[EDITORIALS]Biased news signals arroganceThe deliberation committee of the Korean Broadcasting Commission has issued a disciplinary warning to MBC for the editing and broadcasting of a comment debasing the academic background of the president’s wife in one of its programs, “Shin Kang-gyun’s News Service.”
The committee ruled that the program had been edited in such a way as to portray the comment in a misleading context and had contained vulgar and rough language.
The broadcast deliberation commission on election broadcasting, established under the election law, also advised KBS-TV1 to pay greater attention to maintaining objectivity in covering the election. The TV station was reprimanded for the intentional omission of Our Open Party Chairman Chung Dong-young’s dismissive remark of senior citizens in its 9 p.m. news program.
We cannot allow television producers to distort the truth and embroider the contents of news as they please. That is going against the most important principle of the media, the broadcasting of truth.
MBC’s reaction was also inappropriate. Instead of acknowledging its mistake, it issued denials and excuses. Such behavior only compromised its own credibility. The same goes for KBS-TV1’s News 9. Instead of reporting Mr. Chung’s dismissive remark of senior people, broadcasting only the surrounding circumstances amounts to distorting facts.
The JoongAng Ilbo has frequently pointed out the partiality of news coverage by the television stations. This is not to destroy the credibility of a particular media company, just advice from one media organ to another to uphold the basic rules of journalism. Partial coverage of the news and distortion of truth signal an arrogant belief that one can control the opinions of the viewers.
We would also like to tell the deliberation commissions concerned that advice and warnings are not strong enough measures, merely slaps on the wrist. How could such weak measures reform the slanted news coverage that has continued for so long?
The role of the commissions is to stand on the side of the viewers, urging the broadcasters to correct their mistakes and prevent any repetition. The commissions should ask themselves whether they are doing their jobs right now.