No Self-Editing, PleaseThe Korean Television Broadcasters Association's (KBA) public decision to agree not to do reports on growing regionalist trends and pork-barrel politics in the coming national elections skirts some very contentious issues.
The people's right to know should be utmost in the decision to report. And, any alteration or self-censoring would be interpreted as a breech of the press' responsibility to safeguard freedom of speech and accessibility to information.
It is well known to all reporters the several rules and self-imposed policies to which they are bound especially in regards to reporting on the coming elections and government legislation prohibiting any reporting on anything which could flare up regionalist politics. Then, what was the use of the KBA's decision in censoring itself when it already has in place its own policies on the matter? No wonder that there will be little effect from the KBA's actions. In fact, we strongly argue that making the reports fully public could only bring about a well-informed and critically thinking public.
Reporting the results of opinion polls is similarly important, especially during election periods. It is the media's primary role to give the public access to informed and timely reports on the elections at any time raising a critical eye to the forming of our society. There are several legal hindrances in the disclosure of the results of opinion polls conducted during election campaigns. Election laws should be revised in order to release the results of public-opinion polls and allow the press to fulfill its duties to the public.