Gov't to Lift Press Ownership Restrictions

    April 10, 2008 09:23

    Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yu In-chon

    Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yu In-chon on Wednesday said the government’s basic policy is to permit newspaper companies limited ownership of broadcasters. Yu made the remarks in a meeting with correspondents in New York on Tuesday. "The government is basically considering lifting restrictions” on the simultaneous ownership of newspapers and broadcasters, he said.

    "We'll still have to undergo several processes including an inter-governmental discussion and a public hearing, but I think a bill on this issue can be submitted to the regular National Assembly session this year,” he added. Asked about the criteria, Yu pointed out that some newspapers such as the JoongAng Ilbo and the Maeil Business Newspaper already have cable TV stations. "It wouldn't be reasonable for the government to permit one newspaper to own a broadcaster but refuse the application of another."

    But he said the government has not yet started a full-fledged review of the matter.

    Yu also commented on the leaders of some agencies under his ministry's supervision who were appointed under the Roh Moo-hyun administration and have been criticized for holding on to their posts. "We can't tell some people, with whom it is hard to communicate. It's up to them to decide” to resign. He expressed hope that the political situation will stabilize after the general election, adding he will wind up the matter after returning home.

    Yu confessed to being “heartbroken” at the paltry Korean section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York compared with the Chinese or Japanese sections. He pledged to intensify public relations campaigns for Korean culture in America to expand the Korean section.

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