The Falling Dignity of Media
The Falling Dignity of Media
  • Observer
  • 승인 2014.04.02 22:03
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Recently, people said that the press and broadcasters are losing their qualities and reporting unfairly. Moreover, some news broadcasted so bizarre things that the public couldn’t anticipate. Reflecting reality, News 9 broadcasted by JTBC which is run by anchor Suk-hee Sohn catches popularity by its fair report nowadays. Perhaps, this is because News 9 broadcasts fair reports compared with major broadcasting companies. We are living in society trust is flooded wit articles from online, TV, radio and etc. However, there is a lot of uncertain information, which is the truth? What makes these situations that we couldn’t believe media? The Observer found reasons why we do not trust the media.

Role of Media
Life was simple and social phenomena were limited in the past. Therefore people could adapt to a community and acquire information about the surrounding social environment. However social phenomena are diversified and complicated nowadays. Hence people have difficulty to acquire information by themselves. Therefore, we needed a place which can acquire, analyze and provide information to the public. This is why the media appeared. Someone said the role of the media as “Spikier,” it is a compound word; spy and speaker. In other words, the role of the spy is exploring the diversity of social phenomena and digging up content in detail and that of a speaker is announcing what they found.

Reasons that distort the media
What were the reasons that made the media to lose their purposes and caused many problems to be brought up? First reason is Korean media had many complications. The first Korea media was founded during the Japanese ruling era of Korea. However their contents were mostly about the opposition of the Japanese invasion of Korea and media during Japanese colonization of Korea. So they were almost discontinued or intimidated by the government. It was also hard to be ingrained in those surrounding situations compared with other countries because of the Korean War after the liberation of Korea and the continued despotic government. The second reason is that despotic government period lasted considerably a long time. It was almost impossible to present news that criticized the government. The press showed the tendency that it because subordinated under the government after the despotic government period. Third, cliques appeared within the media by these reasons. Each media reported articles that represented each party. This made the essence of media more distorted.

Disappearing journalism
Journalism means an act that reports accidents and new information to the public. However, the news content from MBC were embroiled in controversy to the point where people asked, “How did they lose their journalism?” It is because MBC had broadcasted terrible content that looked like it could have been used in ‘Gag Concert’ such as, “Why did Jung-Eun Kim cut his eyebrow?”, “Sausage bread is good on a rainy day,” and “There are differences of muscle quantity between the Conservative Party and the Progressive Party.” Also, TV Chosun was satirized by some media because they included a caption that said “President Park Geun -hye had an aura when she was interviewed.” Recently, a media analyzed her voice tone when she did a presidential speech for the New Year. The content was her voice became stable in her second year. This is not important thing to the public. In addition, ‘Dong-A Ilbo’ published 4 pages in news talking about President Park’s fashion in September, 7, 2013. The content was saying that it expected President Park Geun-hye is to be a leader in the domestic fashion industry. However, other media stations said this content is not appropriate material to be broadcasted by a major daily news source. Also, fashion designers, including Sang-bong Lee, questioned this news; “Does the news really contribute to the improvement of domestic fashion industry?”

Oppressed media
CBS News show of Hyun-jung Kim received a warning from the Communications Standards Commission which was broadcasted on November 25th last year. This is because they interviewed a person who was at the center of controversy. Also JTBC News 9, which is run by anchor Suk-hee Sohn, and the people in relation to the broadcasting program received disciplinary action and warning because of the content of their report which was broadcasted on November 5th last year for violating fairness and objectivity. The Kyunghyang Daily News’ company building was invaded by police with the purpose of putting down the Korea confederation of trade unions. This meant the media’s freedom was invaded. Recently, the UN pointed out that discharging and punishing union members of MBC and YTN are acts of suppression of the press. MBC discharged 6 reporters for a strike that went on for 170 days in 2012. The court reached a verdict which states that discharging and punishing the reporters was invalid in January 17th. Also the courts concluded the strike which resulted in the resignation of Jae-chul Kim was resonable, MBC’s president. The fairness of broadcasting includes the working condition of the reporters and workers. Therefore the courts ruled in their favor.

Credibility of media
According to the ‘2013 Korea Press Yearbook,’ credibility and fairness assessment of the newspaper in 2012 showed continuously falling for the past three years.

Lowing quality of to the internet news
In the time of a steadily, digitalizing world, the usage rate of the notebooks and smart phones have increased, so people can go onto the Internet and see the news regardless of time and place. Because of this change, many Internet news companies had founded. However, it becomes a problem because the quality of news that is published by these companies is decreasing. Most people have probably experienced a situation where many of the news contents and articles are the same except the reporter’s name. Also, there are many cases that reporters who don’t fully understand the incident or situation write news so the content is weak. In addition, there may be a stimulating title that doesn’t have any relationship with the content to grab the reader’s attention to make people read their articles. Advertisements are also a problem; too many ads make reading news hard, the sensual content of ads is also causing problems.

Interview with Media Solidarity of Daegu Citizens

Q) Recently, KOREA COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONS makes many sanction to media, what do you think about it?
A) If KCC is appraising objectively, KCC would tend to follow the major party because the members of KCC are selected by the political parties. So, if the Conservative Party becomes the major party, KCC would become conservative and if the Progressive Party becomes the major party, KCC would become progressive. Therefore, recently the Conservative Party has become the major party in Korea since 2008, so the KCC looks like it became conservative to media. If we don’t change the method that selects the member of KCC, this situation will keep going.

Q) Now, what are problems that the Korean media has?
A) The biggest problem is that the major media in Korea have a conservative attitude. The reason of this imbalance is because the media is disproportionate. When media outlets report the news, there are some unavoidable cases when they have to take political stand. Thus, if Media A reports news about an accident that includes their opinion, other Media ‘B’ and ‘C’ need to report differing opinions, then we can see the accident in various point of views. However, in Korea, media that have voice of conservative attitude take portion more than 70% of media industry, and other media’s portion is too small. It’s the most important problem.

Q) What can citizens do to make the unbiased media?
A) At first, it’s important to read critically. Elderly people should not believe in the news that the media reports without a second thought. They need to read the news with a critical attitude by searching for information about the content of the news. Second, a person needs to support a media they prefer. Supporting the media through application of subscription and watching news, people can make the media increase its portion in media part. At last, citizens need to express their opinion. If people read the news but don’t express their thoughts, even though the media reported in the wrong direction, there are no ways to revise it. Thus, people can affect the public opinion and conduct a roll that watches the media so they don’t go the wrong way. Also, if you make your voice your opinion and some people might agree with your thoughts, and your thoughts can become the public opinion.

There are so many problems in the present Korean media. If an audio speaker makes noise, the speaker is most likely not used or turned on. Like the speaker, if the media doesn’t fix their problems then the public will turn away from the media. If the public doesn’t have interest in this negative situation, the present, progressing problem won’t be fixed. Now, people must have an active attitude such as monitoring the media conducting their work and voicing their opinion.

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