중앙데일리

[EDITORIALS]Escalating War Against the Press

May 23,2001
The ruling party's denunciation of the so-called "Big Three" dailies is becoming a grave situation. The ruling party's newsletter harshly attacked reports published by the three newspapers - JoongAng, Chosun and DongA. Furthermore, an influential member of the party, who had already created a stir with the comment that he was willing to start a war against the press, again urged the party Wednesday to stand up to the media.

How far will this ugly condition be carried out after the media tax probe, Fair Trade Commission investigation and regulations on newspaper companies?

The ruling party's newsletter recently published a special section covering three pages out of its eight pages, severely criticizing the articles published by the three dailies. The newsletter accused the big three for "criticizing government reform measures" and "triggering economic instability" and berated the dailies for brazenly distorting news. It further alleged that the dailies criticized the recent tax probes and the Fair Trade Commission's regulations to gloss over their own mistakes.

Some of the criticisms in the newsletter are convincing, yet the arguments give an impression that the ruling party was carrying out an attack for the sake of wrangling and blowing insignificant issues out of proportion. The ruling party should never react emotionally in a hostile manner. If the ruling party were damaged by the incorrect reports, it should have followed proper procedures to repair the damage. Noh Mu-hyun, senior advisor of the ruling party and one of the prominent likely candidates of the upcoming presidential election, also made similarly dangerous comments attacking the newspaper. He said, "(Some newspapers) intended to destroy the administration by devising a stratagem without suggesting an alternative."

Newspapers have always and continue to reform from the past to the present. Only readers can evaluate the reform outcome. Politicians and parties can never trigger reform by declaring a battle.



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