KBS, MBC union workers go on strike, programs halt production
You guys, Falsify is real! I know sometimes dramas about corruption and media play are overdramatized, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case right now. A large-scale union strike has been voted on and approved by workers at public broadcasters MBC and KBS, in an effort to oust the two networks’ presidents—MBC President Kim Jang-gyum and KBS President Go Dae-young—who are being protested for their politically influenced news censorship. The unions are demanding their resignations, and a return to free and credible journalism.
MBC’s strike was approved by a 93.2 percent vote, the highest ever for a strike in the union’s history. KBS’s PD and journalist unions, now numbering over 1,130 people, have joined in ongoing demonstrations. Both networks’ unions will strike simultaneously beginning September 4, and news, variety, and drama programming will be affected as early as later this week.
The boycotts began with journalists from both networks who refused to continue producing news programs that were being censored from the top. Both MBC and KBS presidents are being protested for using their positions to influence news in favor of former President Park Geun-hye’s administration, and already many announcers and other news and radio staff members have been boycotting their programs over the last week. MBC and KBS, meanwhile, are arguing that the labor strike is not actually about working conditions, and thus illegal.
A representative of the joint MBC-KBS labor unions stated, “We are hoping for the reform and the restoration of public concern in the media. In the previous conservative government, MBC and KBS lost the trust of the nation through politically-biased reporting, defamation, and editorial intervention. Not only that, but journalists who shouted for self-purification were suppressed and unfairly fired, transferred, or given disciplinary measures.
“The broadcasters should have a critical eye on society’s irrationalities, but instead the broadcasters have been at the forefront of enacting the deep-rooted unfairness in society. The fact that in the era of new media where there are countless channels competing, there is not one public broadcaster with the people’s trust is the tragedy of this nation.”
We can expect news and variety to be hit hardest in terms of pre-emptions, but likely dramas will be affected as well if all the PDs and crew members go on strike for an extended period of time. (The last time MBC went on strike, it lasted 170 days.) Let’s hope for the best, and maybe line up a few of those old dramas we’ve been meaning to watch.
- KBS staffers commence large-scale union strike
- MBC strike threatens to delay Moon/Sun finale
- High Kick 3 pre-empted due to ongoing MBC labor strike
- Continued strike puts pressure on Dong Yi, Kim Suro, Playful Kiss
- Filming halts on Gloria due to union strike
- Strike looms for ten MBC, SBS dramas
- Broadcast stations prepare for strike possibility
Tags: drama production