[Parliamentary Conference] Two Years Under Yoon Soek Yul’s Government: Dismantling Public Space and Suppressing Freedom of Expression

by | May 8, 2024 | Free Speech, Notice | 0 comments

1. Background

Since the media consolidation measures by the military dictatorship in 1980, South Korea’s media industry has followed a state-led path including cable TV, satellite, and IPTV. However, starting with the bundled sales policies for IPTV and mobile telecommunications, a market dominated by large corporate media capital, rather than the government, began to form. After the domestic launch of the Apple iPhone in 2009, the dominance of global media capital in the local market increased. Subsequently, under the Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in administrations, the formation of a market led by major corporations and global media capital, rather than state-led media policies, was fully realized.

The media policy of the Yoon administration, now two years into its term, warrants close examination through two key documents: the “Development Plan for Media and Content Industry Convergence” released by the Prime Minister’s Committee for the Development of Media and Content Industry Convergence on March 14, 2024, and the “2024 Work Plan” Issued by the Korea Communications Commission on March 21, 2024.

The “Development Plan” and the “Work Plan” illustrate the two pillars of the Yoon administration’s media policy. On the one hand, the deregulation and promotion policies demanded by large media capital have been emphasized, and on the other hand, the ‘media publicity’ policy that strengthens the content review of media contents has been emphasized.

On the flip side of the coin labeled “dual policies,” there lies the dissolution of the public domain, as evidenced by the takeover of KBS, the privatization of YTN, and the dismantling of TBS, as well as the politicization of the Korea Communications Standards Commission and its oversight of news platforms. Additionally, it is crucial to address the missing policy tasks, such as the development of regional and small broadcasters and policies in anticipation of changes to the bundled sales system, which are essential inclusions.

The Media Theory and Field Research Group of the Korean Association For Communication And Information Studies, the National Press Workers’ Union, and the majority of CSOs in Article21 organized the following discussion to examine the Yoon Seok-yul government’s media policy prior to the opening of the 22nd National Assembly, discuss alternatives to ensure the rights of media workers and citizens beyond the state-market dichotomy, and why the 22nd National Assembly needs to establish a special committee on media reform.

2. Schedule

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room (B1), National Assembly Library
Hosted by: The Media Theory and Field Research Group of the Korean Association For Communication And Information Studies, Cultural Action, Post-Blacklist, Open Net Korea, People’s Coalition for Media Reform, Media Human Rights Center, Activists Group for Human Rights BARAM, National Union of Media Workers, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, The Center for Freedom of Information
Sponsored by: Goh Minjung Parliamentary member’s office

3. Panelist

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Yoon Chang-hyun, Chairman of the National Press Workers’ Union
Moderator: Shim Young-seop (President, Media Rights Center)

Session 1.

Strengthening the Dominance of Conglomerate Media Capital and Dismantling the Public Sphere | Kim Dong-won (National Media Workers’ Union)
Discussant: Jeong Soo-young (Ph.D in Journalism), Lee Joon-hyung (Article21 Net), Kim Hyun (National Assembly member-elected, Democratic Party of Korea)

Session 2.

Shrinking Freedom of Expression and Political Instrumentalization of Deliberation | Dongchan Kim (People’s Coalition for Media Reform)
Discussant: Park Sung-woo (Woosong University), Son Ji-won (Open Net Korea)

Korean version text


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