Reporters Without Borders has again this year determined the freedom of the press index for 180 countries and Korea ranks 70th. The RSF (Reporters Without Borders) has criticized the Government for interference in the independence of the press. Freedom House also criticized the government for censorship.
column in the Catholic Times brings this news to the readers, and
mentions that even if the report of press subordination and control is
exaggerated, when mass media is looking to see what the authorities
will say the results on a free press is crippling. In a country like
Korea a free press is a requirement for a democratic society.
the press becomes a big business and is tied too closely to the
financial interests of the country, freedom is sacrificed;
advertising income becomes an important issue and democratic maturity suffers.
aim of a democracy is to enable a pluralism to exist. Authoritarianism and totalitarianism don't allow for this and tries to gain a
cohesion of the political, finances, military, culture, while democracy
is willing to work with pluralism. Free press is a help in attaining
this goal and helping to bring about dialogue between the different
segments in society.
Once this is lost big business begins to dictate the direction of society and justify the status quo.
"Participation without an understanding of the situation of the political
community, the facts and the proposed solutions to problems is unthinkable. It
is necessary to guarantee a real pluralism in this delicate area of social life,
ensuring that there are many forms and instruments of information and
communications. It is likewise necessary to facilitate conditions of equality in
the possession and use of these instruments by means of appropriate laws. Among
the obstacles that hinder the full exercise of the right to objectivity in
information, special attention must be given to the phenomenon of
the news media being controlled by just a few people or groups. This has
dangerous effects for the entire democratic system when this phenomenon is
accompanied by ever closer ties between governmental activity and the financial
and information establishments" (Compendium of the Social Gospel #414)
the world of the media the intrinsic difficulties of communications are
often exacerbated by ideology, the desire for profit and political
control. rivalry and conflicts between groups, and other social evils.
values and principles apply also to the media. The ethical dimension relates
not just to the content of communication (the message) and the process of
communication (how the communicating is done) but to fundamental structural and
systemic issues, often involving large questions of policy bearing upon the
distribution of sophisticated technology and product (who shall be information
rich and who shall be information poor?)” (Compendium # 416).