[EDITORIALS]Unconstitutional lawLast week, the Seoul Central District Court said that certain clauses in the media arbitration law could potentially violate the constitution, and filed a suit at the Constitutional Court. The particular clause it saw as going against the constitutional spirit is one in which people can demand corrections, regardless of the media’s purpose in reporting certain facts. Giving the recent stem cell dispute as an example, the district court said that “excessive demands for corrections could cover up the comprehensive truth.”
As we have pointed out numerous times that the media law has problems, we respect and heartily welcome the court’s decision. The media law, which this administration has dubbed a “reformative bill,” has from the very beginning targeted critical media such as the JoongAng, Chosun, and Dong-A Ilbos. According to this law, the media should only report on cases that the Supreme Court has made a final ruling on, or else, most of the pages will have to be used for corrections. How can the media be expected to restrain authority and seek the truth?
It is the same with the newspaper laws. If three newspaper companies’ combined market share exceeds 60 percent, they are perceived to be dominant market players and are subject to stronger regulations.
Aside from autocratic states, no countries have such laws. These laws inflict fundamental and devastating damage on a root of democracy ― freedom of the press.
We ask that the Constitutional Court make a swift decision on these evil media laws and announce that they are unconstitutional as soon as possible.