Monday, August 11, 2008


[The Hankyoreh, August 12 2008] KBS employees launch group to fight KBS president’s dismissal

Meanwhile, prosecution announces it will get arrest warrant for Jung and bring him into custody this week

KBS employees have formed a group to confront President Lee Myung-bak’s dismissal of KBS President Jung Yun-joo, announcing it will struggle aggressively to protect public broadcasting against the current administration’s scheme to take it over.

[The Hankyoreh, August 9 2008] [Editorial] The illegality of KBS president’s dismissal

The board at KBS has voted to fire the broadcaster’s president, Jung Yun-joo, by accepting the Board of Audit and Inspection’s demand that he be removed from his position. The decision took place while police were charging into the building to violently remove employees who were protesting the move, during which some board members left the room. They say President Lee Myung-bak will soon finalize the decision and that a warrant for Jung’s arrest is imminent. Lee’s tenacious attempt to seize control of the media is gradually being realized.

[The Hankyoreh, August 9 2008] KBS board votes its president out

Staff and civic groups cry foul and vow to defend the broadcaster at a company assembly on August 11

Convening a meeting on August 8, the KBS board of directors passed a resolution recommending the firing of KBS president Jung Yun-joo. Despite the legal controversy surrounding the measure, President Lee Myung-bak decided to accept the recommendation, dismiss Jung effective around August 11 or 12, and begin looking for a replacement. That same day, police entered KBS, the first time police have entered a broadcast media company in 18 years, sparking debate over the legality of the police action.

Jung released a press statement after the board meeting, saying the board had no authority to recommend his dismissal. Moreover, he said, there were regulatory problems, such as the board’s failure to tell him the date and time of its meeting in advance, and that he would not recognize its resolution. He will actively consider a legal response, he said. He added that the board would take serious responsibility for asking the police to enter KBS.

[The Hankyoreh, August 6 2008] Audit board calls for ouster of KBS president

Though the board cites mismanagement and abuse of power, critics say the BAI is acting as President Lee’s proxy

The Board of Audit and Inspection decided on August 5 to call for President Lee Myung-bak to fire Korea Broadcasting System President Jung Yun-joo, citing his alleged mismanagement practices and abuse of power in making personnel appointments. In response, media organizations and professors accused the BAI of conspiring on behalf of the administration of President Lee, who has been seeking to tighten his grip on national broadcasters, while abandoning its political neutrality as a constitutional institution.

[The Hankyoreh, August 7 2008] KBS president fights calls for his dismissal

Jung Yun-joo refutes BAI’s audit of KBS as unfair and accuses Lee administration of media suppression

Korea Broadcasting System President Jung Yun-joo, who has been under pressure from the Board of Audit and Inspection to step down, said on August 6 that he will file a petition with the Seoul Administrative Court on August 7 to nullify the government auditor’s demand for his dismissal and determine the legitimacy of the demand, saying, “The BAI’s audit of KBS is full of lies, distortion and arbitrary interpretation.”

[The Hankyoreh, August 8 2008] Lee administration’s drive to sack KBS president is illegal, experts say

Broadcast Communications Law does not allow presidents to dismiss public media presidents

The Lee Myung-bak administration-led drive to sack KBS President Jung Yun-joo will likely spark legal controversy as it runs directly counter to not only pertinent articles in the Board of Audit and Inspection’s regulations, but also to the intent of revisions to the Broadcast Law. Experts familiar with the the Broadcast Law take the view that since the power to sack the KBS president was eliminated in order to preserve the neutrality and independence of broadcast media, the administration’s move to sack Jung is clearly illegal.

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