Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Media workers strike for freedom of speech
Korean journalist unions say media executives censor the newsMBC union members stage a sit-in protest earlier this month
- May 10, 2012
Reporter Lee Yong-ma was one of seven workers dismissed by the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, for refusing to end a strike that began on January 30. Another 103 have receivedÂ âsevereâ reprimands.
It would appear that Lee was among those singled out for dismissal because he also handles public relations for the MBC trade union. But despite his sacking, his lack of pay since January and his motherâs concern, he is determined to fight on.
âI am fighting for freedom of speech,â he said. âWinning the fight is the only way I can repay my parents.â
The 700 media workers who walked out at MBC were followed by another 1,000 who went on strike at state-owned KBS, the countryâs largest broadcaster, on March 6.
Over the next 10 days, they were joined by workers from the YTN cable news service and the Yonhap News Agency.
The unions are calling for the resignation of senior executives, whom they accuse of censoring any coverage that is critical of President Lee Myung-bak.
They have also raised the suspicion that MBC president Kim Jae-cheol has misappropriated company funds. Kim denies the allegation strongly but Chung Young-ha, the MBC union leader, said: âWe will root out the truth through diligent reporting.â
The strike action escalated on May 7, when union members erected 80 tents and started a sit-in protest in a park near the MBC and KBS offices in Seoul.
The Catholic Priests' Association For Justice showed its support by holding a Mass at the protest site.
Association spokesman Father Simon Chun Jong-hun said: âWe must rebuild justice. We cannot stop fighting for freedom of speech and independence for broadcasters.â
Religious leaders back media strike