Published on 19 Sep 2008
This episode of Listening Post looks at the propaganda and pitfalls of reporting on and from the closed world of Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. For this week’s News Divide, we peek behind the bamboo curtain and look into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It has been described, by some commentators in the west, as a ‘hermetically sealed’ country, with no Western news bureaux. Few reporters get access into this secretive state, but we speak to Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Correspondent, Mark Seddon who has visited the country many times, to see what it is like to report from the hermit kingdom. The news coming out of Pyongyang is so restricted, that when their leader, Kim Jong Il, failed to turn up for the country’s 60th birthday celebrations, the rumour mills went into overdrive with speculation about his ailing health. But where does the real story lie and how much truth is there coming out of the rumour mill? Plus in Plus in part two we report on the demise of the US newspaper industry.