Ex-journalist Park Bo-gyoon named Yoon’s first culture minister

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Park Bo-gyoon speaks during a press briefing at the headquarters of the Presidential Transitional Committee in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday appointed Park Bo-gyoon as his administration’s first culture, sports and tourism minister.

Park, a former journalist and vice president of the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, served as president of the Korea News Editors’ Association in 2011.

After joining the People’s Power Party in July 2021, Park served as a special adviser to the party’s election committee and election headquarters. In March, Park also became special adviser to President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol.

“With his 40-year career as a journalist, Park has put his passion into Korean culture and history,” Yoon said at a press briefing at the headquarters of the presidential transition committee in Seoul.

“I believe Park will have active communication with the media. He will develop Korean culture, sports and tourism, playing a huge role in promoting Korean culture and solving cultural business regulations,” added Yoon.

Following the announcement, Park pledged to prevent a repeat of the blacklisting scandal, which came to light in 2016.

“The word blacklist itself cannot exist,” Park said on Sunday. “It’s a nightmare from the past, so I don’t think such a thing could happen in the Yoon Suk-yeol administration.”

The scandal he is referring to is the blacklisting of nearly 10,000 personalities from the culture and entertainment sectors under the administrations of former presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak. The administrations unfairly subjected them to investigations and their applications for subsidies and government aid were rejected.

Park also added that Yoon’s administration will strive to both ensure the freedom and accountability of journalists, while striking a balance between confrontation and cooperation with them.

“Journalists working in the field should be professional and have a sense of responsibility as media at heart. The Yoon Suk-yeol administration will lead them to harmonize these two things,” he said.

(ssh@heraldcorp.com) (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)

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