Information guidelines (Hongbo Chojong Jichim)

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Date: 1986

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Print Journalism , Television


Confronting Bodies: Ministry of Culture

Confronted Bodies: South Korean Journalists

Dates of Action: July 17, 1986

Location: South Korea

Focus of Opposition:

The Incident: "On September 6, 1986 a special 63-page edition of Mal (periodical) was devoted entirely to an expose of the government's daily issuance of 'guidelines' to the nation's newspapers. As described in Mal, the "information guidelines" (Hongbo Chojong Jichim) are instructions to the press, which are sent every day to each newspaper publisher by the Department of Public Information Control (DPIC) of the Ministry of Culture and Information. Using such terms as "possible," "impossible," and "absolutely impossible," the DPIC decides and regulates all details including the form, content, and admissibility of reports about particular incidents, situations and circumstances. Newspapers adhering loyally to the guidelines will eliminate the article without hesitation if it is classified as "absolutely impossible," will give up the article with a little awkwardness if it is "impossible," and will carry the article with haste and relief if it is "possible," irrespective of the importance and value of the news item. As well as such detailed instructions, and such obedience, there is further press control by describing fact as fiction, or vice versa, and by dressing up small events as big ones or vice versa."

The elaborate nature of the government's guidelines are illustrated in the guidelines for the coverage of Kwon In Suk

Results of Incident: The guidelines were upheld.

Source: Asia Watch, "Freedom of Expression in the Republic of Korea"