1. What is the media bill?
If you have a choice among hot potatoes in these days, you may choose a “Media bill”. However If you are demanded to explain about the bill, you may not explain well. What is the Media bill? Now, let’s see about this law.
The media bill is to activate the media but this is not its formal name. In general, people describe the Broadcasting Act, the Newspaper Act (a law about liberty and guaranteeing the function of newspapers), the IPTV Act (The Internet Multimedia Broadcasting Industry law), the Press Arbitration Act (law about the press arbitration and reliving damage), the Information and Communications Network Act (law about promoting communications network and protecting information), and the Digital Conversion Act (law about digital conversion of ground wave television and revitalization of digital broadcasting) as ‘media bill’.
The principal contents of the revised laws are as a follow. A large enterprise and newspaper company can buy stocks of a broadcasting company. It was permitted that new general service program providers and special news channels. A large enterprise and newspaper company can hold only 10% of ground wave television, 30% of general service program provider and special news channel.
From the beginning of December 2008, Media bill has appeared as a hot potato. The process of passing the bill is as follows. On the 3rd of December 2008, the GNP (Grand National Party) proposed the revised Broadcasting Act. On the 25th of February 2009, Go Heung-kil, a chairman of the National Assembly Committee on culture, sports, tourism, broadcasting & communications, used his authority to send the Media bill to the floor. On the 6th of March 2009, Committee for Development of Media to collect the public opinion was organized. On the 22nd of July 2009, Kim Hyong-O, the chairman, decided to submit the Media bills to a plenary session. Lee Yoon-Sung, the vice-speaker, passed a bill concerning media. On the 23rd of July 2009, the four parties out of power (the Democratic Party, the Democratic Labor Party, the New Progressive Party, and the Renewal of Korea Party) requested suspending the effect of the Broadcasting Act and the judgment of authority to the Constitutional Court.
Why do the four parties out of power request that? There are some troubles passing the Broadcasting Act. Here is an argument. When voting the media bill adjustment, attendance was only 145. It was less than 148 which is the fixed number for a decision. So, the National Assembly took the vote again, but this is a violation of the principal not deliberating the same measure twice during the same session of the National Assembly. Also, there is a controversy that people vote by proxy in the voting procedure.
By Kim Du-ri, Reporter