The media that did not report the death of a specialized high school student in Yeosu

Hong Jeong-woon, a 3rd year high school specialization high school student, died on October 6th at a marina in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do. According to the Yeosu Coast Guard, Hong died while working underwater to remove barnacles from the bottom of a 7-ton yacht. While diving, Hong came up to the surface for a while to maintain the equipment, and took off the oxygen bottle and flippers one after another and handed it to the owner. However, it is known that Hong, who was forced to dive without basic education, was unable to get out of the water due to the weight of the 12kg lead belt he was wearing without knowing the safety procedure to dismantle the lead belt first.

This accident is being pointed out as a ‘talent’ due to the easing of regulations related to the Ministry of Education, safety guidelines for business owners, and violations of the Labor Standards Act and Youth Protection Act. The Ministry of Education relaxed the process of selecting companies for field training, and although minors cannot be employed in diving, which is a risky job, the owner ordered Hong, who does not have a related license, to do diving. According to the practice plan, Hong should have been in charge of guiding tourists, not diving.

Kim, who died while repairing a screen door at Guui Station in 2016, a teenager who died while working as a call center counselor in Jeonju in 2017, and Lee Min-ho, who got caught in a machine at a Jeju bottled water factory in the same year, were all trainees at specialized high schools or workers employed by companies who went to practice. . Amidst social indifference, the death of specialized students occurred again. The Citizens’ Coalition for Democratic Press looked at whether the media was reporting the death of a trainee specializing in Yeosu high school enough and reporting to prevent recurrence.

Maekyung, Hankyung, SBS, Channel A, MBN related reports ‘0’

In 2017, Min Unryun reported the death of the late Lee Min-ho, a field trainee at a bottled water factory. <현장실습생 사망에도 ‘특성화고 취업률’만 강조하는 조선과 동아>(November 24, 2017)We have analyzed media reports through Among the six daily newspapers, Kyunghyang Shinmun, Donga Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, Hankyoreh, and Hankook Ilbo, ‘Jojung-dong’ did not publish any related reports, and only published press releases from the Ministry of Education stating that the employment rate of specialized high school students increased while ignoring the working environment of specialized high school students. .

▲ The number of reports of the evening general news (October 6-12) and newspaper pages (October 7-13) related to the death of Hong Jeong-woon, a specialized high school student in Yeosu. Table = Citizens’ Alliance for Democratic Press

As a result of expanding the monitoring target for the death of an apprentice at a specialized high school in Yeosu, the attitude of some media outlets, which was consistently or passively reported as non-reporting, remained the same. As a result of analyzing the newspaper coverage and the evening general news broadcast on October 6, when the news of Hong’s death was first announced through the media, Maeil Business Newspaper and Korea Economic Daily did not publish any related reports. Even SBS, Channel A, and MBN could not see the news of Hong’s death. The Hankyoreh had the most coverage with 11 cases, followed by the Kyunghyang Shinmun with 6 cases and the Hankook Ilbo with 3 cases. The Dong-A Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, KBS, and TV Chosun reported one case each. There was an 11-fold difference in the amount of coverage by media, and there were 5 places that did not report it.

There was only one case when the national inspectorate dealt with it and the owner was arrested

▲ On October 12, KBS reported that the accident of a specialized high school student who died during field training at the National Assembly audit became an issue.
▲ On October 12, KBS reported that the accident of a specialized high school student who died during field training at the National Assembly audit became an issue.

Even if an article was published, it is difficult to believe that the report was faithfully reported in a timely manner when looking at the time and content. Hong’s news came on the 6th of October, the day of his death. no cut newsIt was first reported in , and the Kyunghyang Shinmun, the Hankyoreh, and MBC reported in more detail the circumstances and causes of his death on October 8th.

On the other hand, the Chosun Ilbo, KBS, and TV Chosun first reported the news on October 12, six days after his death. In particular, it is the first and only report on KBS. <‘실습 고교생 사망’ 국감서도 질타>(Reporter Lee Seong-gak on October 12)Most of the comments were made by the Environment and Labor Committee on the state audit, and there was no specific information about the cause of death. If it had not been dealt with in the National Inspection, it can be inferred that there may not have been any reports of Hong’s death.

The JoongAng Ilbo published a related report a week after his death. <12㎏ 납 벨트 맨 채 바다서 사망한 ‘현장실습 고교생’ 업체 대표 입건>(Reporter Jin Chang-il on October 13th)“The Coast Guard, who is investigating a case where a high school student without a diving license died while diving, has booked the CEO of a field training company as a suspect,” he said in the first sentence. However, it deserves to be pointed out that the JoongAng Ilbo was also passive in that the reporting time was delayed and the first article was published when the CEO of the company was indicted.

1st in occupational accident death rate for over 20 years… Active coverage of Kyunghyang, MBC, and Hankyoreh

▲ On October 8, in the field practice plan, the Kyunghyang Shinmun pointed out that Hong was supposed to learn duties such as guiding tourists.
▲ On October 8, in the field practice plan, the Kyunghyang Shinmun pointed out that Hong was supposed to learn duties such as guiding tourists.

For more than 20 years, Korea has the highest rate of occupational accidents among OECD countries. It means that workers are dying, and they are dying over and over again for the same reason as ‘an industrial accident’. This death of workers is an urgent matter that the media should not miss. Nevertheless, it is difficult to avoid being pointed out that the media has not been able to fulfill its role, either consistently without reporting for a week or not fully reporting on the cause and responsibility of the death of specialized high school students. In particular, the more repetitive the problem, the more actively it is reported and reported, and it is necessary to write an article that points out structural problems and solutions. There are also media outlets that reported the death of an apprentice at a specialized high school in detail from the beginning, and faithfully looked into the structural cause.

The Kyunghyang Shinmun specifically pointed out the cause of Hong’s death. <관광객 안내한다더니… 잠수작업 하다가 숨진 고3 실습생>(Reporter Hyun-seok Kang on October 8)“It was said that they were supposed to learn duties such as tour guides,” but criticized that he died while diving contrary to plan, and the next day <여수 고3 실습생 사망 대책위 “안전관리 허술… 예견된 죽음으로 내몰린 것”>(Reporter Hyeonseok Kang)“Even under the Labor Standards Act, youth under the age of 18 cannot engage in dangerous diving work,” and pointed out that diving work “must be carried out in a ‘two people, one team’”, but it was not observed. Hankyoreh on the same day <고교 실습생, 장비 벗는 순서도 안 가르쳐주고 잠수 시켰나>(Reporters Ye-ji Jang and Yun-ju Kim on October 9)also made the same point.

MBC <“수영 못하는데 납벨트 차고 잠수”… 현장실습 고교생 또 사망>(Reporter Hee-won Cho on October 8)“Even the rescue was late. When 119 arrived at the scene after receiving the report, it was 30 minutes after the Red Army fell into the water.”

The Hankyoreh pointed out systemic inadequacies and structural problems. <특성화고 현장실습 ‘안전 문턱’ 낮춘 교육부… 홍정운군 사고 책임론>(Reporter Lee Yoo-jin on October 9th)“The responsibility theory of the Ministry of Education for lowering ‘safety standards’, such as allowing on-the-job training centering on ‘leading companies’ that met relatively stringent standards after the death of field trainee Lee Min-ho, and streamlining the company selection process within a year.” has filed. <지역 특성화고 취업 ‘별따기’… 위험한 일 거부 못했다>(Reporters Kim Myung-jin and Jang Ye-ji on October 11)Pointing out the background of “the reality of a region where there are not enough jobs,” he shared the situation that “students who needed on-the-job training were not in a position to choose companies with poor working conditions.” While institutional reform is important, he emphasized that the fundamental problem of local job shortages should also be looked into.

▲ On October 9, the Hankyoreh Shimbun pointed out the structural reason that Hong had no choice but to go to a company with poor working conditions.
▲ On October 9, the Hankyoreh Shimbun pointed out the structural reason that Hong had no choice but to go to a company with poor working conditions.

Expectations for reports that remember the voice of “Please create a safe working environment”

“Why should a student without a diving license die while practicing diving? Ensure safe field training for field trainees at specialized high schools.” “Please treat the trainees as human beings, not as machines that exploit them by paying 700,000 won. I don’t want to die working any more. Please create a safe working environment.”

The demand of students and graduates of specialized high schools who participated in the Candlelight Festival to commemorate Hong Jeong-woon, hosted by the Seoul Branch of the National Specialized High School Labor Union on October 12, is that they can work safely. It’s a basic requirement, but it’s also an argument that the media easily ignores or forgets.

Hankook Ilbo <기자들이 취재하지 않는 것>(October 11, Lee Jin-hee, Agenda Planning Manager)Eun said, “The overflow of low-quality knights is not ‘power monitoring’ but ‘power play’, and the excess of ‘power monitoring’ without protection of the weak is just an eternal ‘circumcision song between inner circles’. He criticized the media behavior of pushing the coverage and reporting of

It is pointed out that the issue that the media should focus on and report on should be the difficulties experienced by the socially disadvantaged, not “one or two facts that government agencies can use or not use.” I hope that there will be many reports that remember the voices of specialized high school students who desperately request articles that point out the root cause and urge social solutions to prevent ‘work-and-die’ industrial accidents from occurring again.

※ Monitor target: October 6-12, 2021 KBS <뉴스9>, MBC <뉴스데스크>, SBS <8뉴스>, JTBC <뉴스룸>(Parts 1 and 2), TV Chosun <종합뉴스9>, channel A <뉴스A>, MBN <종합뉴스>, October 7-13, Kyunghyang Shinmun, Dong-A Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, Hankyoreh, Hankook Ilbo, Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea Economic Daily

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