Staff of South Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC go on strike

The 2014 cast of the variety show Infinite Challenge. PHOTO: STARHUB
The 2014 cast of the variety show Infinite Challenge. PHOTO: STARHUB

SOUTH KOREA - Union workers of major South Korean broadcasters MBC and KBS plan to go on strike next week, according to various South Korean news outlets.

They are calling for the networks' top management to step down for allegedly influencing news coverage to be in favour of former president Park Geun Hye's administration.

Among the allegations of news meddling, The Korea Times reported that MBC workers were forced to cut scenes of Sewol ferry disaster victims' family sobbing.

At KBS, 1,130 producers and reporters have stopped working, said The Korea Times.

Over at MBC, some 400 reporters, TV producers, camera journalists and announcers have been boycotting news production, reported Yonhap News Agency. They are demanding the the resignation of MBC's chief executive officer Kim Jang Gyeom.

The strike could impact entertainment programmes too.

Popular variety shows Infinite Challenge and I Live Alone may stop airing next week, said Korean entertainment news site allkpop. A representative of protesting MBC employees said: "Infinite Challenge will air as per normal for the upcoming September 2 broadcast. So far, we only have filmed material for this week's broadcast."