over the broadcasting market for three decades. I feel that more television companies should be established to expand diversity of the public opinion. However, complementary and restraint measures should be realistic and effective for the reverse actions.
The regulation is not enough to prevent conservative newspapers to monopolize the broadcasting companies. Analysts are suggesting that the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-A Ilbo may enter the broadcasting market and take away advertising revenue from channel operators. The global broadcasting networks MBC and SBS depend almost entirely on advertising for revenue, the Broadcast Law revision may cause a major upheaval in the media market. Freedom of the media should not be threatened for any reasons. Through the Broadcast Law revision I question the future of “the freedom of the media.”