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Ruling Faction: “Government Denies Reality and Pushes On”

Ruling Faction: “Government Denies Reality and Pushes On”

Posted August. 25, 2007 03:26,   


On August 24, the United New Democratic Party and the Democratic Party made clear their positions against the so-called “government plan to reform the news coverage system,” which contains the merger and abolition of press rooms pointing to the possibility of a contracted freedom of the press. Powerful presidential candidates of the ruling party circle also agreed that “the freedom of the press should be guaranteed as much as possible."

At the high committee meeting held at the National Assembly on August 24, a consensus was reached that “it is not right for the government to forcibly push for a policy that the press sees as press control and unanimously opposes such an act.” “The government should talk with the press organizations carefully and produce a rational alternative,” said spokesman Lee Nak-yeon.

Spokesperson Lee said, “Most of the negative sides of press rooms as described by the government are gone. The government will only be able to produce proper policies when it admits the changed reality of the press circle.”

On the same day, Democratic Party floor leader Choi In-gi announced a statement,

“The Roh Moo-hyun administration says that its ‘plan to modernize the news coverage system which means virtually shutting down the press rooms in the central government ministries and replacing them with a huge, consolidated press room, is a forward-looking reform. But this is no more than a Roh Moo-hyun-esque vengeance declaration against the press.”

“The consolidated briefing system is the same as telling the journalists to write down what is being dictated to them. This is no different than returning to the press policies of the fifth republic period,” he added.

Future presidential candidate of the United New Democratic Party, Sohn Hak-kyu, also the former governor of Gyeonggi Province, said, “People’s right to know will only be satisfied when the right to know of the journalists is guaranteed. I’ll promote a policy that best guarantees the reporting activities of journalists, whether it is the recovery of the original state or a new alternative.”

Former Minister of Unification Chung Dong-young also said, “Freedom of news coverage should be protected at a maximum. The government should collect opinions rather than attempt to improve the press environment overnight.”

Assemblyman Chough Soon-hyung of the Democratic Party said, “This attempt to block the press itself embarrasses the people who are provided with information through the press.”