Over 100 journalism professors nationwide issued a public statement blasting the government Thursday for allegedly attempting to control the press.
Their statement came as journalists at KBS, the country’s largest broadcaster, has boycotted their news production in protest to KBS president Gil Hwan-young supposedly interfering in favor of the government.
“The press regulation that took place during the military dictatorship of the past is once again happening right now,” the 137 professors said. “Gil must apologize to people and step down immediately. The National Assembly must conduct an investigation into the current situation.”
The professors added that the KBS situation extends beyond Gil, and urged for a structural overhaul to ensure the broadcaster’s independence. The KBS president is appointed by the president, which makes it harder for the broadcaster to bad-mouth the government.
Kim Si-gon, the former chief of the KBS news bureau, recently revealed that he had been pressured by Gil and officials from the presidential office to produce news favorable to the government. He claimed to have been ordered not to air news critical of the Coast Guard.
Gil denied the allegations and refused to step down, saying he felt betrayed by Kim’s actions.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)