Mr. Shin discussed the current problems of the media and offered different perspectives. The first topic was about personal affairs of MBC. He related that instead of pursuing fairness and neutrality, the broadcasting corporation was saddled with regionalism and nepotism. He said that even though he graduated from Seoul National University, the country’s most prestigious university, he was discriminated against because he was from Honam, an area located in the southwestern region. He said “I didn’t want to be subservient so I kept my pride. This has been my driving force until now.”
The second topic was about the role of media. He explained “Many journalists always say that the media covers the fact and the truth. However, I think media only covers the fact. Truth is completely different from fact.” He clarified this point by saying that “Sometimes, media reports do not match the fact. However, if fifty percent of the facts coincide with the truth, then the media has been faithful. It is very difficult to keep fact and truth separate. But it is media’s obligation to the public, and the media has to make a commitment to be honest.
The third topic was about the changes in the media environment. A few years ago, crisis spread within a few newspaper companies. The companies became aware that the crisis could bring them down overnight. Following the change in regime, media companies amended the media law. According to the new law, newspaper companies can broadcast. This reform leads to competition which then contributes to the advancement of science and technology. However, competition among media companies brings about decadence in media, as media may present false reports as if they were actual factual reportage. In addition, this may degenerate media into yellow journalism. Media need not to make a profit; rather media only need to tread the path of righteousness.
The last topic was about the role of consumers. Shin said “Consumers have to show responsible behavior and interest in media. Paying attention and monitoring their activities will influence media to act responsibly. Parents have to help create a good media for their children.” His speech touched the audience’s hearts, and after the lecture, he was surrounded by people all asking for his autograph.
Ahn Seong-Bin firstname.lastname@example.org
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