[EDITORIALS]Reform the broadcasting panel

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[EDITORIALS]Reform the broadcasting panel

A member of the Korea Broad-casting Commission’s broadcasting regulation committee for news reporting and culture programming stepped down to protest the commission’s decision not to review the news coverage of President Roh Moo-hyun’s impeachment. The committee’s chairwoman also resigned in light of the public criticism that surrounded the decision. But we do not think this matter can be solved with the resignation of the two people. A drastic overhaul of the commission is being called for.
The commission is discussing altering the method by which it selects its members. The main discussion point is abolishing the existing recommendation system and adopting a public application system open to all potential candidates when the committee selects its members to work in five different deliberation subcommittees. It is expected that the current regulation that ensures that one-third of the members are reappointed to ensure continuity in its work, and include civic group representatives and lawyers, will be revised. But it is not enough.
The Broadcasting Act states that the commission exists to promote the public responsibility, fairness and public interest of broadcasting while improving the quality of broadcast material and promoting fair competition among broadcasting companies. But the current commission fails to live up to those responsibilities. Since the president and National Assembly maintain the right to recommend commission members, the governing party and opposition party have filled the commission with their share of members and consequently made it another arena in which the parties may clash.
Many members appear as if they are acting on behalf of the people who gave them their seats. Thus the regulatory body is failing to react to the accumulating problems in the rapidly changing broadcast and communications sectors and is instead being bogged down with political issues. This is why a comprehensive overhaul of the selection process of commission members needs to be considered.
We ask the Korea Broadcasting Commission to cut all ties with political parties and seek reform that will allow it to secure the ability to plan for the next 100 years of broadcasting.
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