A new presidential office that goes against the times, requires a statement of identity for ‘property and political party activity’ for reporter registration

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President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol holds a press conference regarding the relocation of the presidential office to Yongsan on the morning of March 20 at the meeting room of the Presidential Takeover Committee in Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol holds a press conference regarding the relocation of the presidential office to Yongsan on the morning of March 20 at the meeting room of the Presidential Takeover Committee in Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
ⓒ Yonhap News

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“I have a minor son. Is it correct that I have to sign on behalf of my son, even providing his personal information?”

President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol’s request for reporters to cover the new presidential office to provide sensitive personal information, such as friendship and property status, received fierce protests from reporters. The elected officials said they would correct it, saying it was “a mistake made by some working-level staff.”

Spouse and parent’s residence, political party, social activity request… Immigration and loan information provided

 

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President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol received strong protests after demanding sensitive personal information, such as property status and close friends, from reporters who will be covering the new presidential office.  The winner side "Mistakes by the executives"stated the position.

The president-elect Yoon Seok-yeol’s request for sensitive personal information, such as property status and close friends, from reporters in charge of the new presidential office, was met with fierce protests. The elected party stated that it was “a mistake of the working-level staff”.
ⓒ Oh My News

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On the 2nd, the office of the spokesperson for the elected President Yoon Seok-yeol published the “(tentative name) notice of registration of reporters in the presidential office” and started the registration process for the new government’s presidential office with the deadline of the 5th. On the afternoon of the 3rd, the existing identity statement format was changed and announced. The form was changed one day after the application for access started and two days before the deadline.

The changed identity statement is much more complicated than the previous one. First, the assets of the unmarried children as well as the individual and his/her spouse were divided into ‘real estate’, ‘movable property’ and ‘debt’, and all were reduced in units of 10,000 won. The ‘educational background’ column, which is disappearing in recent job applications for private companies, also appeared. The spouse’s nationality as well as the spouse’s parents’ occupation, title, and place of residence were written down, and ‘family living in North Korea’ was written separately.

In the case of ‘friends’, the name, occupation/position, and contact information were made less in the relationship. Apart from working in the media, the period and position of past ‘party and social activities’ were also to be listed. In fact, they are information that is highly likely to be misused for the purpose of identifying reporters’ tendencies or sources.

 

see the big picture
President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol received strong protests after demanding sensitive personal information, such as property status and close friends, from reporters who will be covering the new presidential office.  The winner side "Mistakes by the executives"stated the position.

The president-elect Yoon Seok-yeol’s request for sensitive personal information, such as property status and close friends, from reporters in charge of the new presidential office, was met with fierce protests. The elected party stated that it was “a mistake of the working-level staff”.
ⓒ Oh My News

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Here, they signed, “I confirm that the above information is not different from the truth, and I have been informed that omissions or false entries may result in disadvantages in accordance with relevant laws such as the ‘National Public Officials Act’.” This was to inform reporters of the possibility of punishment by applying the ‘National Public Officials Act’ to journalists entering and leaving the country.

The list of personal information provided includes ▲ resident registration/family relationship register, public official personnel record ▲ resident/criminal history/ investigation/wanted inquiry data ▲ immigration data ▲ land/housing data and vehicle registration book ▲ income and personal/corporate business data ▲ medical record Materials ▲ Loan data from financial institutions were included, and only sensitive information, ‘resident, criminal history, investigation, wanted inquiry data,’ was omitted from the list of personal information provided by family members. To consent to the provision of personal information, not only the person himself/herself, but also his/her spouse and children were required to sign the consent.

In the past, the Blue House did not require information about assets or close friends in the summary statement of identity that the Blue House required from reporters. As for family relationships, detailed personal details such as the spouse’s nationality or spouse’s parents were not included.

Many reporters who received this notice in a group chat room strongly opposed it. They ask, “Do I need to undergo public official level verification?” “Does the bodyguard have the authority to verify the financial situation and friendship of reporters because they raise the level of security?” “The state looks into the private life of journalists, including debt, which is a private sector? It doesn’t seem to fit the common sense of the people.” “This is the first time this type of background check request has been made.” What does that have to do with security?”

When the reporters’ criticism did not stop, the spokesperson’s office explained, “We ask for your understanding for the inconvenience caused by the error of some working-level staff.” The spokesperson’s office said, “Unlike the existing Chunchugwan, the new press room is located in the same space as the president’s office, so stronger security standards are applied than before.” said. In addition, he said, “I will re-announce the corrected identity statement form.”

“I will get closer to the people,” and the threshold for coverage has risen.

The reporters’ complaints arose with the change of the identity statement, but the registration procedure for reporters in the new government’s presidential office was already controversial among reporters. At the time of the announcement of the registration of reporters, the elected officials said, “With the beginning of the new Yongsan era, to be reborn as the (tentative name) presidential office that comes closer to the people, we will start the registration of reporters who will become a window of communication between the president and the people from today.” The threshold for coverage of the Blue House has risen.

The registration criteria are “member companies recommended by the Daum Association” ▲ Korea Newspaper Association ▲ Korea Broadcasting Association ▲ Korea Journalists Association ▲ Internet Newspaper Association ▲ Internet Journalists Association ▲ Korea Photographers Association ▲ Korea Internet Media Association ▲ Korea TV Camera Reporters Association ▲ Korea Online Newspaper Association ▲ Limited to 10 associations including Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club. Some media, such as and , denied access to the Presidential Transition Committee and applied the same standards as they are.

Here, the registration requirements are: ▲ Those who have been in the National Assembly for at least 2 years ▲ Those who have visited at least 2 central government ministries or equivalent public institutions and 5 years or more in total ▲ At least 7 years of experience as a journalist at a local media company ▲ In the case of foreign correspondents, it was decided that the reporter’s experience should be 3 years or more. Controversy over ‘discrimination’ arose as the entry/exit experience was applied differentially according to the affiliated media.

In particular, the submission documents were a problem. The spokesperson’s office is: ▲ 1 copy of recommendation letter from association member company ▲ 1 copy of document proving member resignation from the association ▲ 1 copy of each certificate of employment and career ▲ 1 copy of registration application and registration data for reporters ▲ 3 copies of identity statement ▲ 4 photos in total ▲ Personal information A consent form for collection, use, and provision ▲ In the case of foreign media, a copy of passport was requested. The spokesperson’s office said, “Registration is promoted according to the rules for reporters entering the Chunchugwan.” However, there are many more documents to submit compared to the form required for reporters entering the Blue House.

The Moon Jae-in administration has improved the Blue House reporter system in a way that is more open than before. However, the regime that is moving the presidential office to communicate with the public has rather raised the threshold for reporters to come in higher than the previous administration.

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