There were no stories about the controversial Sony hack from the Associated Press (AP) Pyongyang bureau in North Korea. You can refer to page 5 and the last three issues for background information if you have been hiding from mass media.
Nor were there any stories about Kim Jong Un’s mysterious hiatus in 2014, when he disappeared from public eye for several weeks (there was speculation about deteriorating health and weight gain). Most media outlets noticed, but the AP Pyongyang bureau didn’t seem to.
A lengthy investigative article published on nknews.org, added weight to the now-pervasive North Korea attention, aside from “The Interview” and Sony hack controversy, and well, the accumulative terrifying accounts of a dictatorship out of control.
The sub headline from the nknews post reads:
“Confidential AP agreement with North Korea gives Pyongyang control over news stories”
“Journalistically, our local staffers in Pyongyang are supervised and in regular contact with their supervisors,” the statement said in regard to staffing practices in Pyongyang. “We rely on our international staff for our journalism and the local employees do not ever file or transmit stories on their own, independent of supervision.”
On their interviews with Americans being held in North Korea, the AP said, “In accordance with normal practice, AP editorial decisions were made about the news value of very similar material available from three different interviews in short order from a captive individual. When we felt the material was newsworthy, we filed stories; when we felt it offered nothing new, we passed.”
“We recognize the unique challenges in reporting from North Korea,” the statement said. “We are proud of our work in all formats and will continue to provide robust coverage going forward that will widen still further the world’s view of this little-known state.”
“AP does not submit to censorship. We do not run stories by KCNA or any government official before we publish them. At the same time, officials are free to grant or deny access or interviews.”
At least there was some good news from North Korea this year.
Kenneth Bae is home. (end)