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Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
Toward a greater vision!   final
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Toward a greater vision! final

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  • 1. Looking Glass Consulting SIS-645-E01L-E91L-2013XE International Communication & Cultural Policy Affiliation: American University E-Mail: oj9124a@student.american.edu Web: http://southkoreaniccpolicy.wordpress.com Toward A Greater Vision! Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media June 2013 Oloruntobi “IBK” Jaiyeola Consultant, Looking Glass Group
  • 2. 2 Copyright © Looking Glass Group 2013 Contents Executive Summary 3 About the Client 4 Introduction: Korea’s Media Story 4 Expert Literature: Themes and Patterns 5 South Korea’s Timeline of Media Policies 5 Policy Analysis 8 Goals and Contradictions 8 Emerging Framework 8 Taking it Further: Future Work 9 Bibliography 10
  • 3. 3 Looking Glass Consulting Toward A Greater Vision: Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media Executive Summary As globalization takes new turns and many parts of the world experience new digital media technologies, one of the countries at the forefront, and a fast-growing economy is South Korea. In a region of fast growth, since the 1960s Korea has increased its per capita GDP more quickly than any of its neighbors. One aspect of this growth is with its press freedom, which has varied through the several periods of leadership. Since Japanese colonial rule, freedom of the press has been more often restricted than protected by the laws and policies. There have been four main features of press freedom since 1910: severe restriction during the Japanese colonial rule; experiencing freedom with unstable democracy under the American military rule and the First and Second republics; oppression of the military regimes; and the struggle with capital power since the beginning of civilian government – despite the plurality of mediums today. These different regimes have influenced the structure of Korean society and the media politically, economically, socially and culturally. The report is designed for MediACT, an organization established in 2002 by the South Korean government, which supports alternative and independent film and video production. The organization once faced shutdown in 2008 by then president Lee Myung-bak’s administration. Looking Glass' Oloruntobi “IBK” Jaiyeola offers probing looks at these issues and provides an analysis of the country’s historical framework and the contradictions of current Internet policies on the technological growth of the nation, and suggests further work for critical citizens’ media monitoring movements, and the mediascape and cultural sector.
  • 4. 4 Copyright © Looking Glass Group 2013 About the Client MediACT is a public local media access center located in Seoul, South Korea. It was established in 2002 by the Korean government to help train and prepare the Korean population for the digital media age by supporting alternative and participatory media activities, including (a) independent film making, (b) the establishment of public access structures in tandem with media policy development, and (c) activation of systematic media education and its continuation as a lifelong process (Kim, 2011). Introduction: Korea’s Media Story South Korea is a media-rich country that consists of several different types of public communication of news: television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites, with television as the most influential and pervasive (BBC, 2012). It is also one of the world’s leading consumers of new communication technologies, which is changing the environment of communication and news reporting. This digital revolution is the catalyst of our focus policy, and an object for concern for conservative parties in the country who advocate tighter control. As the country has navigated through authoritarian rule, from the Japanese colonial government, to its current civilian rule, which included administrations like Moo-Hyun Roh who passed the Newspaper Law and the Press Arbitration Law in January 2005 to emphasize the social responsibilities of the media to the general public and respect pluralism (Sa, 2009). This report will review the timeline of South Korea’s leadership and the themes of the media policies from each era. Including the past South Korean administration of Lee Myung-bak and its initiation of laws to control Internet activists from criticizing the government. The focus of analysis is the administration’s decision to replace the country’s Internet regulatory body Information and Communication Ethics Committee (ICEC) with another administrative body,
  • 5. 5 Looking Glass Consulting Toward A Greater Vision: Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media the Korean Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) whose job it is to regulate Internet content, and allegedly defamatory content against the government. Finally, we will discuss the emerging model and framework, and the recommendations for MediACT as a part of this digital industry. Expert Literature: Themes and Patterns South Korea’s Timeline of Media Policies I. Colonial Period (1910-1945) In 1910, the Governor-General of Korea assumed direct control of the press and public institutions through the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. Nearly a decade after, the 1919 March 1st Movement, led the Japanese colonial government to loosen their restrictive control over cultural activities and permit several Korean newspapers to function while maintaining some covert control over politically sensitive topics (The Library of Congress, 1990). Later on in 1926, the movie Arirang was made and became the most famous of the nationalistic films of its time. The movie premiered with a stir, and its promotion was heavily censored, prompting the Golden Age of Silent Film in Korea. As the use of sound and increased in Korean films, so did repression by the Japanese. From 1930 until 1935 the Japanese allowed only two or three films a year to be made, and by 1942 the Japanese closed all ten Korean film companies and established the Choson Film Co., Ltd. The goal of their propaganda films was to create the impression that Koreans no longer existed, and that they were Japanese (Marshall, 1997). Around this period of the 1920s, Korean vernacular newspapers, such as Donga Ilbo, and intellectual journals such as Kaebyok (Creation), experienced clashes with Japanese censors because they were running
  • 6. 6 Copyright © Looking Glass Group 2013 articles opposing the Japanese military, and by 1941, all Korean-language publications became outlawed (The Library of Congress, 1990). II. The American Military rule, the First and Second republics (1945~1961) After the liberation from Japanese rule, the US Military Government temporarily ruled South Korea from 1945-48. Under this temporary leadership, the Korean media experienced freedom with unstable democracy, a flourishing of newspapers and periodicals with occasional censorship (SA, 2009). During the First republic, the constitution followed an America-oriented Presidential system, stating that all Korean people shall have no restrictions on freedom of the press, freedom of publication, freedom of assembly and freedom of association except by Law. However, the Korean government, under President Syng-Man Rhee, outlawed leftist newspapers (The Library of Congress, 1990). Around this time during the Korean War, much of the country's film infrastructure was destroyed and the center of the industry moved to Busan. Many filmmakers became involved in shooting newsreels and war documentaries. In 1953, after the ceasefire President Rhee declared cinema exempt from all tax, in hopes of reviving the industry (Paquet, 2007). The Second Republic guaranteed freedom of the press under Premier Myon Chang. There were no conditions placed on the freedom of the people and rights of the people except for the public good and order. This was the greatest freedom for the press in Korean history, and so the number of newspapers publications increased. With the plurality of publications came the diversity of content and quality, and many members of society saw unqualified people in media companies abuse the press power as media owners and journalists. On May 16th , 1961 General Chung-Hee Park carried out a military coup d’état that ended this press freedom (Sa, 2009). This was the greatest freedom for the press in Korean history.
  • 7. 7 Looking Glass Consulting Toward A Greater Vision: Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media III. The military regimes (1961~1987) There were severe restrictions to freedom of the press under the military regimes of Chung-Hee Park and Doo-Hwan Chun. Nonetheless, the media gained new freedom regarding non-political and non-sensitive social content, which created a soft news and sensationalism trend in the media. These regimes directly controlled the media through mainly censorship and manipulation, as a means of maintaining power. There was a reorganization of media companies, either through mergers or closures, creating oligopolies. Many journalists who opposed this regime were fired and banned from writing (Sa, 2009). The latter half of the 1950s is part of the Golden Age of Korean Cinema with increasing number of domestic productions. However in 1962, Chung Hee Park instituted a highly constrictive Motion Picture Law which also caused severe consolidation in the number of film companies, and which strengthened government control over all aspects of the industry. This was beneficial for more accomplished films, but stifling for the overall industry's creativity (Paquet, 2007). IV. Civilian governments (1988~present) Most of the Korean media have enjoyed freedom of the press under the civilian governments. However, despite its plurality and diversity, there has been the struggle with capital power as major conservative newspapers do not want social changes because they want to keep their power and property, making any attempt at reform difficult (Sa, 2009). The past administration of Lee Myung-bak was criticized for oppressing the electronic media, especially, the broadcast and Internet media, and is rated partly free by Freedom House (Freedom House, 2012). Currently, Korean Cinema is gaining international recognition, although it is still overshadowed by Hollywood.
  • 8. 8 Copyright © Looking Glass Group 2013 Policy Analysis Goals and Contradictions South Korea is a world leader in Internet and broadband penetration, however this does not ensure access to free and unfiltered Internet for citizens. South Korea’s government continues to regulate specific online content and imposes a substantial level of censorship on politically charged discourse on websites that the government considers subversive or socially harmful, such as matters that offer sentiments towards North Korea. Some may find the government’s actions contradictory considering the level of government spending that went into establishing these infrastructures in the first place. In 2007, numerous bloggers were censored, arrested, and had their posts deleted by police for expressing criticism of, or even support for, certain presidential candidates. Subsequently in 2008, just before a new presidential election, new legislation that required all major Internet portal sites to require identity verification of their users was put into effect (Kim, 2008). Besides the financial contradictions of investing in technological growth and limiting potential, also comes political and cultural contradictions like censorships on industries like the arts, as well as the duality of the nature of reconciliation with North Korea. At the present, South Korea has become a heavily polarized democracy as a result of these policies. Emerging Framework South Korea has enjoyed some freedom for the years under civilian rule leading up to Myung- bak’s administration. The problems that continue to plague this country are the instabilities in the laws, and the impunity with which the government manipulates them. The consolidation of powers from the military regimes still slightly influences the structures today. Based on this, we
  • 9. 9 Looking Glass Consulting Toward A Greater Vision: Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media can deduce that the country best resembles the Nationalist-Cultural model, which combines elements of national interests (for example, restriction North Korean sentiments) and cultural sovereignty. This best suits South Korea as a somewhat authoritarian non-western democratic state (Class Lecture on Global Communication Policy Models, May 2013). Taking it Further: Future Work This paper examined the themes of South Korea’s media policy through the nation’s history, and emphasizing the pattern and the implication on the current structure, which is that despite being a democracy, there are still indications of the authoritarian regime that plague the country. For an organization dedicated to raising South Korea’s media literacy and cultural awareness like MediACT, we are aware that this censorship extends beyond a political sphere; it is also cultural and social, which is quite similar to the Japanese colonial regime. We recommend further research on national perceptions of the government’s restrictions on media engagement. Also since we juxtaposed this research with the Korean cinema evolution, we recommend further work on the use of artistic propaganda in the industry to tackle the online censorship. The Korean cinema successfully transitioned from censorship to promotion by highlighting its relevance to national and economic interests, and the digital revolution is undergoing the growing pains of overcoming some conservative policies. MediACT has been a victim of near shutdown by the government in the past (APC, 2010), and it remains relevant for media education to defend freedom of the press and the television audience’s right to quality programmes.
  • 10. 10 Copyright © Looking Glass Group 2013 Bibliography American Memory from the Library of Congress. Accessed June 23, 2013. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+kr0143). BBC News. "South Korea profile - Media." Accessed June 20, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15291415. Kim, Hyung-eun. "Do new Internet regulations curb free speech? ." korea joongang daily. http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2893577 Kim, M. J. "MediACT (Korea)." In Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, edited by John D.H. Downing, 328-31. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2011. doi: 10.4135/9781412979313.n143. Kwak/Korea Economic Institute, Ki-sung. "Broadcasting Deregulation in South Korea." Academic Paper Series 0n Korea 3, no. 1 (2010): 81-93. Accessed June 22, 2013. http://keia.org/publication/broadcasting-deregulation-south-korea. Marshall, Jon. "A Brief History of Korean Film." Pusanweb | Busan (Pusan) Korea Classifieds Forums, Guides, & Media. Last modified October, 1997. http://www.pusanweb.com/Exit/Oct97/briefhist.htm. Paquet, Darcy. "A Short History of Korean Film." Koreanfilm.org - Movie reviews, news, actor info and more from Korea. Accessed June, 2013. http://www.koreanfilm.org/history.html. Sa, Eun Suk. "Development of Press Freedom in South Korea since Japanese Colonial Rule." Asian Culture and History 1, no. 2 (2009): 15. http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ach/article/view/3045. "South Korean gov't threatens public media centre MediAct - join the protest | Association for Progressive Communications." Association for Progressive Communications | Internet for social justice and sustainable development. http://www.apc.org/en/news/south- korean-govt-threatens-public-media-centre-me.
  • 11. 11 Looking Glass Consulting Toward A Greater Vision: Monitoring the pattern and growth of South Korea’s media Shim, Doobo. 2002. "South Korean Media Industry in the 1990s and the Economic Crisis." Prometheus 20, no. 4: 337-350. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed June 23, 2013). Venturelli, S. (2013, May). Global Media, Convergence Culture and Audiences . International Communications. Lecture conducted from American University, Washington DC.

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