When The Impartial Media Must Report On Partial Politics
When The Impartial Media Must Report On Partial Politics
  • 강서미
  • 승인 2004.04.22 00:00
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Members of the Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party have accused the media for its partial and biased reporting. These attacks mainly target the broadcasting stations such as KBS and MBC. The two stations air weekly programs that reinvestigate the major controversial disputes and offer a different perception to approaching the issues. These programs may be criticized for being too subjective, however, it must be noted that they are recognized by viewers as being ?ifferent and actually ?eliable; the two descriptive words that people hope one day will be applicable to Korean politicians as well.
This is not to deny the media? obligation to be impartial. However, why is this practice of the media? involvement with political groups suddenly under the spotlight? It has always been present. When voices rose to oust President Roh, it were the conservative newspapers like Chosun and Dong-a Ilbo that manipulated the public opinion by siding upfront with the opposition led National Assembly. The leading printing press of the present has had a long history of suporting the conservative parties, at most times, the groups in power.
Television broadcasting stations on the other hand, quickly set themselves at pace with the leading currents of the reform. The broadcasting sector of the media replaced their chiefs to those with a pro-Roh inclination when President Roh was elected. With the impending impeachment of President Roh, broadcasting media take a strong stand in criticizing the reasons put forth by its advocates, mainly the conservative print media. It is of no doubt that visual media is far more reaching and effective than the print media, as it constantly keeps up to date, shows motion, and is eye catching.
Both print and screen media must abide by the principle of impartiality. But then, what if it must report on impartial politics?
A statement of the complete independence of the media from power struggles will be more questionable. It is true that the media should leave the decision making to the public by providing them with uncolored facts. However, is it not also their duty to make the unaware eyes see the dirt underneath?
No matter the impartiality upheld by the media, it will simply appear to be manipulative because the stated truth will affect viewers, readers, and eventually create a prevalent public opinion. Nonetheless, to the most possible extent, the media must uphold its principle of neutrality, and the public must remain objective to the issues at hand and to the media that has in possession a filter.

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