[EDITORIALS]TV coverage needs to stay fair

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[EDITORIALS]TV coverage needs to stay fair

A committee monitoring election related broadcasting programs issued a warning to officials at the MBC television station for airing on Feb. 17 “Pro-Japanese collaborators are alive,” saying that the program was prejudiced against certain legislative candidates in the April election.
The committee’s decision was timely and pertinent. We hope that there would be no more recurrences of such unsavory incidents in the next 40 days before the elections.
The influence of television is great enough to control lives and the thoughts of the public. This is more evident with non-cable television stations, which provide indiscriminate access to viewers. This is why all the previous governments were tempted to take control of television stations.
Pressed by the government or to flatter those in power, television stations often biased the judgment of viewers through programs with subjective ideas, though they were disguised as objective programs. This is the unhappy history of television here. Television should no longer disgrace itself as a spokesman for a certain party or the government. Television producers need objective approaches in making programs that don’t reflect views of their own or an external power’s. Especially before the election, these producers should make it a priority to have fair and balanced programming.
A news program host who is viewed as a supporter of the Roh administration broke a promise to the broadcasting station, KBS, and joined Our Open Party. This also raises the question of fairness. There is no guarantee that he did not tilt his program in favor of the party or the government.
Television stations have apologized for biased programming in the past and promised fair programming whenever different administrations came into power. But they have repeatedly patronized new administration and aired programs biased against opposition parties.
News programs televised when Chun Doo Hwan was the president made viewers uncomfortable because of their blatant favoritism. Now more citizens are experiencing the same feeling these days. Are television stations going to apologize again when a new administration takes over?

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