Thursday, May 22, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, May 15 2008] [Column] Reflections on the freedom of the press

Yoshimasa Furuno, former correspondent for the Mainichi Shimbun

I came to Korea as a correspondent for the Mainichi Shimbun in March 1973. Four and half months after former President Park Chung-hee established the Yusin system in October 1972, press censorship was more severe than I expected. One time, a reporter for an evening newspaper wrote an exclusive about the personnel shakeups in the military. In Japan, the reporter certainly would have received a prize. I was shocked to hear that the reporter was tortured and given a jail term after having been taken to a police station with an arrest warrant. Journalists know they are putting themselves at risk when they make contact with sources for exclusive stories. Getting information is one thing, writing an article is another.

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