Thursday, February 14, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, February 14 2008] Time to Close Down Gov’t Propaganda Sites

The Government Information Agency’s portal site carried as its top story yesterday an explanatory article on a statement made by Lee Kyung-sook, the chairwoman of president-elect Lee Myung-bak’s Transition Committee, on the government reform plan. On its right is a regular column entitled “The Latest from the 17th Presidential Transition Committee.” But on the same day, the main news on the presidential briefing website was about President Roh Moo-hyun’s press conference criticizing the government reform plan and an attack on it by the office of the presidential secretary.

The contrasting behavior of the two government propaganda sites, which have been posing as news media over the last five years offering one-sided praises of the Roh administration and attacks against the opposition party, demonstrated clearly that we are in a period of a power transfer. The GIA led the way in cracking down on media freedom until the Roh administration entered its final days. And even though it is soon going to become just a part of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the GIA is voluntarily heaping praises on the new government, putting into practice a promise from officials to the Transition Committee that it would handle PR for the Lee Myung-bak administration before and after the inauguration. This type of behavior shows how truly one high-level GIA official spoke when he said that government workers have no soul.

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