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MMA: Trying to Shut the Media?

Posted May. 26, 2005 03:27,   


Controversy is arising over the Military Manpower Administration’s (MMA) decision to garner considerable rewards such as promotion advantages to employees who sue erroneous media reports and bring them before the Press Arbitration Commission (PAC).

Since the beginning of the year, the MMA has been operating a “publicity mileage” policy, which gives 30 extra points in promotion examinations to low level officers who file suit against erroneous media reports and 50 extra points to those who win the suit, according to an MMA official on May 25.

This policy also grades employees who write reports on particular issues and distribute them to the media, and gives them bonus points, awards, or overseas training opportunities at the end of the year.

However, compared to the 10~20 extra points given to employees who write and distribute general reports or explanation materials, reporting false reports to the PAC receive substantially more points, which in effect may restrain critical reports and invade the freedom of the press.

Regarding this, the MMA explained that this policy was introduced as an incentive to the employees in order to give citizens an accurate knowledge of military policies and to cope with erroneous reports.

An MMA official said, “Details related to the PAC are included in the publicity mileage policy, but there have been no actual lawsuits so far.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com