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In well-wired South Korea, all is not well for press freedom

Under President Lee, more restrictive news media policies. (AP/Jo Yong-Hak)

CPJ ranks North Korea, with no independent media, as the world's most censored state. South Korea, with a wide-open press, seldom comes in for criticism. The high-tech, economic powerhouse is ranked as one of the most intensely wired nations in the world, and South Koreans enjoy near universal Internet access. But all is not well with the media on the southern half of the Korean peninsula. 

March 25, 2011 4:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   India, Internet, Russia, South Korea, UK

Internet blotter

October 22, 2010 4:18 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, North Korea, South Korea

Korea Times: Censorship on pro-NK websites tightens

The Korea Times documents the disturbing increase in censorship of writing about North Korea, with the police forcing website operators to remove 42,787 pro-North Korean comments. This may be due to an increase in North Korean government attempts to enter the online debate, but some point to the general anti-Net sentiment of the Lee administration.

Oh Chang-ik, director of the Citizens Solidarity for Human Rights, defined the sudden surge of censorship as "post trauma" of the Lee administration following nationwide candlelight vigils against U.S. beef imports in 2008.

This is one of the risks when "the Internet" is characterized as the medium of choice of one political group over another. Lee's predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun, was seen as the Net-enabled President; the Lee administration has been far more sceptical of online publications, and concerned about their affects on local and international politics. Such an increase in control can't be good for the freedom of the Korean press online.

September 11, 2010 4:40 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea

Attacks on the Press 2009: Asia Developments

February 16, 2010 12:02 AM ET

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Letters   |   South Korea

CPJ concerned by South Korean pressure on media

Dear President Lee: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by your administration's increasing pressure on the Republic of Korea's media. The arrest on April 28 of four staff members with your country's second-largest broadcaster, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), is only the most recent step in what appears to be a broader effort to stifle independent reporting critical of government policies.

May 7, 2009 5:21 PM ET

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Case   |   South Korea

South Korean blogger acquitted

Park Dae-sung, who blogs under the name Minerva, was acquitted of charges in South Korea on April 20, 2009, under a rarely used law of "spreading false information with the intent of harming the public interest." The Seoul court that heard his case ruled that Park wrote without malicious intent, even if his articles were misleading his articles.

April 23, 2009 5:28 PM ET

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Alerts   |   South Korea

Blogger arrested for posting financial predictions

New York, January 29, 2009--A South Korean blogger in custody since January 7, charged with spreading false information online, should be set free, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

January 29, 2009 3:56 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Iraq, South Korea

South Korean journalist ordered home from Iraq

Hong Kong, August 15, 2008--The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned that the government of South Korea ordered home documentary filmmaker Kim Young Me from Iraq, where she was on assignment.

August 15, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2006: Countries That Have Jailed Journalists

ALGERIA: 2

Djamel Eddine Fahassi,
Alger Chaîne III
IMPRISONED: May 6, 1995

Fahassi, a reporter for the state-run radio station Alger Chaîne III and a contributor to several Algerian newspapers, including the now-banned weekly of the Islamic Salvation Front, Al-Forqane, was abducted near his home in the al-Harrache suburb of the capital, Algiers, by four well-dressed men carrying walkie-talkies. According to eyewitnesses who later spoke with his wife, the men called out Fahassi's name and then pushed him into a waiting car. He has not been seen since, and Algerian authorities have denied any knowledge of his arrest.

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