Media watch and civic groups in South Korea are threatening to take legal action against the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) over its decision to relax broadcasting ownership restrictions, The Hankyoreh reports. The groups say the move by the KCC “opens the way for money to enter broadcasting.”
The KCC this week approved an amendment bill to the Broadcasting Act that significantly relaxes regulations on the ownership of broadcasting companies by business conglomerates. Until now business conglomerates with up to 3 trillion won (about US$2 billion) in assets have been able to have stakes in terrestrial or news broadcasting companies. The change allows companies with up to 10 trillion won in assets to own broadcasting companies.
KCC chairman, Choi See-joong, defended the move saying that “given the unprecedented economic crisis, it is important that we grow the size of broadcasting as an industry.”
The National Union of Media Workers said it plans to file a constitutional petition with the Constitutional Court, alleging that having big conglomerates in the broadcasting industry is going to lead to distortions which will hurt the people’s “right to know” as defined by South Korea’s Constitution.
(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)