[EDITORIALS]Media responsibility

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[EDITORIALS]Media responsibility

Broadcast media has the most pervasive influence among mass media; the requirement for prudence in program production is a heavy responsibility. But some of the programs aired recently make us wonder if the producers are aware of that responsibility.
MBC-TV recently aired a documentary about a South Korean army private who refused to return to his base to protest the government’s decision to send additional troops to Iraq.
Dongah-TV, a cable network, recently recruited participants for a program where women in their 20s will get a surgical makeover to become artificially constructed beauties.
We cannot say that these programs are proper. The reason we are making them an issue is because unilateral opinions portrayed on television can directly influence the viewers and send them wrong messages.
What is the reason to air a program on a private who refused to return to his base and protested in front of the Blue House? It sent a message to young Koreans serving in the army to leave their units and oppose the additional troop dispatch.
What would happen to this nation’s order if our soldiers went missing and demonstrated because the government’s decision was contrary to their personal opinion? This is not an issue of media freedom.
The program that describes artificial beauty only sends the message that our society is based on the supremacy of outer appearance. Whatever the intention of the producer of this program, it creates a bad impression that any problem can be handled if a person is physically beautiful. Only when media show responsibility will they earn their freedom.
Will it be possible for a society to maintain order when media portray socially radical behavior as heroic acts? When broadcast stations incite an issue, they have to remind themselves of that question. Television broadcast producers must not misunderstand: Believing that the influence of broadcast media is their personal influence, they tend to think that whatever they produce should be aired.

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