&#91EDITORIALS&#93Questions about KBS

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93Questions about KBS

Chi Myong-kwan, chairman of the board of directors of the Korea Broadcasting System, sent a letter to the new KBS president Jeong Youn-ju, protesting that “The reshuffle this time was done in an unthinkable way that echoes a revolution.” Suggesting that the appointments were made only three days after Mr. Jeong assumed his post, Mr. Chi criticized Mr. Jeong for “managing a public broadcasting station as if it were a private company.” He questioned whether “it will be all right to leave KBS in the hands of a president who takes employees so lightly.” Acco-rding to reports, Mr. Chi believes that the Blue House intervened in the appointment of Mr. Jeong. We are shocked at the news.
Because KBS is an independent organization, we would like to reserve our decision whether Mr. Jeong’s reshuffle was reasonable or not. By the same token, we will also reserve our judgment whether three days were enough for deciding appointments. But if the personnel changes were so flawed as to make the chairman of the board of directors spend sleepless nights and write a letter, Mr. Jeong should explain them. KBS is a mammoth public broadcaster with more than 5,200 employees, and its annual spending amounts to 1.1 trillion won ($1.3 billion). If the organization suffers from infighting under the guise of “reform,” that does not stop the network’s problem, for the damage will be transferred to the state and the audience.
Mr. Chi is said to have cut off communications since he sent the letter. It is hard to say if he behaved correctly. It was the board of directors, led by Mr. Chi, that chose Mr. Jeong as one of three candidates for the president out of 60 contenders. The most unexpected person in the appointments was a vice president, and he was also endorsed by the board unanimously. As he said in his letter, Mr. Chi has some time left before he finishes his tenure. Therefore, he has the responsibility to clarify through what procedures the board reached its decision.
Because the Blue House denies intervention in “the election,” Mr. Chi holds the key to the question. Thus, Mr. Chi should clarify whether the Blue House intervened.
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