Monday, November 29

Gwangju Disastrous Report censorship resistance, dismissal ‘another massacre’

[전두환 사망…사과받지 못한 사람들 ⑦]
Ko Seung-woo, who was dismissed in the 1980s, CEO of the Association of Dismissed Journalists in 1980

Ko Seung-woo, president of the 1980 Dismissed Journalists Association, speaks at the Hankyoreh newspaper on the afternoon of May 6, last year, about the press censorship of Chun Doo-hwan during the Gwangju Uprising in May 1980 and the press censorship, including the dismissal of journalists. By Jang Cheol-gyu, senior staff reporter [email protected]

“Report censorship, discontinuation of production refusal, dismissal of over 1,000 protesting journalists, and closing the media… . Since the establishment of the government, Chun Doo-hwan has been the most vicious of oppressing the media, and the aftereffects have not gone away. After such violent oppression of the media, it is bittersweet to finally leave without an apology.” As soon as he heard the name ‘Chun Doo-hwan’, Ko Seung-woo (74), co-representative of the Journalists Association, who was dismissed in 1980, went back to 40 years ago. In May 1980, the Korean media could not publish an article containing the truth despite witnessing the devastation of Gwangju. Reports related to democratization, student movements, and social movements could not be made at all. At that time, CEO Koh, who was a reporter for Seoul City Hall as a member of the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Joint News Agency (formerly Yonhap News Agency), was boiling. This is because they were inspected by the inspectors of the martial law command every day. CEO Koh remembered that time, “The foreign press actively reported, but as censorship became more difficult, the reporters were angry and felt very embarrassed.” Against the censorship of martial law, a production refusal movement was held centered on the Korea Journalists Association. At that time, the executive branch of the Journalists Association, who demanded the abolition of news censorship, was taken to the anti-communist office in Namyeong-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul and tortured. 298 people directly selected by the government for purification and 635 people directly selected by the media were fired. In 1980, the media consolidation resulted in the dismissal of over 300 additional journalists. After being ousted in August of that year, Koh joined the Hankyoreh, which was founded in 1988, and later served as the chairman of the Citizens’ Coalition for Democracy and actively participated in the media movement. Their media struggle was not recognized as a part of the official May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement, but in May, it was legally recognized for the first time in 41 years. On May 21, the National Assembly passed an amendment to the ‘Act on Compensation for Persons Related to the May 18 Democratization Movement, etc.’, which included dismissed journalists as those involved in the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement. But Jeon, who trampled on them, closed his eyes without saying a word of apology. Koh believes that Chun left a major ill to Korean society in addition to the dictatorship and massacre. “Until recently, he put distorted remarks about Gwangju in his memoirs and inflicted pain on the victims. “He helped to solidify a social climate where those who expose internal corruption suffer from power abuse,” he said. By Park Soo-ji, staff reporter [email protected]

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