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Government to Open Press Briefings to All Reporters

Posted May. 28, 2003 21:22,   


From September 1st, the government will open press briefings to all media organizations at the Central Government Complex building in central Seoul by implementing a system in which reporters register with the government agency.

Unlike its earlier plan, however, it will not limit reporters` entrance to public offices.

The Korean Information Service reported this to President Roh Moo-hyun on May 27 before the official announcement on May 28.

On the 10th floor in the complex will be a briefing room for only Prime Minister and a room where reporters can send their news. On the fifth floor will be two large briefing rooms for three ministries (the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, the Ministry of Unification, and the Ministry of Government Administration Home Affairs) and three news-sending rooms.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy is formulating the final version of plan to establish a briefing room in the Gwacheon Government Complex where economy-related ministries are and in the Daejeon Complex as well.

The controversial earlier plan to restrict some reporters` entrance to public offices was cancelled.

“We left the decision to reporters themselves,” said Cho Young-dong, head of the Korean Information Service. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism sparked a controversy over the restriction of new coverage activities in March by saying “Individual visits of reporters are not allowed except when they make an appointment in advance before they can meet with public officials in a separate briefing room, and the public official who had a meeting with reporters should inform the press secretary of it.” The Korean Information Service will remodel their offices for two months from July. Reporters who want to enter the Government Complexes should submit the application form to the agency from June 15 to 30. The registration qualification is limited to those who registered with various associations of reporters including the Korean Broadcasters Association and Journalists Association of Korea. However, those who are not registered in such associations can enter the Government Complexes through consultations with the government agency.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com