The Situation of Communication
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Broadcasting law, film and video law passed. Introduction of new concepts and partial ... Association of Korean independent film and videomakers (KIFV) ...

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The Situation of Communication

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The Situation of Communication for Social Change in Korea(or media activism for democratic communication)and the case of Labor News Production


1Background Information

2Overall Situation on Communication for Social Change

1. Background

2. Progress

3. Issues

3Labour News Production since Feb, 1989

1. Funding Sources

2. Main Partners in activities

3. The Social Situation Wants to Change

4. Main Activities and Objectives

5. Main Tool Utilized

6. Participatory Project

7. Social impact of Project

8. Main Obstacles and Constraints

9. Main Challenges

Outline cont.

Further Specific Information on LNP

3 Labour News Production since February, 1989

1. Funding Sources

2. Main Partners in Activities

3. The Social Situation

4. Main Activities and Objectives

5. Main Tool Utilized

6. Participatory Project

7. Social Impact of the Project

8. Main Obstacles and Constraints

Background Information

  • 45 million population in South Korea

  • Fast developing (developed) society: economically, hi-tech

    • Strong democratic labor movement since 1987

    • IMF crisis --> Neoliberalist policy

    • Economic booming mainly based on IT industry

  • Widening gap bet poor and rich, job insecurity, cutting wages

  • Corrupt conservative politics which has been losing support

    • NGO movement + New political movement from labor

  • Technological advance: 20 million Internet users, 10 million cellular phones, So called venture capitalists (Kosdaq)

    • Causing crisis, providing tools for democratic communication

    • Always struggle on communication and media

Overall Situation on Communication for Social Change

(Focus on audio-visual media)


Government Corporation

Public InstituteMainstream media

(KFC, KBI, KBC, IT dept...)(public, private)

Independent film and videos,video activism

Watchdog groups, NGOsAlternative (Civil ?)

(IT) Trade unions media

IT activists

1. Background

A. Changing stance of Public Institute

  • Beginning of being partially public

  • Significant change by political change and advocacy

    Ex. Media center policy, new funding policy by KBI and KFC

    (although strong policy trend of Neoliberalism)

    B. New legal frameworks

  • Broadcasting law, film and video law passed

  • Introduction of new concepts and partial elimination of censorship (Due to political change and also long struggle and lobby by activists)

1. Background cont.

C. Booming of Independent (alternative) Videos

  • Establishment of KIFV (Association), legal status. This group is critical of mainstream media and armed with DV technology and Internet

    D. Progressive Trade Union: More aware of media

  • Relatively conservative stance of Broadcasting TUs

    E. Interests in new alternative forms of media

  • Especially on Public Access, IT’s

    F. Using computer mediated communication (inc. Internet)

  • Widely by NGOs, TU movement, etc.

2. Progress

  • Battle on Public Access: New broadcasting law guarantees access to national public TV, satellite TV and cable TV.

    • Article 69 : KBS must carry the programs made directly by the viewers,based on the presidential decree.

    • Article 70 : Cable system operator and satellite operator must air the programs directly made by the viewers if the viewers demand to be aired through local channel or public channel, if there is no special reason for refusing to air.

    • The battle on policy will continue until June.

    • Establishing the association of organizations for viewers participation TV program (AVPTVP) : Exec committee, Policy committee, Production committee, Media center branch (22 orgs)

  • Establishing NGO, TU's own IT network

    • Korean Progressive Network (Jinbo Net :

2. Progress cont.

  • Experiment on Internet Webcasting

  • Possibility of (NGO) TV channel

    • Establishing the channel owned by coalition of NGOs

    • Battle on acquiring satellite channel by Coalition

  • Possibility of Introducing community radio structure

    • Change of policy level

      • Strategy of using new media to prepare old media

  • Possibility of establishing regional media center as a basis for media literacy, public access and independent media


3. Issues: New Area of Communication for Social Change

  • Freedom of expression (Anti-posco case)

  • Participatory process versus possible bureaucracy in activism

  • Activism with hi-tech leads to role of international solidarity

  • Self-Sustainment versus external funding

  • Shortage of traditional alternative audio-visual media producers

  • Experiments for which direction and which goal?

Labour News Production since February, 1989


1.Funding Sources

80 % of the annual budget comes from LNP's own activities

5% from individual supporters

15% from rare public funding

2. Main partners in activities

Trade unions affiliated with KCTU

People's coalition for media reform (PCMR)

Association of Korean independent film and videomakers (KIFV)

Korean progressive network (Jinbo Net)

Korean LaborNet (Nodong Net), etc.

3. The social situation that LNP wants to change

Strengthening democratic and progressive labor movement as an essential part of the social movement.

Making the democratic media situation

--> Catalyst for using media for progressive labor movement

Strengthening internal participatory and democratic process

4. Main activities and objectives:Still small organization (7 in production, 4 in research) but broadening activities

1) Production newsreel, educational video, historical documentary never been aired in Korean broadcasting but have widely been distributed

2) Archive: 3,000 hours of archive

3) Training: Media literacy + self representation of the people various training programs

4) Organizing and networking

Workers' video making groups

Core networking role for sharing the information

5) Solidarity

KIFV, Jinbo Net (

Nodong Net (

Anti-censorship forum

Project for Peoples' TV

People's coalition for media reform

Human rights film festival

International coalition Videazimut (

LaborMedia 97, LaborMedia 99 (

ex) special Mayday web project (

6) Research:separate branch research group bi-weekly web zine called PRISM ( - just Korean version)

7) Distribution & Festival (ex: festival web site)

Cassette distribution in the movement and film showcases

Plans for broadcasting

5. Main tool utilized


CMC: LNP(internet and BBS), PRISM

Webcasting (

6. Participatory project

Internal participatory structure

Co-production ex) <One step at a time>

With the people, not about the people

Activity of helping rank and file workers on video

Subjects covered by research departments shared with people

7. Social impact of the project

The video became an essential part of the labor education and information exchange

Initiative in establishing new organizations and events

International information exchange

The result of advocacy in the activism, and in the legislation

8. Main obstacles and constraints

Misconception, Fear of democratic media

Financial difficulties

Political oppression

9. Main Challenges

a. Organization restructuring for co-ordinating broadened activities

b. Participatory, bottom-up policy making

c. Bridging the separate activism and separate policy makers

(Alternative approach to media convergence)

d. Overcoming marginalized sector of labor communication through having strong coalition and networking

e. Focus on specific goal with the viewpoint on structural change

Topic Two

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Topic Three

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