New Gov’t to Write New Newspaper Law

    January 09, 2008 08:11

    President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition team on Tuesday decided the new government will replace the compromised Newspaper Law. It will apparently draft a new newspaper law that takes account of all clauses the Constitutional Court has declared either unconstitutional or “not conforming with” the basic law. After a briefing from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Transition Committee said the ministry reported a plan “to secure autonomy and fairness of the press and enhance the vitality of the media industry.” The committee said it has no objection to the ministry's plan.

    Kang Seung-kyu, deputy spokesman for the committee, sais the new law will ease restrictions on the combined ownership of newspapers and broadcasting stations in line with the changing media environment -- read a trend for greater integration of different media. “It will also delete unconstitutional clauses, including one that singles out media companies presumed to be potential dominators of the market,” he added.

    In June 2006, the Constitutional Court declared two clauses of the current Newspaper Law unconstitutional and said another does not conform to the Constitution -- a lesser violation that permits some time to rectify the law. Experts say the Newspaper Law contains many more clauses that infringe press freedom and rather than simply omitting the offending paragraphs, the whole act needs to be rewritten.

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