To what extent should the media coverage of self-destruction be restricted in theRepublicofKorea?
There has been an increasing figure of surveies in Europe and the United State that has proved the impacts of describing intelligence on self-destruction upon self-destruction rate since 1970s. Harmonizing to these surveies viewing audiences exposed to suicide coverage are affected by its narratives and some could copy self-destructive behaviour.
In this respect, media guidelines refering this issue have been published. South Korea besides announced a self-mandatory media guideline in 2004, which purposed to curtail coverage of intelligence on self-destruction. However, it did non exert influence on media coverage of self-destruction efficaciously. For case, in following twelvemonth, 2005, when the celebrated Korean actress Eun-joo Lee committed suicide, there were approximately seven times more studies on self-destruction in a month ( entire 220 studies ) compared to the old month. Surprisingly, at the same period, overall self-destructions increased dramatically from 639 to 1159. This incident implies that the rigorous media ordinance sing broadcast medium and printing intelligence on self-destruction is required in South Korea. However, the constitution of media ordinance has encountered resistance of the imperativeness, which claims that this could be exploited as invasion of freedom of address.
This essay will compare different positions of media ordinance sing the freedom of address and the negative facets of overdone studies and discourse to what extent the media coverage of self-destruction should be restricted in the Republic of Korea.
Media ordinance, the inquiry under argument
In South Korea, media ordinance is a sensitive issue. Youm ( 1985, p.3 ) said, “ Imperativeness freedom has continued to undergo the accompaniment ups and downs of Korea ‘s helter-skelter alterations both socially and geopolitically. ” In Korea, until 1987 with no democratic rules in tradition, the media did non hold the chance to boom harmonizing to the rules of freedom. Lee ( 2003 ) mentioned that the media ordinance reminds South Korean people of the period under the military government in 1970-80s. In those yearss, the imperativeness was under the tight governmental control and intelligence were monitored and intentionally chosen by the authorities. By and large, it is assumed that the media freedom in Korea had non improved until 1987 when pro-democracy motion occurred. To accomplish freedom of address, South Korean media has so gone through many disruptive decennaries. However, it is still questionable whether it has reached a degree optimal for democratisation. This is because the current authorities belongs to conservative party since 2008 and the freedom of information has been threatened by both autocratic attitude of the governing party and diehard protagonists in major newspaper and broadcasters ( SA, 2009 ) . Sing this state of affairs, constitution of media ordinance seems premature in South Korea. Furthermore, media ordinance can be barriers for the imperativeness to describe the whole truth if the authorities exploits this regulation. In point of position that against media ordinance, mass media should acquire the autonomy to describe independently for the populace who have the right to be informed.
Yu ( 2003 ) gave an illustration of contrast describing attitude on SARS coverage between major and independent media. In late 2002, China faced catastrophe called Severe Acute Respiratory ( SARS ) , which was an epidemic respiratory disease attacked the universe globally. An eruption of SARS in southern China, within hebdomads, spread from Hong Kong to 37 other states. However, mainstream media in China did non inform the earnestness of this raid contagious disease instantly or even barely mentioned it for several months. In contrast to this, independent magazine Caijing brought a great part to describe SARS. Editor of magazine Caijing detected a authorities transparence job related to this issue. The independent media, alleged ‘fringe media’ , was less controlled and monitored by the authorities. Therefore, he could freely organized particular letter writers and produced four particular hebdomadal issues on SARS. If independent magazines had been under rigorous media ordinance every bit good, the Chinese populace could non be able to happen the manner to near proper information about SARS and grok incident.
Whereas, there is a possibility that the controversial issue could be distorted or biased by the prevailing studies. Yu ( 2003 ) pointed out that SARS crisis was exaggerated and excessively focused on its negative facets by the U.S. and the Western media. During the same period, the U.S and the Western media provided far more studies about SARS than the Chinese imperativeness did. The intelligence was dramatized to pull viewers’ attending and assorted with political issue, which could unnecessarily scare the populace. The overdone study can non be merely ignored since modern media have a important influence on cultural and historical memories of the populace ( Johnson, 2007 ) . A function of media has become more important as information is being transmitted with unprecedented gait through new media platform such as the cyberspace and this have a great deduction on people’s life style every bit good as idea. However, it is undependable that all mass media would be concerned about its duty for describing nonsubjective and precise information. This intuition based on the undeniable fact that the imperativeness depends on advertisers’ capital, which straight links to an sum of media’s income. In order to obtain more attending from endorsers, mass media is likely to falsify or overstate an beginning beginning. A survey conducted by Victoria and Deryn ( 2013 ) presented damaging impacts of sensational and luring studies on viewers’ memories. They researched whether overdone intelligence appeared in media prompted people to hold distorted memories. They found that trial topics had more inaccurate memories when they were given the intelligence contained overdone item compared to when they read standard version of the same narrative. Furthermore, the trial topic groups who were antecedently warned possible inaccuracies in given text besides showed similar inaccuracy rate in their memories. The research workers doubted how viewing audiences could protect themselves from negative effects of overdone coverage. As can be seen from the survey, constitution of a rigorous media ordinance could be necessary when it comes to forestalling indiscriminate impacts of overdone coverage.
Media ordinance on self-destruction coverage
Recently the decease of the celebrated histrion and comedian Robin Williams has sparked a argument about the manner the self-destruction is reported in the media. The media were strongly advised that they should follow the charity ‘s guidelines on the coverage of the stars ‘ self-destruction. The charity urged the media to be aware that famous person self-destructions have a higher hazard of promoting copycat behaviour. Harmonizing to World Health Organization ( WHO ) in 2008, it concluded that the vulnerable persons may be influenced to prosecute in imitative behaviours by the studies and intelligence of self-destruction when the media coverage of the incident is extended, outstanding and sensational, and particularly when it explicitly describes the method of self-destruction. WHO ( 2008 ) besides mentioned that many probes into imitator self-destructions have been conducted and these research have systematically drawn the same decision: media coverage of self-destruction can take to imitative suicidal behavior.
As consciousness of risky effects of suicide coverage on imitator self-destruction has been increasing, legion authorities and nongovernment organisation in many states have endeavor to build media guideline ( Bohanna and Wang, 2012, p.190 ) . Since first media guideline sing suicide studies was introduced by Austria in 1987, the guideline has developed by different states to give journalists recommendations about how to describe self-destruction responsibly. The contents involve specific instructions: maintain suicide intelligence off from headline, avoid supplying specific inside informations of the self-destruction methods, give the populace an educational run, avoid sensationalizing or romanticizing self-destruction, monitor the measure of famous person suicide intelligence, inform about the association between self-destruction and a mental upset. Although guidelines from a scope of states resemble each other, they were developed in different ways. For illustration, while New Zealand was criticized due to miss of media audience, the Media Wise Trust in the UK established its guideline through extended coaction with around 30 suicide bar and mental wellness groups, which aroused practical understandings from the U.K. journalists ( Pirkis, et al. , 2006 ) . As can be seen, media guideline on self-destruction coverage has improved in a long term in many states with a great sum of related surveies.
When it comes to suicide issue in South Korea, the job seems more terrible than other states. South Korea, harmonizing to the World Health Report, is classified as a ‘high self-destruction risk’ state. South Korea is merely two states behind the most suicide perpetrating state with a suicide rate of 28.1 self-destructions per 100,000 people yearly. An addition self-destruction rate in South Korea contrasts to the downward tendencies of Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ) states ( Fig. 1 ) ( Kim, et Al. 2010 ) . However, although the current self-destruction statistics in South Korea represents an
Figure 1: Time tendencies of self-destruction among selected states with high self-destruction rates ( Kim, M et Al. 2010, p.1255 )
‘epidemic’ , South Korea has comparatively low consciousness on intimate connexion between suicide coverage and imitative self-destruction. Harmonizing to a survey, the media industry in South Korea tends to cover suicide issues in indiscriminate and sensational ways. In add-on, the South Korean newspapers publish far more sum of suicide intelligence compared to the media in Australia, New Zealand, some European states, and the United States. South Koreans are exposed to comparatively a big sum of these sensational self-destruction intelligence on about a day-to-day footing ( Ji, et Al, 2014, p.57 ) . Particularly, the inordinate figure of coverage on celebrities’ self-destructions is dominant in South Korea. This phenomenon could be found at research ( Fu and Chan, 2013 ) , which examined coverage of the 11 incidents of South Korean famous person self-destruction between 2005 and 2009. They compared the figure of suicide coverage studies appeared in the media before a hebdomad the incident happened and a hebdomad after the incident happened. The survey indicated that when a telecasting actress Jang committed self-destruction, the figure of suicide intelligence increased improbably from 2 to 2516. Besides, the survey mentioned that three incidents were found to hold a important impact on the overall self-destruction count and the increasing tendencies lasted continuously for three to nine hebdomads.
However, in malice of the damaging impacts of self-destruction coverage seen from above, in instance of Korean media, there is no more or less media ordinance, which has a clear guideline to follow in instance of covering the incidents like slaying, self-destruction or accidents. When it comes to the new on-line channel such as Social Network Services, the state of affairs gets worse since there is no censoring board for these types of media personals. This would let people to easy entree to many other communications to air the intelligence which could hold a direct negative impact on the viewing audiences. Equally far as the South Korean press’s foolhardy duty for describing self-destruction intelligence which leads to broad and risky effects on the populace are concerned, it can be concluded that current South Korean society is meeting exigency state of affairs. Therefore, it can be assumed that mandatory media ordinance, instead than recommendation, is required in South Korea.
This essay looked whether media ordinance is force per unit area on freedom of address or a stem necessity to curtail overdone coverage. Then, the essay outlined different countries’ old attempts to develop media guideline sing suicide coverage. Last, it tried to judge the South Korean media conditions related to suicide to analyze to what extent of media ordinance could be applied in South Korea.
In decision, the South Korean imperativeness, paradoxically, has displayed different attitudes at the same clip ; these are the attempt to accomplish independence and the sensational headline to raise more income from an advertizement concern. However, it is needed to hold more concerns about limitation on self-destruction coverage because suicide issue has become a major job in current South Korean society, and this issue closely related to people’s wellness. Therefore, it can be the au naturel indispensable pick that South Korean society adopts strong media ordinance sing suicide issue.