A global view is key

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A global view is key

Is this country capable and willing to upgrade media entertainment and broadcasting? Will we be able to supply quality news and entertainment programs befitting the multifunctional and ubiquitous smart TVs? Have we the capacity and experience to produce content to feed consumer-centered digital technology? Have we the capital to meet inevitable sweeping changes in the media industry?

The Korean Communications Commission (KCC) should not have to fret over writing out the guidelines to award new broadcasting licenses. Just look around the digital world we live in. The requirements should be evident.

The state broadcasting watchdog, in charge of the screening process and awarding new licenses under the new media law that paved the way for print media and industrial capital to invest and operate broadcasting channels, announced the basic plans for setting the guidelines for business applicants.

The KCC does not plan to limit the number of applicants and will open the bidding to any consortia that passes the basic requirements. But it should at least be strict in setting the guidelines to assure the quality of applicants and business prospects. The minimum 300 billion won ($260 million) paid-in capital it requires from applicants is too small to start a new broadcasting company. But the KCC added that applicants with greater capital resources will get higher points.

But the KCC’s moves raise questions about whether it is serious about committing to the goal of issuing new licenses that are expanding and deepening the content market.

We hope there will be more scrutiny, fairness and sincerity to the policy goals when it finalizes the details on the appropriation of scores and evaluation procedures.

What should be most required from new broadcasters is the capacity to produce quality media content and compete in the global market. The new channels should be at least capable of throwing down the gauntlet against the major world broadcasting networks.

They must be able to produce news programs carrying various viewpoints, investigative reports and diverse documentaries that can contribute to widening the viewership spectrum. And they must have the will and capacity to turn out original content that can sell in the global market, fully equipped with a global sales network.

Western societies, as well as China, are grooming media groups to be multifunctional in print media, broadcasting and publishing. The new arrivals in the broadcasting business should be able to provide the catalyst to advance and globalize our media industry. Otherwise we will lose our pie to foreign players.
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