On Aug. 21, South Korean President Moon Jae-in (文在寅) mourned on Facebook the death of reporter Lee Yong-Ma (李容馬). The former reporter of MBC, the country’s leading television and radio network company, led a 170-day strike in 2012 to fight for press freedom.
Lee Yong-Ma started as an MBC reporter in 1996. In 2012, he and other union members organized a massive strike, condemning improper political interference in the press freedom. He was fired by MBC with the excuse of obstructing the company’s order.
Although the strike was backed by unions, still, many journalists were fired by the companies. The union’s voices were finally answered by companies in 2017, and most of the employees were reinstated.
Lee was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer in 2016, and died on Aug. 21 this year.
Lee Yong-Ma recorded his stories, observations, and hopes of Korea through a reporter’s lens, and published a book “I Believe the World Can Change: A Mirror Provided by an MBC Reporter” (세상은 바꿀 수 있습니다：지금까지 MBC 뉴스 이용마입니다) in 2017.