Wednesday, February 06, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, January 14 2008] Transition team member’s attempt to gather information on the media uncovered

Culture Ministry was ordered to compile list of personal and ideological information on members of the media

President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition team is under fire as one of its members was found to have ordered a government ministry to compile a list of executives of daily news outlets detailing their personal information and ideological leanings.

The transition team member, known only by his surname, Park, reportedly sent an email on Wednesday to the Culture Ministry asking that it gather a variety of information on media executives and send a report on their findings to the transition team. The following day, the ministry was found to have sent an official letter to the Korea Press Foundation. In it, the ministry requested the compilation of a list of personal information and other data on presidents, chief editors, and the staff of the political and cultural desks of nearly all news media companies. The ministry’s letter also ordered that information on the directors of organizations related to the media, executives of organizations under the Culture Ministry, executives of broadcasting firms and advertisers be compiled. The information required consisted of eight categories, including name, place of birth, academic background, career and ideological leaning, sources said.

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