I don’t think long time Korea watcher are surprised by this kind of media collusion with Samsung:
“Dear respected Mr. Chang Choong-ki! …. I have finally mustered the courage to send you this text message, after hesitating again and again. My son XXX applied to the XXX department of Samsung Electronics…. His application number is 1XXXXXXX, and he graduated from XXX University with a degree in electrical engineering….”
The sender of the text is an anonymous journalist from CBS, a major Christian broadcaster in South Korea. He is essentially asking one of the most powerful men in Samsung Group to help his son get a job.
“I am always grateful to you,” the journalist wrote.
Chang Choong-ki is the former vice head of Samsung Group’s now-defunct Future Strategy Office, a central but opaque organ in the Samsung machine that sponsored media, dealt with government relations, and oversaw key business decisions across the conglomerate’s 70+ affiliates. Chang is also one of the key figures in the country’s biggest political scandal in recent memory, the so-called “Park Geun-hye/Choi Soon-sil Gate.”
The CBS journalist’s text message is one of many recovered from Chang Choong-ki’s phone by SisaIN, a South Korean magazine. This week, SisaIN released an exclusive by Joo Jin-woo, an investigative reporter well-known for tackling sensitive topics (even taboo, in some outlets) like Samsung and heads of state.
According to Joo, Chang had corresponded with a wide network of authorities in different sectors: officials in the presidential Blue House, the National Intelligence Service (South Korea’s spy agency), prosecutors, journalists, and more.
In one text, Im Chae-jin, a former head of South Korea’s Prosecution Service, mentioned his son-in-law, an employee at a Samsung factory in Suwon: “Can you help my [son-in-law] XXX be dispatched to India?” Im emphasized that his daughter also wanted the transfer.
In another, an anonymous journalist from major daily Munhwa Ilbo asked Chang to increase the amount of sponsorship for the newspaper. “We’ll reward you with good articles,” the anonymous reporter wrote. [Korea Expose]
I recommend reading the whole thing at the link, but media collusion with not only industry, but political parties is something that is not only a problem in South Korea, but as the last election cycle showed, in the United States as well.