SOUTH KOREA: Journalists War on Management Suck-Ups

Journalists from the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), South Korea’s largest television network, are now on strike, joining news reporters from Munhwa Broadcasting System (MBC) who began their strike about a month ago.

About 650 KBS staff members, including 250 reporters, joined the strike as part of a widening protest for journalistic reform.  KBS management has said it will still produce news programs since KBS “employs nearly 5,000 people, including 1,000 journalists.” Employees at Yonhap Television News (YTN), another state affiliated 24-hour cable news network agreed to walk out as well.

These protests are described as the “latest display of anger by journalists” toward Lee Myung-Bak’s administration and government-appointed executives for interfering in news coverage. Kim Seung-geun, manager of the National Union of Mediaworkers, representing employees at KBS, MBC, and YTN, says, “We want to secure an environment for impartial reporting and we urge the chairmen and middle-ranking managers, who only care for the government’s favor, to resign.”

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