Iron curtain for the pressAn iron curtain is being drawn by the government right before the eyes of the people.
During the cabinet meeting on Monday, a bill was passed that was proposed by the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. The bill increases the number of guards at the government complex by 14. The move is designed to block reporters from entering the building and stop them from entering ministries. With this bill additional posts will be established at entrances. It was not enough for the government to close down the press room and drive away journalists. Now it wants to block the eyes of the public as if they were pesky vendor.
Journalists covering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are occupied with the Afghanistan hostage issue, but at the same time they are being pressured by the ministry to empty the pressroom. A briefing room will be set up at the National Police Agency, which will be locked when there aren’t any briefings. The elevator door at the Financial Supervisory Service was replaced with transparent glass. Even with permission to enter the facility, reporters will only be allowed to take the stairs.
Reporters planning to meet and question a government official are obliged to obtain proper clearance. These actions can be interpreted, for all practical purposes, as the government wanting to control all inside information. A few days ago, when Gangwon Governor Kim Jin-sun visited the government complex in Gwacheon, one reporter was ousted right at the door because he did not have appropriate permission. Even the military government in the past did not practice media control this strictly. What is the government trying to hide by shielding the eyes of the people? An iron curtain, even thicker than the one cast by Stalin, cannot cover the watchful eyes of the people. The iron curtain will soon rust and the truth will come out. Sadly, it is a tragedy that tax money is being wasted on these acts, which only increases public skepticism.
The Roh administration revised the organizational structure of the Government Information Agency, increasing the number of positions by 10 percent, adding 35 jobs for a total of 364.
A new division was added under the media analysis department. It resembles the media control department which existed during the military dictatorship years. Throughout history, rulers have tried to control the media to their liking.
Haven’t we grown beyond that?