The Journalists Association of Korea has given its strong backing to a new initiative to eliminate the practice of bribery in journalism. "We support and welcome a new campaign to get rid of all forms of corruption in the world media industry, which is supported by the International Federation of Journalists and other global media organizations," said Lee Sang-ki, president of the JAK, July 28, 2004. Lee's remarks came shortly after the IFJ issued a statement supporting the elimination of the practice of bribery in journalism. "The problem of 'journalism for sale' or paid-for material posing as legitimate news reporting is one of the greatest challenges facing media today," said Aidan White, general secretary of the IFJ, in a statement. "The practice erodes public confidence, undermines professionalism and makes a mockery of ethical values." The IFJ is one of the six organizations supporting a set of principles aimed to foster greater transparency in the dealings between public relations professionals and the media, and to end bribery for media coverage throughout the world. The other five are the International Press Institute, the Transparency International, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education, and the International Public Relations Association. The 25th IFJ World Congress in Athens, Greece, in May this year called for action to promote quality in journalism. White said in the statement, "This set of principles is a welcome step from within the industry to get the mission of journalism back on track and to eliminate all forms of corruption."
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Mr. Kang Seok-Jae serves as a senior writer for The Seoul Times. He teaches as a professor at his alma mater, the HUFS Graduate School of Interpretation & Translation. Mr. Kang also serves as chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Journalists Association of Korea.
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