Sunday, August 31, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, August 19 2008] KBS Shooting Itself in the Foot

State-run broadcaster KBS aired a special program on Sunday on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who became the country's premier in May for the third time, alleging that the media mogul's control over state broadcaster RAI has threatened media objectivity and democracy. The program said that after top management at RAI were replaced, various news programs took a "sandwich" approach by broadcasting the government's opinions first, followed by criticism from opposition parties and finally the stance of the ruling party, leading to an imbalance in news where the government and ruling party's positions account for two-thirds of news content.

KBS should speak for itself. It has set a new standard when it comes to brazenness. In its coverage of the impeachment motion against former president Roh Moo-hyun in March 2004, the KBS program "Media Focus" aired seven consecutive interviews with people opposed to the impeachment and not a single one who supported the move. Looking at the entire lineup of KBS programs on the impeachment motion, there were 22 people who opposed it and just one who supported it.

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