[EDITORIALS]A dubious decisionThe decision on whether broadcast coverage of the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun was fair ended dubiously. After two days of general discussions, the Korea Broadcasting Commission decided to rule that the matter was not a “subject for review.”
The committee explained its reasoning by saying that it can only deliberate on individual television programs, not on comprehensive broadcasting. We cannot help but express our disappointment at the commission’s decision. Although it left open the possibility for separate deliberations on independent programs, it is nothing more than another measure aimed at buying time.
The impeachment of the president, which was unprecedented since the establishment of the constitutional government, broke up our society. Despite the Constitutional Court’s rejection, we kept our eyes on the commission’s decision based on the concept that media outlets should not promote social disintegration, but should exhibit an ability to unite society. Furthermore, the social responsibilities of broadcasting companies are massive because they use a public asset in radio waves and possess massive influence.
The broadcasting commission has a duty and right to supervise and lead broadcasting firms. Announcing that the coverage surrounding the impeachment does not even qualify to be reviewed can only be seen as an act of abandoning its rights.
The actions that the commission showed regarding broadcasting on the impeachment were lamentable. The committee within the commission responsible for deciding whether to levy penalties maintained a passive stance through the period.
The commission handed over the matter to the Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies without an initial decision. But the vice chairman of the commission even publicly questioned the society’s report. Under these conditions, there isn’t too much to expect from deliberations on independent programs.
The confusion within the broadcasting committee has only added to the disruption in our society. A bright future is only possible when errors in the past are quickly corrected. We hope the committee members know what is truly in the national interest.