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The Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case

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Title: The Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case
Author: Seongbak Jin
Affiliation: Yonsei University
Issue: Changes and Transitions – Volume 5, Issue 2
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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This paper looks at the Donga Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case in South Korea during the years 1974-1975, focusing on the confluence of three institutions: the press, the state, and commercial forces. A look into history finds that the state, dissatisfied with the Donga Ilbo’s reporting, leveraged market forces to force it into compliance with its view of proper reporting. This represented a watershed moment in the history of press-state relations in South Korea. The highly contentious state-press relationship, observed at the time of the layoff, can still be seen today. To explore the relationship between the press, the state, and commercial forces, this paper does the following: First, theories of media are introduced to provide a basis for analysis. Second, a brief history of the Korean press leading up the Donga Ilbo case is covered followed by a detailed overview of the layoff case itself. Lastly, the paper concludes by commenting on the implications of a contentious state-press relationship and current government-media relations in South Korea.

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