From France 24 to Voice of America, international broadcasting services give their country a voice on global issues and build bridges with the rest of the world.
But while other major outlets keep growing in size with generous funds, Arirang TV’s global reach has been constrained by lack of financial support and human resources.
The strength of major global outlets comes from their legal foundation.
Their legislative arrangements and journalistic independence are written into the law in their respective countries.
Arirang on the other hand has no underpinning legislation and is classified as a non-profit foundation under the Korean civil code.
Recognizing the importance of a strong international broadcaster, lawmaker Lee Kwang-je introduced a bill on Thursday aimed at giving Arirang TV a legal foundation that’s on par with its competitors.
“A strong country must have an international media channel that meets its standards. Korea is a big country and we must have a global broadcaster to speak across frontiers directly to ordinary people and political powers around the world.”
Reaching over 130-million households in 105 countries, Arirang TV has played a key role in delivering COVID-19 news amid the pandemic.
It has raised Korea’s image by broadcasting the government’s weekly briefing live in English.
And its thousands of articles on successful disease prevention measures have accumulated more than 100 million views.
It’s also contributed to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula by delivering fast and accurate news on the summits between Pyeongyang and Washington.
“Arirang TV also plays a pivotal role in supporting the economy as many foreign buyers in fact contact companies introduced on Arirang.”
If the bill is passed, special legislation will guarantee stable funding for Arirang’s operations.
By writing it into law, the government can designate Arirang TV as an essential public institution and give it the full financial resources to share Korea’s voice with the world.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.