&#91EDITORIALS&#93Broadcast panel turmoil

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93Broadcast panel turmoil

The second term of the Korea Broadcasting Commission is in tatters. After three months of trial and error it barely has suceeded in naming new members. But because of the commotion in selecting the deputy commissioner, it is not in any position to pick standing members. Meanwhile, the commissioner has to meet with senior officilas in a secret location since the commission’s labor union has been physically blocking the commissioner from going to work. The situation is deplorable, when there are so many communications issues to be taken care of.
Politicians are responsible for the state of affairs. The ruling and opposition parties have been pushing their interests, neglecting to nurture independence and public interest in broadcasting. The ruling camp named its man as the deputy commissioner to increase its influence over broadcasting from behind the scenes. There were power struggles within both the ruling and opposition parties in nominating standing members of the commission. To cope with the rapidly changing technologies, the convergence of broadcasting and other modes of communications, and borderless competition, the full effort of industry experts would not be enough when politicians are trying to influence the commission for only their partisan interests.
The commission’s members need to implement accountability to the public, fairness and public interest, upgrade the quality of broadcast content and ensure fair competition among broadcasters. The most important values they should have are political independence, professional knowledege and morality. New commission members should pledge to work for the nation’s future, not for the parties that nominated them.
We ask the National Assembly to reflect on its having nominated commission members by party interest and to come up with a way to change this. They should take a look at the French way: changing one third of the panel’s members at a time, with the commissioner named by the president but the deputy commissioner title going to the oldest among the members.
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