Posted by: rbbadger | July 17, 2008


Part of the fuel fanning the fires of the recent protests has been MBC, one of the major broadcasters here in South Korea.  Known as MBC or the Munhwa Broadcasting Company (Munhwa means “culture”), MBC is one of the largest broadcasters in the Korean Republic.  

Korean journalism is very different from the American variety.  Often, American journalists do make the attempt to at least look fair and unbiased.  Korean journalism is very contentious and very ideological.  The major dailies are mostly conservative and have taken great delight in skewering nearly every plan of the last presidential administration (and with good reason, I might add).  The Hankyoreh, the liberal paper here, generally does to the current president what the Chosun Ilbo delighted into doing to his predecessor.  When I was in Hong Kong and in Japan, I delighted in reading the English newspapers there, as they seem quite a bit more balanced than their Korean counterparts are.  The Asahi Shimbun, one of the most important newspapers in the country does publish its news in English translation.  The South China Morning Post is pretty good and quite a bit different from, say, The People’s Daily in Beijing. 

Anyhow, due to some blatant mis-translation, the Korea Communications Standards Commission has ordered MBC to apologise to the public for its misleading reports.  The Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office is currently investigating and there is certainly sure to be a firestorm no matter what happens.


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