[Letters] The limits of journalists’ rights

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[Letters] The limits of journalists’ rights

As a student and an aspiring future journalist, I most definitely uphold freedom for journalists. Without doubt, journalists have the right to criticize the government’s policies on rational and factual grounds.

The focus here is “rational and factual.” MBC’s “PD Diary” did an outstanding job of denouncing the government [regarding the resumption of U.S. beef imports]. But it failed to carry out the most important duty of the media, which is to deliver accurate information to the public.

PD Diary’s report on the controversial issue of mad cow disease was manipulated to provoke negative public sentiment toward the Korean government, more specifically the Lee Myung-bak administration.

Any televised program that deals with current events must stick to the following steps: choose a topic, gather facts, analyze them and then come to a conclusion. The producers of PD Diary went the wrong way. It seemed as if they already had a conclusion in mind - to make the public turn against President Lee. Thus, they fed us erroneous information.

Some claim that the recent arrest of a former producer of PD Diary infringes on democracy and freedom of the press. But the public’s right to be informed with accurate news is well above the journalists’ right to broadcast whatever they want. The producers overlooked our rights and are now stubbornly demanding that their rights be fully protected.

As to the editorial “Keeping tabs on the press” (March 28): Why, after “repeated summons,” is an arrest too “sudden”? The claim, “It is never right to arrest journalists,” is beyond my understanding. It is the government’s job to protect citizens from being manipulated by false information. Thus, the arrest can’t be seen as “undemocratic.”

Curie Lee, student,

Daeil Foreign Language High School
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