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MBC seeks to regain viewers’ trust after Tokyo Games

MBC President Park Sung-jae apologizes in a press conference held at MBC headquarters on July 26. (MBC)
MBC President Park Sung-jae apologizes in a press conference held at MBC headquarters on July 26. (MBC)

Terrestrial network MBC plans to retrieve the viewer’s trust by installing a new committee, the company said in a press release on Monday.

According to the public broadcaster, MBC seeks to make sure all of its content respects universal values, which the company lacked in its coverage of Tokyo Olympics.

“The broadcasting fiasco was from all members’ callousness and insensitivity. We will recover our trust and reputation by initiating a new organization, the Public Interest Reinforcement Committee,” the company said, adding that the name of the committee was tentative.

All members of the committee will be the broadcast and human rights experts from outside of MBC.

The group will initiate various measures, including enacting a content guideline, strengthening the original gatekeeping system and adopting additional education on cultural diversity and awareness for all executives and staff members.

The innovation policies seek to prevent the mistakes in broadcasting global sport events in the future, including the Olympic Games, World Cup and world championship. The measures will not be limited to the live coverage of sports.

The company will also tighten standards in reviewing scripts and captions for its content.

“The company believes the following measures will lead our members to create all of its content respecting human rights, gender equality and cultural diversity,” the official from MBC said.

MBC’s drew criticism from domestic and foreign media for its images and captions during the coverage of the Tokyo Olympics -- in one case using an image of the Chernobyl disaster to introduce Ukraine -- leading MBC President Park Sung-jae to make a public apology in a press conference in late July.

The continued criticism and mistrust resulted only six MBC programs to be listed in the top 30 viewership program chart at the end of the Olympic Games, according to Nielsen Korea on Monday.

The broadcaster announced it would launch a thorough investigation to identify who was responsible for the embarrassing incidents during the Tokyo Games. Appropriate measures will be made after the investigation.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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