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Science and ICT’s PR video

Apr 08,2017
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“The Fourth Industrial Revolution = Science and Technology + ICT” was the catchphrase of the promotional video that the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning presented on its website on April 4. The 30-second video clip emphasizes the importance of the fourth industrial revolution, showing the part virtual reality, self-driving vehicles and office assistant robots will play.

“The most beautiful moments in life are created by the fusion of science and ICT,” the speaker says. The ministry is aggressively promoting the video on social media channels, such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

But many disapprove of the promotional video. Science and ICT are the two major areas the ministry handles, and with only a month left until the new administration takes office, the ministry’s emphasis on science and ICT can be seen as a way to retain the ministry, which has been discussed as a target for dissolution.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is a gigantic ministry that the Park Geun-hye administration created by combining the ICT policy function of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Ministry of Education and Science Technology’s science and technology parts in February 2013. But the ministry is in a precarious situation. It is a symbol of the Park administration and government organizational reshuffle plans that suggest separating science and ICT.

Presidential hopefuls often mention the dissolution of the ministry. Both the Democratic Party’s candidate Moon Jae-in and the People’s Party’s candidate Ahn Cheol-soo have pledged to separate science and ICT functions or integrate them into other ministries. They think that Park administration’s experiment of combining the two functions failed.

A public promotional message should be about public interest. When the ministry is at the top of the list for reshuffling, it is only natural that its emphasis on merging science and ICT at this sensitive time seems defensive. Also, the ministry made the video with taxpayers’ money.

If the ministry wished to refute the reorganization, it should have used more convincing ways to argue why one ministry needs to deal with both science and ICT. If it wanted to highlight the grand vision of the fourth industrial revolution, it should have made a more sophisticated video to avoid misunderstanding. There is no self-reflection on why the ministry never fails to be named as the first agency to be reshuffled. It needs to review whether the gigantic ministry has shown results and accomplishments suited for its size.

If the ministry is to remain intact, it should persuade the citizens with its outcomes from the past four and half years, not with a promotional video.

JoongAng Ilbo, April 7, Page 33

*The author is an industrial news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.

BY HA SEON-YOUNG