Rival parties recognize importance of Arirang's role in light of developments on peninsula

  • 6 years ago
여야, 아리랑TV 글로벌 위상 위해 예산 증액 필요성 공감

On the list of audits today was Arirang TV -- South's Korea's only international English-language broadcaster.
According to our Kim Min-ji, rival parties agreed on the growing importance of the station's role in the global arena,... and called on the government to provide a stable financial footing.
In light of the recent peace momentum on the Korean Peninsula and with K-Pop and other Hallyu content being dispersed to all corners of the globe -- rival parties recognized the need for Arirang TV to play a greater role on the global stage.
They said that Arirang, as the main English broadcasting station during the inter-Korean summits in April and September, demonstrated the importance of its role as an international broadcaster.
"During the Pyeongyang Summit, Arirang's online viewers topped 15 million. I believe this is an example showing the importance of international broadcasters. With peace taking shape on the Peninsula, and Hallyu spreading worldwide, Arirang's role will be even more important."
But a chronic problem the state-funded broadcaster has faced is its budget -- due in part to lackluster government support -- forcing Arirang to sustain itself in part with its own funding.
And after this year's budget was slashed by 10 percent to 53 billion won, or about 47 million U.S. dollars the station was forced to make a 27-percent cut in its budget for program production.
"I don't know if it's appropriate to say,... but it feels like we've been neglected. I ask for your support in dealing with our legal, financial and systematic issues."
Rival lawmakers also compared the situation to that with other international broadcasters -- saying that budget itself and labor force are incomparable.

"Arirang TV only has 26 reporters. In some countries, they have as much as one-thousand. This is a shame. The budget for global broadcasters in the U.S. is about 230 million dollars, and for China over 2 billion. This is an issue we should resolve, regardless of political party."
Rival parties also took aim at the culture ministry -- of which Arirang TV is an affiliate -- for not doing much on its part.
"What has the culture ministry done to secure an extra budget for Arirang, especially when Hallyu has been spreading across the world? The world needs to turn to Arirang TV to find out about Korean issues. I also call on our committee to deliberate next year's budget thoroughly so that Arirang can carry out its role."
Currently, the government has set aside 39-point-8 billion won,... or roughly 35 million dollars,... for Arirang for 2019.
It remains to be seen whether the broadcaster will be able to get much of a boost to that number,.. but with the rival parties on the same page, there's a glint of hope.
The National Assembly will start deliberating next year's budget in November.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.