1st Edition

Media and Politics in South Korea, 1960-2022

By Ki-Sung Kwak Copyright 2024

    This book examines the constantly changing nature of the relationship between the state and the media within South Korea’s political landscape. It traces developments as South Korea became gradually more democratic in the decades after 1960, and goes on to consider more recent developments which include democratic erosion and the deepening political division and their effects on the media, including the paralleling of this deepening political division within the media itself. It explores the issues that have affected the relationship between the media and the political power, assesses the impact of new developments in media and communication technologies, and concludes by discussing how the legacy of authoritarianism has affected political reporting and the press-party relationship.

    List of Tables


    List of Abbreviations



    1          Authoritarian Governments and Tame Media (Before 1987)

    2          Early Democratic Transition: Conservative Governments and Cautious Media (1988-1997)

    3          Reformist Governments and Contested Media (1998-2007)

    4          Conservative Resurgence and a Redefinition of the Lines of Media Contestation (2008-2016)


    5          Democratic Backsliding and Sharpened Media Polarisation (2017-2021)

    6          Characteristics of the Political System and Media in South Korea

    7          Conclusion





    Ki-Sung Kwak is Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Korean Studies, University of Sydney, Australia