- * Chang-Bong Choi
- President, Munhwa Broadcasting Corp.
Mr. Chang-Bong Choi, 67, has played a leading role in the development of broadcasting in Korea throught its early years. He played a part in laying the foundation for major networks and helping them grow in their early years. Mr. Choi was among the pioneer broadcasters who set up Korea`s first TV station, HLKZ-TV, in 1956. Then he worked for the state-run KBS, preparing for its TV broadcasting which began in 1961. He insisted that, in order to grow to a network with international influence like BBC of England or NHK of Japan, KBS had to be independent of government control and made a public corporation. KBS owes him for much of the progress it has made over the years as a public network.
At the same time, Mr. Choi played a indispensable role in the birth of such private radio stations as MBC and DBS. Particularly, his service for DBS added an unforgettable page to the history of Korean mass communication as a symbol of struggle for the freedom of speech. In June 1964, Mr. Choi and several of his colleagues were imprisoned under martial law. Their crime was criticizing the government, during a news program, for its humiliating attitude in their diplomatic normalization talks with Japan. As president of MBC, Mr. Choi made great efforts to a broadcasting company with integrity, mainly through broadcasting based on the facts and free competition among networks.