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Govt. Excludes Overseas News Outlets from Summit Press Conference

Govt. Excludes Overseas News Outlets from Summit Press Conference

Posted October. 20, 2007 03:11,   


Controversy is brewing over the government’s exclusion of major international newspapers from a press briefing held Friday to announce the outcome of the recent inter-Korean summit.

Cheong Wa Dae invited 22 journalists from 20 foreign news outlets to the briefing.

The list of the invited news media included news agencies such as the AP, Reuters, AFP, DPA, Bloomberg, and Japan’s Asahi and Yomiuri newspapers. Arabic news channel Al Jazeera’s Tokyo correspondent was also invited to the briefing.

However, top international newspapers such as, the U.K.’s Financial Times, Japan’s Nihon Keizai and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, were not on the list.

Oh Yeong-jin, presidential secretary for foreign media, said, “In order to encourage more reporting on the inter-Korean summit in more countries, we invited foreign media to the briefing in consideration of regional distributions, and tried to include more news agencies.”

“The government divided the regions into five groups: U.S. China, Japan, Europe and the Middle East, and reviewed newspapers, broadcasters and magazines in those regions to make the list. We ruled out the New York Times and the Washington Post because they don’t have a correspondent in Seoul,” a government official said.

However, a foreign journalist said, “The two leading papers were excluded because they have written critical articles about Roh.”

“Although there are more than 200 correspondents in Seoul from over 100 news organizations worldwide, Cheong Wa Dae unilaterally picked only small number of news outlets,” said Lim Yeon-sook, president of the Foreign Correspondents Club, who is also the Seoul correspondent for Singapore TV.