South Korea Freedom of Speech
Scenario • President involved in embarrassing personal scandal • Information is leaked to press by reliable informant • Newspapers want to run story that goes into detail about President’s personal life
Identifying the parties: • Newspaper • Citizens of country • President of country • Government as a whole
Relevant facts: • Newspaper wants to publish story • Story is factual • President would be embarrassed
Dilemma: • Should the Newspaper publish the article • In US? • In South Korea?
Options: • Publish the story • Possibly face charges in South Korea • Embarrass the President and the Government • Don’t publish the story • Withhold information from the public • Lose revenue from the sales of the paper
Values: • The public should have a right to know how their government is running the country • The newspaper should have the right to print any and all factual stories without prosecution • The President has his own right to privacy • The government should not be embarrassed because of one man’s actions
U.S. Response • What would happen in the U.S.? Maybe… • Story released to the public • Investigation begins • Impeachment of the President • Acquittal • End Result: at most, embarrassment • No legal attempt can be made to prevent disclosure of true information, no matter how much it may damage reputation
South Korean Response • What would happen in South Korea? • Option 1: Story never released to public. • Talking about President’s private life is taboo. • Makes President appear weak, invites North Korea to take over. • Option 2: Story printed. • Constitution Article 21, Section 4 allows President to sue newspaper for violating his honor and/or undermining public morals. • Constitution, NSL, threat of lawsuit would prevent story from being printed.
Final Thoughts • South Korea claims to be a democracy but lacks freedom of all forms of speech • The citizens of any country should have the right to know how their elected leaders are acting • The truth should come out! • Don’t publish the story in South Korea, but leak the information in some legal manner