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MBC’s “Shin Gang-gyun`s News Service” to be Closed Down

MBC’s “Shin Gang-gyun`s News Service” to be Closed Down

Posted January. 10, 2005 23:06,   


As the host and correspondent of the show titled “Shin Gang-gyun`s News Service: the Truth Is" aired by MBC, one of Korea’s major TV networks, sparked controversy over a bribery scandal involving foreign brand-name handbags, the TV broadcasting station has decided to close down the program and air a new media commentary show.

“We have decided to change the host and title of the show ‘Shin Gang-gyun`s News Service’ and repackage it to focus more on media critique,” said the head of MBC’s broadcasting bureau Kim Hak-hee on January 10. The exact airing date of the new program has yet to be determined.

The host of the program and deputy manager Shin Gang-gyun said, “I should have been more careful about my behavior since I was in the public eye of criticizing others. I deserve what I got.”

MBC plans to hold an in-house ethics meeting as early as January 11 to investigate those involved in the scandal and discipline them through the personnel commission.

Meanwhile, the representative director, Byun Tak, of the construction company that had bribed Shin with a designer handbag expressed his stance in a letter titled “Words of Apology” sent to the press, saying, “I had prepared a handbag for news chief Kang Seong-joo, who is my middle school junior, for being awarded the ‘Munjung (Munkyung Middle School in North Kyungsang Province) Award’ and also extended the same handbag offer to all of the participants there.”

“Byun and the MBC news chief and their party met not on January 24 as MBC claimed, but on January 21. The day when Kang and Shin returned their handbags was not January 22, a day after their acceptance, but January 24, when Shin himself visited Byun’s office at Taeyoung headquarters in Mapo-gu, Seoul three days after the receipt,” said managing director Lee Seung-kap of the planning and management division of Taeyoung.

Citizens United for Better Society (Co-chair: Yoo Jae-cheon) pointed out on that day that “both Taeyoung’s behavior of bribing a news commentator into silence and the journalist’s unscrupulous act of taking the bribe show us a loss of ethics. MBC must immediately shut down the program ‘Shin Gang-gyun`s News Service’ that has lost morality and fairness, and reconsider the problem of biased views held by media commentary shows.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com