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Korea Journalists Club, Association of Press Editors Issue Denunciations

Korea Journalists Club, Association of Press Editors Issue Denunciations

Posted October. 18, 2004 23:15,   


Responding to bills proposing press laws introduced by the ruling Uri Party, Choi Kyu-cheol, president of the Association of Press Editors, issued a statement yesterday saying, “This is an evil law that can be only accepted by a coup and is completely contradictory to the principles of market economy and liberal democracy.”

In a statement, he said, “Restricting the market share of the three major newspapers, including Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo, to less than 60 percent is an abuse of power that is aimed at curbing the criticism of the press,” adding, “Articles on the restriction of market share, the submission of management-related materials, the mandatory enactment of editing codes, funds for press development and so forth are particularly detrimental to protecting the freedom of the press.”

In addition, he criticized, “Subsidizing certain newspapers can be interpreted as a government attempt to tame the press and to build new connections with favorable newspapers,” adding, “The government has finally revealed its hidden intention of dividing the press and instigating social friction through this incidence.”

Meanwhile, the Korea Journalists Club also issued a statement yesterday, saying, “The proposed press laws introduced by the Uri Party are aimed at fettering the three major newspapers which have been critical of government policies. Moreover, restricting market share is an unprecedented case in the history of the press throughout the world.”

“The independence of editorial rights is not a matter that the government can intervene in, but a matter that individual newspaper companies must settle independently. Furthermore, to obligate companies to submit materials related to their management, such as advertising rates and circulation, is a revival of the previous military government’s evil laws that were abolished due to the possibility of their being abused as a means of controlling the press,” said a spokesperson of the Korea Journalists Club.

Jung-Bo Suh suhchoi@donga.com