Media reform needed

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Media reform needed

The Democratic Party’s opposition to the revision of the media act is worsening.

It broke its promise to vote on the bill in June. Now, it refuses to even deliberate on the bill.

The DP justifies its actions by saying that the government has not conducted a survey to gauge public opinion, even though that was not included in the agreement with the ruling party. The Democrats, however, presented their own survey, and there are indications that perhaps they structured it to produce certain answers from the respondents.

According to the DP’s survey of 1,000 people, 58.9 percent opposed the bill.

Most telling, however, is that when respondents were asked if they knew about the media act, only 13.9 percent answered positively. More than 43 percent answered that either they did not know much about it or even that they had never heard about it.

It is suspicious that people who say they are not even familiar with the bill answered that they are opposed to it. Some questions were completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

For instance, one question was, “What do you think about conglomerates like Samsung or daily newspapers owning broadcasters such as KBS, MBC and SBS?” The Democratic Party knows that the media revision bill does not include anything about the ownership of public broadcasters. It also knows that the guidelines for the development of the media prohibit newspapers from running TV stations until 2012, when the incumbent administration’s term is over.

One wonders why the Democratic Party opposes the bill and why it takes unreasonable action to stop it. In the political community, an opinion has long circulated that the Democratic Party opposes the revision because it wants to keep benefits it gets under the current structure.

The DP must stop blindly opposing the bill. It must instead present solutions to problems, or it will not be able to avoid criticism that it deceives the people only to protect its own interest.

Countries around the world are working hard to tear down walls inside the media industry.

The National Assembly’s Committee on Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting and Communications said that if the broadcasting industry opens up, it will result in a new market worth 2 trillion won ($1.53 billion). The committee also estimated that doing so would create 21,000 new jobs as well.

Such enormous economic impact must not be ignored amid the present economic slowdown.

The Democratic Party must be prepared to take full responsibility for the huge losses that will result from opposing the revision.
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