International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes an agreement between staff
and management at South
Korea’s YTN to resolve a 259-day dispute
over editorial independence at the broadcaster.
April 1, staff representatives and YTN management concluded five days of closed-door
negotiations with a nine-point agreement, under which both sides will seek to
develop and implement a code for editorial independence at the broadcaster,
according to the Journalists’ Association of Korea (JAK).
IFJ trusts that YTN’s management has acknowledged the primary importance of
editorial integrity and quality to journalists and media workers who have shown
such commitment to promoting excellence in their profession and to upholding
the democratic values of press freedom,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
to JAK, an IFJ affiliate, YTN managers pledged to cancel all legal complaints
against staff members, while the union will withdraw all complaints but one
regarding dismissal and disciplinary measures taken against staff during the
decisions on the reinstatement of six sacked journalists will be left to the
courts, while the staff understand that salaries will be frozen for 12 months.
union ended an 11-day strike today and agreed not to harass YTN’s president, Gu
Bon-Hong. Last year’s appointment of Gu, a former aide to South Korean President
Myung-Bak Lee, had triggered concerns about potential political influence on
look forward now to seeing YTN management show good faith by acting quickly to reinstate
all sacked workers and to ensure the withdrawal of all legal cases and
disciplinary penalties imposed on YTN staff over the past eight months. This step
will set a standard by which press freedom advocates can evaluate press freedom
in South Korea,”
a result of the anticipated withdrawal of YTN’s complaints, it is expected that
YTN union chairman Jong-Myun Roh will be released today from a detention
facility near Seoul.
He has been detained for 12 days since being arrested ahead of the union’s strike
it is unclear whether the case against Roh will be fully closed.
workers are to be commended for their long struggle in defence of editorial
integrity and journalistic quality in South Korea,” Park said.
IFJ remains prepared to assist YTN staff and management in developing a charter
of editorial independence and professionalism for YTN, and acting as a mediator
in event of disagreements.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over
600,000 journalists in 120 countries