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    MBC Apologizes for Bullying in Hwang Expose

    MBC Apologizes for Bullying in Hwang Expose



    MBC Reporters' Tactics Spark Fresh Outcry
    Hwang Staff ‘Bullied’ Into Smearing Stem Cell Research



    MBC on Sunday apologized for the methods of an investigative program that questioned the integrity of stem cell research by cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk. The expose sparked a storm of national controversy. MBC admitted the “PD Diary” show’s producers violated journalistic ethics in their investigation of Hwang’s published research.
    “Even though the reporters worked on behalf of the people’s right to know, if the process was carried out in a wrongful way, then the result cannot be justified,” MBC said during “New Desk.” It said the fact that “PD Diary” producers threatened members of Hwang’s team with a criminal investigation was clear coercion and thus violated both the ethics of reporting and the public broadcaster’s own code of conduct.


    An MBC "News Desk" anchor apologizes for the methods of an investigative program that questioned the integrity of stem cell research by cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk on Sunday night.



    An MBC executive said if the expose turned out to be false, it would deal a fatal blow to one of Korea’s largest terrestrial broadcasters. Another executive said many within MBC were skeptical about the “PD Diary” allegations, but all MBC staff were now being tarred with the same brush. He agreed that the company would not be able to bounce back if the allegations are disproved, but added he still had faith that the “PD Diary” team would not have done what they did without evidence.

    A producer in MBC’s drama department said he feared “PD Diary” was impetuous in its reporting on Hwang’s research. “When I take a taxi these days, I’m afraid to tell the driver to go to MBC because of the public outcry,” he added

    #2
    I am glad to read about this. The so-called PD Diary team seems to have been very aggressive. Wise.

    Comment


      #3
      Too little has been said that would avert speculation.

      Comment


        #4
        What would have happened in the US if the media didn't pick up on Valerie Plume? And, as you can see from the article there is much pride in Korea about Hwang and Korean Science. It seems also that the pride might prevent the real story from coming forward. “When I take a taxi these days, I’m afraid to tell the driver to go to MBC because of the public outcry,” he added

        Comment


          #5
          WOW With all the lying and under the rug that our fearless leader BOY GEORGE and his side kick HALLIBURTON CHENEY have done it would have been allot easier on them to investigate what they have said and what they have done. But then again that might have been to easy all they have to do is open their mouth and you can be pretty sure it is a LIE.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bigbob
            What would have happened in the US if the media didn't pick up on Valerie Plume? And, as you can see from the article there is much pride in Korea about Hwang and Korean Science. It seems also that the pride might prevent the real story from coming forward. “When I take a taxi these days, I’m afraid to tell the driver to go to MBC because of the public outcry,” he added
            Bigbob,

            In science, there are ways of handling situations such as Dr. Hwang's. Nature magazine was among the first to point out that there are rumors that his junior colleagues may have donated eggs in May 2004. Dr. Hwang had denied it, perhaps to protect his colleagues. In any case, Gerry Schatten found out, presumably from one of the women who donated the eggs and who is working in his laboratory. He decided to withdraw publicly from the collaboration. Dr. Hwang admitted that he lied. MBC was neither responsible nor necessary for this to happen.

            Questions concerning science and validity of data are very common. Editors of journals have to deal with this all the time, even after publication. Once serious questions have been raised about the data, the journals can require the authors to submit more data or carry out more experiments to answer the questions satisfactorily. Note that the journal can easily withdraw the publication and so they have a big stick with which to hit scientists. This should not be done in newspapers and television, with sensationalist stories coming out every other day with poor verification of information and evidence.

            So far, I have not been impressed by MBC reporting.

            Wise.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Wise Young


              This should not be done in newspapers and television, with sensationalist stories coming out every other day with poor verification of information and evidence.

              So far, I have not been impressed by MBC reporting.

              Wise.
              I don't see it that way, BTW, it was fine when all the spectacular news came out about advancements. Can't use the media only one way. Whether MBC is right or wrong, is not the issue. When the media is controlled we lose. Now, if MBC was biased and is controlled by a religious group and is anti-stem cells that would also be something to consider. Then, they wouldn't be just reporting the news they would be using it to propagandize.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bigbob
                I don't see it that way, BTW, it was fine when all the spectacular news came out about advancements. Can't use the media only one way. Whether MBC is right or wrong, is not the issue. When the media is controlled we lose. Now, if MBC was biased and is controlled by a religious group and is anti-stem cells that would also be something to consider. Then, they wouldn't be just reporting the news they would be using it to propagandize.
                I agree if the journalism is responsible. But, unfortunately, MBC has not behaved responsibly.

                1. MBC has been dishing out innuendo, speculation, and inaccurate information. Charges of coercion (it was not coerced), illegality (payment for eggs was not illegal at the time it occurred in Korea), and unethical conduct (it was not unethical for scientists to donate tissues for their own experiments) were made. It is true that Woo-Suk Hwang lied by covering it up after he found out, presumably to protect his junior colleagues. He could also have been faulted for not having paid sufficient attention and preventing this from happening. Of course, once the story is sensationalized, there is little that one can do about it.

                2. MBC has now leaked charges of data fabrication, possibly the most damning charge that one can make of a scientist, without presenting the evidence. Not only is the reputation and the livelihood of a major scientific team at stake but they have already done significant harm to the field of stem cell research. Without incontrovertible evidence, they should be keeping their mouths shut. Either present the evidence or not at all. The fact that they are leaking the story is reprehensible. If it turns out that they are wrong, MBC should take responsibility and the leadership of the network should resign. After all, Woo-Suk Hwang resigned to take responsibility for his actions.

                Wise.
                Last edited by Wise Young; 4 Dec 2005, 3:16 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  http://english.donga.com/srv/service...=2005120585658

                  Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh under Korean stem cell pioneer Hwang Woo-suk said, “MBC producers of PD Diary told us that they came to hurt Professor Hwang and professor Kang Seong-keun, and they added that they don’t want others to be hurt,” during an interview with the news cable channel YTN.


                  Two researchers of them added, “We never told MBC that Hwang’s research papers are fake. We heard on several occasions from PD Diary team that Hwang’s paper would be canceled and he would be arrested.”

                  If their testimony to YTN is true, it is likely that MBC will be blamed for unethical news gathering since producers of PD Diary conciliated and threatened researchers on the presumption that Hwang’s paper was fake.

                  YTN broadcast its interview with Kim Seon-jong and Park Jong-hyeok, who worked under Gerald Schatten at the University of Pittsburgh, yesterday on its 3:00 p.m. newscast.

                  YTN went to the U.S. and met them at the University of Pittsburgh, and interviewed researchers under Professor of Medical School Ahn Kyu-ri at the Seoul National University, who returned Korea on December 3.
                  Researcher Kim said, “Producers of PD Diary insisted there are no cells. So I made it clear there are.”


                  YTN said that the coverage of MBC might have affected the departure of Gerald Schatten from Hwang’s team, since PD Diary producers met the researchers on October 20, and researchers told Schatten about the interview.

                  Researcher Park said, “We were supposed to brief Schatten. Knowing that MBC interviewed us, Schatten asked us to brief him on the interview. And we did.”
                  PD Diary producers insisted that Schatten’s departure had nothing to do with them since they met Schatten long afterward.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In an interview with the all-news cable channel YTN, the feeder cell expert Kim Son-jong on Sunday claimed MBC blackmailed him to provide information revealing that Hwang’s stem cell exploits are fraud.
                    Kim also said he did not make any comments unfavorable to Hwang, negating MBC producers’ claim last week that Kim made a crucial confession regarding the authenticity of Hwang’s research.
                    The biologist worked for Hwang for this year’s medical breakthrough in getting cloned human embryonic stem cell lines and is now at the University of Pittsburgh.
                    Professor Kang Sung-keun from Seoul National University, Hwang’s right-hand man, also launched an attack on MBC and its DNA tests on five stem cell lines genetically tailored to patients.
                    ``We gave five feeder cells from a single mouse to MBC. Then the tests of the TV network showed all of the feeder cells have different DNA structures. That means the test is full of mistakes and we can’t accept it,’’ Kang said.
                    In response, MBC countered that Kang’s remarks are contradictory to those of Hwang.
                    ``When Hwang handed over stem cell samples to us, he said the feeder cells were human cells free of concerns triggered by animal feeder layers,’’ MBC producer Han Hak-soo said.
                    Feeder cells play a pivotal role in preventing embryonic stem cells from growing into specific cells, a process needed to obtain human stem cell batches.
                    Hwang’s team used human feeder cells to acquire the customized stem cell batches this year, a landmark achievement compared to conventional ways of depending on mouse feeder cells.
                    Animal feeder cells are associated with risks such as viral infection or pathogen transmission, making human feeder cells a must for the eventual application of cell replacement therapy,.
                    ``We used human feeder cells for our paper this year announced by Science in May but provided mouse feeder layers to MBC, which are more suitable for DNA trials,’’ Kang said.
                    Under this rationale, Kang contended the examinations of MBC lack credibility since the broadcaster failed to repeat results in further tests.
                    In a telephone interview with a local media over the weekend, Hwang also said, ``I swear my stem cell research is absolutely true at the risk of my life.’’
                    Late last week, MBC producers who broadcast an investigative program, ``PD Notebook,’’ claimed Hwang’s customized stem cells might be inauthentic.
                    The producers told a press conference that they had a research institute, IDGene, test 15 stem cell samples provided by Hwang’s team twice and learned one sample’s DNA does not match with that of a somatic cell donor.
                    However, IDGene could not verify DNA profiles in the remainders of the 30 samples for some reason.
                    This is the climate in which Han keeps on asking Hwang’s team to conduct a second test to scrutinize doubts, a requirement refused by Hwang who takes issue with the credibility of research agencies.
                    ``There is an easiest and simplest way to iron our all the kinks; carrying out the second test that would take a couple of days. That will dispel all questions _ so Hwang must accept the offer,’’ Han said.
                    Meanwhile, Roh Sung-il, the head of Mizmedi Women’s Hospital that procured eggs for Hwang, postponed for a few days a press meeting initially scheduled for yesterday. The meeting is intended to clarifying all misgivings.
                    Roh quoted the necessity to fine tune his stance on specific issues but insiders say Hwang, whose whereabouts have been unknown since late last month, would host a press conference himself soon, after MBC airs the program to delve into suspicions on his research.
                    MBC is expected to show it on Tuseday.
                    http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/...1370011910.htm

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by BigBob
                      http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/...1370011910.htm
                      In a telephone interview with a local media over the weekend, Hwang also said, ``I swear my stem cell research is absolutely true at the risk of my life.’’
                      When a news network smears the reputation of a scientist, the damage is done no matter what the scientist says.

                      This article is quite revealing.
                      "We gave five feeder cells from a single mouse to MBC. Then the tests of the TV network showed all of the feeder cells have different DNA structures. That means the test is full of mistakes and we can’t accept it,’’ Kang said.
                      • Kang claimed that they gave the MBC some mouse feeder cells. There must be something desperately wrong with the tests made by MBC if, in the test, they were unable to tell the difference between mouse and human genes. If they were testing the human feeder cells, all the human feeder cells came from one donor and the cells should be the same.

                      The producers told a press conference that they had a research institute, IDGene, test 15 stem cell samples provided by Hwang’s team twice and learned one sample’s DNA does not match with that of a somatic cell donor.
                      However, IDGene could not verify DNA profiles in the remainders of the 30 samples for some reason.
                      This is the climate in which Han keeps on asking Hwang’s team to conduct a second test to scrutinize doubts, a requirement refused by Hwang who takes issue with the credibility of research agencies.
                      ``There is an easiest and simplest way to iron our all the kinks; carrying out the second test that would take a couple of days. That will dispel all questions _ so Hwang must accept the offer,’’ Han said.
                      • The fact that Hwang provided the samples to MBC at all is indicative of his confidence in the cells and the data. The fact that IDGene could not do the DNA profiles of over two thirds of the samples but, in the 15 samples that they did do, only one showed a discrepancy from the donor is actually quite impressive. It would be of interest to find out what the discrepancy is due to.


                      Wise.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks Dr. Young
                        I also thought the article was loaded with stuff and after analyzed by a scientist like yourself would make it more clear that Hwang's work is for real

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Truth always wins... Hope all this gets cleared soon and much needed research is advanced... I just learned of the passing away of a 3 year old who suffers from SMA ... how many more lives are to be lost

                          Comment


                            #14
                            hopefully the MBC executives that allowed this to happen will resign in shame
                            cauda equina

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Cloning Pioneer 'Just Wanted to Leave It All Behind'


                              Cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk gestures during a news conference on Nov. 24, where he apologized for ethical lapses and admitted that two junior researchers in his lab donated their own eggs for research.


                              MBC Reporters' Tactics Spark Fresh Outcry
                              Hwang Staff ‘Bullied’ Into Smearing Stem Cell Research
                              MBC Apologizes for Bullying in Hwang Expose
                              MBC Journalists Charged With More Strong-Arm Tactics



                              The familiar voice sounded faint over the cell phone on Monday morning, with a ring of weariness from too much happening too fast. But Prof. Hwang Woo-suk has been through much in recent weeks: he has been hounded by investigative reporters, apologized for ethical lapses as he pushed ahead with ground-breaking research, and quit all his official posts. It has now been 11 days since he told his inner circle, "I hate the world,” and left the city for the respite of a secluded country home.
                              A member of his team had put the Chosun Ilbo in touch with the professor, who was probably speaking from somewhere outside Seoul. Told that many hope he will come back soon and continue his research, the cloning pioneer’s voice changed "It's been a very agonizing and tremendously difficult time for me, both physically and mentally,” he admits. “I really just wanted to leave it all behind.”

                              "In this climate, I’ve started to wonder what hope there is for scientific research," he says. But then a plea for patience: "With the situation being what it is, please wait. Once things calm down, and science can once again be seen as science…"

                              Hwang does not conceal his sense that he has been unfairly accused and hurt by the controversy stirred by “PD Diary” and its overzealous questioning of his research. “I don’t understand why non-scientific parties are involving themselves in scientific matters,” he says. “Science has an independent path to follow, and its own process.”

                              There is also sense of shock that it was a researcher on his team, which includes favorite students, who triggered the "PD Diary" campaign by contacting journalists with smears about the integrity of his research results. “It’s awful that such a malicious allegation is at the root of all the problems,” he says.


                              On Sunday afternoon Prof. Ahn Cu-rie from Seoul National University's Medical School and veterinarians Prof. Lee Byeong-chun and Prof. Kang Sung-keun gathered somewhere in Gyeonggi province, where Hwang has been staying. Their discussion how to deal with the situation lasted until late into the night. “Prof. Hwang is staying with his wife,” Lee reported later. “He hasn’t been doing the exercises he used to do every day, and he hasn’t been eating properly, so he’s not in good shape.” Lee says Hwang sometimes reads the papers and watches TV, but avoids MBC.

                              “I've tried to call and encourage him to come back, but once I hear the fatigue in his voice, I just don’t have the heart to say anything," Lee says. “I am sad because he doesn’t seem to have recovered the will to continue his work.”

                              The SNU team has decided to encourage their boss to go back to work in the middle of this week because ongoing research could suffer if he stays away much longer. Thursday would be the earliest day that is likely. On the day, the geneticist would go straight back to the lab after a quick message to the nation via the research team.

                              Hwang himself would not confirm it, saying merely, "We'll see you soon. Thank you." Under the circumstances, that little word “soon” was crucial

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