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Park calls for accuracy of media reports

President Park Geun-hye on Monday stressed the need for media to provide accurate and unbiased information, seemingly backing up the ruling party’s offensives against Korea’s major Internet portals for “prejudicial” delivery of news.

While attending an event hosted by one of the country’s major daily newspapers, Park also highlighted the role of media outlets in pursuing her key initiatives such as labor market reforms.  

“The digital revolution brought significant changes to the media outlets … and we are exposed to the danger where inaccurate information could spread out momentarily. In this situation, the media should play a more important role in discerning accurate information and offering it to the public,” Park said. 

South Korea`s President Park Geun-hye. Yonhap
South Korea`s President Park Geun-hye. Yonhap

“Now we are making a big stride toward overhauling the nation. I believe that media outlets play a significant role in steering the nation toward disruption and innovation. I sincerely ask them to serve as a beacon that can act as a guide for the rest of us,” Park added.

Her remarks came shortly after Saenuri Party claims that major Internet search engines such as Naver and Daum Kakao had skewed news coverage from media outlets in favor of the opposition.

In Korea, Internet portals are thought to carry a lot of influence among voters, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, as they use the Internet search engines to track current affairs than traditional media outlets such as newspapers and TVs.

In an ongoing parliamentary audit session, the Saenuri lawmakers grilled the executives of Naver and Daum Kakao, accusing them of arbitrarily changing the headlines and layouts in a way that “could create more biased political landscape in favor of opposition parties.”

The NPAD and other opposition Parties such as Justice Party labeled the Saenuri Party’s allegation as being politically motivated and urged the party to stop attempting to “tame” the Internet giants in the run-up to the 2016 general election.

By Yeo Jun Suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)

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