Korea’s Court Upholds New Media Bills

A quick scan of The Korea Times on Friday brought some related stories to my attention.

South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the package of highly controversial media reform bills that passed Parliament this summer are valid.

The Times quoted the Yonhap News Agency’s report that the reform bills “eliminate ownership restrictions in the media industry, allowing for the first time in 29 years the cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcasting stations.”

Opponents have been very concerned that this will concentrate too much power in the hands of South Korea’s media elites and squelch opposing viewpoints. President Lee Myung-bak says the changes will improve the industry’s competitiveness and create thousands of jobs.
Korea’s opposition Democratic Party expressed disappointment with the court’s ruling. The party is now pushing for a renegotiation of the bills.
The media reforms are scheduled to take effect on Sunday.

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