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Payola and fair competition

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By Park Moo-jong

Entering the second half of his single five-year term, President Moon Jae-in has vowed anew to mobilize every possible measure to enhance the level of fairness in all sectors of Korean society.

Then, what does fairness exactly mean? All the dictionaries define it in terms of justice: impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination toward one side or another.

Paradoxically, Moon's prime goal implies that our society still lacks fairness in all walks of life, including in state affairs, and the battle against corruption and malpractices caused by unfair behavior has a long way to go.

Indeed, unfairness in this society is not something that started just yesterday.

Against this backdrop, a sort of "payola" scandal is rocking the K-pop industry. The term, payola, is a combination of "pay" and "ola," a common suffix of product names or brands in the 1930s such as Victrola, trademark of a phonograph, and Motorola.

The payola scandal of the 1930s involved a notorious U.S. disc jockey who plugged particular songs on his radio show in return for payoffs.

The latest "Korean payola scandal" features unfair competition in the high-profile fan-vote audition........

© The Korea Times