Reports of Intimidation and Editorial Interference in Korean Public Broadcaster

 

 

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) joins UNI Global Union, and the unions of broadcasters MBCTV, KBSTV and

YTN,in expressing its grave concern over reports of

intimidation of union members and interference in reporting and editing of the

South Korean public broadcaster MBCTV.

 

 

On January

25, 170 MBCTV news reporters and cameramen staged a ‘walk out’ demonstration in

the lobby of MBC TV, in response to alleged interference in the broadcaster’s

editorial independence and the intimidation of union members.

 

Since then,

MBCTV union members have held daily rallies and picketed in the streets to seek

public support for their struggle. Members have reported incidents of

intimidation, directed at those taking part in the demonstrations.


Employees at the public

broadcaster, and their unions, are concerned by government controls on state

media and their diminished independence due to strong ties between high-ranking

government officers and media company managements.


The MBCTV union

previously took strike action to protect freedom of speech at MBCTV in 2010, after which

many union members, including the union president, were dismissed.


“Press freedom cannot be achieved in an environment

where journalists are unable to freely associate and advocate for their rights”,

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.

 

“The

IFJ calls on MBCTV’s management to investigate all claims of intimidation of

union members, and take action to ensure that all employees are able to enjoy

their right to unionise and take industrial action without fear of reprisal.

 

The

IFJ also calls on MBCTV’s management to guarantee editorial independence and

press freedom at the broadcaster”.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the

IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific