[EDITORIALS]‘Hot’ media get hotterWe worry that the broadcasts from major outlets after the impeachment of the president by the National Assembly tended to be emotional. Broadcast media, especially television, have a strong emotional character because they convey images as well as messages on the screen. Therefore, even with plain words, television relays a stronger impression than printed media to its audience. If messages charged with emotion or conveying the personal ideas of newscasters are broadcast on such an emotional medium, the audience will lose its reason and tend toward extremely emotional behavior.
Our people have never experienced an impeachment of a president, and so they will be shrouded in the psychology of uneasiness and worry over the future of the nation. It is the duty of those who work at mass media outlets to help people see the situation with reason and judge correctly by alleviating their anxieties. If broadcasters try to amplify the atmosphere of the broadcast scenes, they will make anxiety and confusion worse.
Although it was a shock that the National Assembly passed the impeachment motion, it was done following the law and proper procedures. The broadcast media must air programs that will help the audience return to their daily routine soon and watch the follow-up measures calmly. But impeachment-related programs of the Korean Broadcasting System contained radical content, and those of other stations failed to filter emotionally-charged language. They left a negative effect on our society.
We demand that those working at broadcast media heighten their awareness of their duty so that their news and debate programs can contribute to the formation of public opinion. In news broadcasts, especially, it is a large problem that news based on fact as well as opinions are broadcast mixed together. This makes it difficult for the audience to judge what is the truth.
Broadcast media cannot be monopolized by a regime or a political faction. Those who work at broadcasting stations must keep this in mind. Political parties, at the same time, must recognize the seriousness of the problem and help broadcasters fulfill their duty. They should not try to exercise influence over broadcasting stations in any way.