KBS primetime evening news was cut to 19 minutes on Monday as a result of a staff strike against the company president Gil Hwan-young, who is accused of yielding to apparent government meddling in the state-run network’s reporting.
The daily newscast begins at 9 p.m. and normally runs for 59 minutes. Another KBS news program, which starts at 7 p.m., was cut to 20 minutes from 30 because of the walkout.
The broadcaster’s reporters, anchors and cameramen launched their strike on Monday after Gil refused to step down from his post despite repeated requests.
According to the KBS Journalists’ Association, Gil interfered with the lineup of the network’s primetime evening news four times from May 1 to 8, with one of these instances involving the coverage of the Sewol ferry disaster. He allegedly barred criticism of the Coast Guard and its rescue efforts in the sinking, which left more than 300 passengers dead or missing.
The Monday edition of the network’s primetime evening news was reported solely by anchor Lee Hyun-joo, while her coanchor Choi Young-chul and 12 other hosts of the current-affairs segments refused to partake in the show.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)