MBC abusesMunhwa Broadcasting Corp. has gone too far by using network television, a service that belongs to the public, as a means of protest in its political battle.
Through news and current affairs programs, MBC is busily attacking the broadcasting industry reform bill every day, as well as justifying its strike.
MBC employees receive an average of 114 million won ($87,356) a year, including fringe benefits. It is no surprise they want to protect their jobs.
However, there should be a limit to the pointless arguments they make in support of their selfishness.
They claim to be a public television station, but they make such outrageous claims as, “Only we can broadcast fairly.” At the same time, they have abandoned the very neutrality and objectivity that is pivotal to maintaining their reputation.
Has MBC really followed a righteous path so far?
Among local broadcasters, it was MBC that received the most sanctions - 113 - between 2006 and September 2008 from the Korea Communications Commission.
This is because the broadcaster put on the appearance of being a public broadcaster, but its programs were tainted with parochialism, commercialism and irresponsibility.
The current affairs program “PD Diary” is a good example. The show stirred up the entire nation with the irrational mad cow disease scare this year.
The Korea Communications Commission ordered the producers of PD Diary to apologize to their viewers. They did so, but only aired the apology through a subsidiary instead of through its headquarters, which was occupied by the MBC labor union.
That is why MBC is being criticized for being controlled by its union.
Speaking about the ongoing strike, MBC President Ohm Ki-young said in a statement, “Both the union and the company should protect MBC’s status as a public broadcaster,” as if he is supporting the strike.
MBC has been airing news with unbalanced views daily, along with sensational dramas to increase advertisement revenue.
It is doubtful that MBC still has the status as a public broadcaster that it claims it needs to protect.
MBC should feel ashamed by the general public assessment that SBS, a commercial TV station, is much more politically neutral.
Viewer ratings for MBC’s prime time news are less than half those of KBS recently, and far behind those of SBS. This vividly shows that viewers are seeing things clearly.
MBC employees must stop their strike. Instead, they should ponder how to produce programs that are not parochial, commercialistic and irresponsible.