S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute of Communication Research (언론정보연구소) Journal of Communication Research (언론정보연구) Journal of Communication Research (언론정보연구) vol.39 (2002)
A New Direction of Media Studies in Korea and Japan ; The Media Tax Probe and the Media Reform Movement in South Korea
- Yang, SeungMock
- Issue Date
- Journal of Communication Research, Vol.39, pp. 15-32
- At a New Year's press conference on January 11, 2001, South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung made an unexpected statement on media
reform that marked the first shot in what was soon to become a bitter struggle between the government and the media:
Freedom of the press is fully guaranteed as never before in our history. Therefore, I believe it is incumbent upon the news media to practice fair and balanced reporting, and criticize responsibly. We are aware of the high level of public demand for reform of the news media. I believe all of us the media, academia, citizen groups, and the National Assembly-should join hands in an effort to develop transparent and fair reform measures."
In the months that followed, the progressive government mobilized its powers of sanction with the objective of weakening the conservative media companies. By summer, several newspaper owners were had been detained for tax evasion and embezzlement, and many of the country's largest media organizations had been subjected to a sudden tax audit that resulted in unprecedented penalties. While a majority of Koreans agreed on the need for media reform, the timing of the government's actions prompted suspicions of political motivations, particularly since the upcoming 2002 elections will be critical in determining the fate of Kim's policies.