Losing the media race

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Losing the media race

France’s Parliament passed a bill on Feb. 5 revising its Broadcasting Act. The revision defines the role of state broadcasters and how to foster them. France reportedly wants to become a media superpower.

The amended law is aimed at making sure public broadcasters are serving the public and that private stations abide by market principles.

According to the act, public broadcasters will stop running commercials by 2011, based on the belief that a public broadcaster cannot fulfill its duties if it is dependent on audience ratings.

Reforms for private channels introduce market principles. Barriers to prevent new market players will be abolished and there will be more competition to nurture global media conglomerates.

The news about media reforms in the European cultural superpower frustrate us. Korea’s reality is very different.

Here, different parties are waging a never-ending war of attrition over revisions on media law.

We have a strategy that will make our broadcasting industry almost as good as France’s. We’ve prepared one bill to make public broadcasters true public agencies and another to allow newspapers to operate broadcasters, which will enhance the competitiveness of the media industry.

While one side is working hard to pass them, the other is waging political warfare, putting the bills in limbo.

Many countries are doing their best to foster global media companies through reforms in their media industry.

They are trying to use the unlimited potential of content to overcome the current economic crisis.

If the current situation persists in our country, we worry that our domestic media industry will be dominated by companies in advanced economies.

We had a bad experience with wireless broadband service technology, WiBro. We developed the technology first but our policies and regulations didn’t match up.

As a result, European and American companies occupied the market before us.

In order to avoid making the same mistake again, we have to revise old media laws to match global standards.

The opposition parties, including the Democratic Party, must stop opposing the bills and cooperate in reforms, especially if they don’t have any alternatives.

Our rivals are getting ahead and time is running out.
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