Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: Revival of press rooms confirmed

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: Revival of press rooms confirmed: "President-elect Lee Myung-bak's planned policies undoes President Roh's pressroom closures

The Korea Herald
Friday, January 25, 2008
By Kim Ji-hyun

President-elect Lee Myung-bak's government transition team yesterday confirmed that press working rooms will be reinstated as part of Lee's 'press-friendly' policies.

'Freedom of the press is the lifeline to democracy, and the public's right to know must be protected at all cost. The president-elect is firm on this belief and will continue to make efforts to create a 'press-friendly' government,' said committee chairwoman Lee Kyung-sook during a conference with press executives yesterday.

Key executives from local press associations and newspapers attended, along with reporters covering the Foreign Ministry and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, which are seeing exacerbating disputes between the authorities and the press after closing down working rooms.

'We have lost much of this much-heralded freedom of the press ever since the government implemented its new press policies. Under no circumstances should government authority be permitted to invade such freedom,' said Kim Kyung-ho, head of the nationwide journalist league. A prime minister's order went into effect last month upholding President Roh Moo-hyun's plans for shutting down and merging press working rooms to block contact between reporters and government officials. In their stead, Roh called for briefing rooms where reporters, regardless of their beats, would gather for daily briefings. The briefings, however, mostly lack significant information and officials have grown increasingly reluctant to meet the press.

Date Posted: 1/25/2008"

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