As Hoban Construction took excessive legal action against KBS reporters who reported unfavorable content, such as applying for seizure of property, the KBS Reporters Association, the Broadcasting Journalists Association, the National Press Workers’ Union, and the Korea Journalists Association also took action, saying “it is a tyrannical response.” strongly criticized It is very unusual for a reporter to apply for a provisional seizure of property because of an article.
Earlier, on March 30, KBS published an article titled “Hoban Construction II’s ‘Workload Drive’ Immediate Sanctions”. At that time, the article also included the position of the Hoban side. However, on April 1, Hoban Construction filed a civil suit against KBS for correction of information and 1 billion won in damages, making the reporter the object of the claim and at the same time filing a claim for provisional seizure of the reporter’s property. At the same time, it also filed a request for mediation by the Media Arbitration Committee and a complaint to the Korea Communications Standards Commission (violation of the objectivity clause).
The KBS Reporters Association, the Broadcasting Journalists Association, the National Press Workers’ Union, and the Korea Reporters Association issued a joint statement on the 30th and said, “The form of filing a large-scale lawsuit, making the reporter the defendant the defendant, and applying for provisional seizure of the reporter’s salary is questionable. It is a tyrannical act that makes people do it.” He also strongly criticized Hoban Construction’s response, saying, “The intention of the ‘strategic blockade lawsuit’ to block the follow-up coverage of the press toward the company by using KBS and reporters as examples is strong.”
To Hoban Construction, these business press groups said, “Hoban Construction bought shares in the Seoul Newspaper as well as electronic newspapers and EBN and became a major shareholder of several media companies. The media should not be used as a tool for realizing private interests and should show awareness and actions appropriate for a major shareholder in the media, but a series of behaviors make us seriously doubt whether Hoban Construction is qualified (a major shareholder of the press).” “If we do not withdraw the low behavior shown in the process of responding to media reports, Hoban Construction will continue to face constant monitoring and raising of issues by journalists and media workers as to whether it is truly entitled to own a press,” he warned.
There is also an interpretation that Hoban Construction’s response is the result of ‘uncomfortable feelings’ toward KBS. After Hoban Construction became the major shareholder of the Seoul Shimbun last year, about 50 articles on the ‘Hoban Construction Daebu’ from the Seoul Shimbun were deleted a lot earlier this year. The episode aired on April 5th. Hoban Construction even raised an application for an injunction to ban broadcasting at the time, but the court rejected it, saying, “The content of the broadcast falls within the public domain.” Hoban also filed a claim for damages of 500 million won for the broadcast.