중앙데일리

Gory accident images raise public ire at MBC

Sept 22,2005
Viewers were again outraged at MBC yesterday after the major broadcaster showed graphic images of traffic accidents on its news program.
In a report featured on its 9 p.m. news, MBC televised footage released by the Chinese government to raise public awareness on traffic safety.
In one, a person on a bicycle crosses the street illegally and is hit by a vehicle. The camera follows the cyclist as he is flung off his bike and into the air, dying on impact when he hits the back of a car. That scene was shown four times on instant replay, followed by video clips of a minibus hitting two jaywalkers and images of the victims sprawled on the road.
Following the program, viewers flooded the broadcaster’s Web site, criticizing the disturbing content. “Broadcasters should know that before 10 p.m. children may still be watching television,” one viewer wrote. “They are turning to provocative content to raise viewer ratings.”
The Broadcasting Commission is currently reviewing the program’s content and will soon determine whether MBC violated laws that restrict violent images. “The images were not close-ups, but it was not appropriate for such gruesome accidents to be televised during youth protection hours,” said Lee Ki-hyun, a researcher at the Korea Broadcasting Institute. “This is an overt example of how television journalism cannot escape sensationalism,” he added.
MBC admitted there had been problems in its reporting. “We thought it was newsworthy the Chinese government was conducting such promotions, but we shouldn’t have edited the images so they were shown repetitively,” said Park Gwang-on, director of the program.
Yesterday’s incident followed recent public anger when two Seoul-based musicians from the band “The Couch” exposed themselves during a live MBC broadcast, which was immediately followed by an apology from the broadcaster.


by Lee Sang-bok, Wohn Dong-hee


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