The Korean Association of Newspapers delivered a statement to the Culture Ministry and the National Assembly on Monday, saying that legislation is the best way for the country’s online portal sites to adopt an “outlink system” for news articles displayed on their platforms.
Although it would be ideal for newspapers and portal sites to agree on a system through negotiation, such a voluntary change in the current custom seems impossible given portal sites’ past decisions and the market structure, the association said in the statement.
The body, representing Korea’s major newspapers, has been urging the government and lawmakers to legally mandate all portal sites to link articles to the original posts on their respective media outlet websites.
Currently, portals link news articles to replicas on their own sites rather than to the original posts at media websites, steering traffic away from original news content providers. The majority of Koreans read news through major portal sites.
“Problems with portal sites’ news service systems started 10 years ago. It is not a recent phenomenon,” said the association in its statement. “Every time a problem arose, portal sites used a strategy of avoidance, vowing to reform policies or communicate with media to solve the problem,” the newspaper body claimed.
The country’s dominant portals ended up distorting the online news distribution ecosystem with their short-sighted views on media and traffic, the association added.
The latest statement by the newspaper body came after a controversy flared up over the opinion-rigging scandal here that involves Naver, the country’s top portal site.
By Rumy Doo (firstname.lastname@example.org