APTN Opens North Korea Bureau

AP Television has opened a bureau in North Korea, which it says makes it the first Western news organization with a full-time presence there.

According to the deal, APTN staffers based in Britain will work with locals gleaned from state-run North Korean radio and TV. Does the news organization have any qualms about relying on a long-distance relationship with vets of state-controlled news outlets.

APTN Executive Director Nigel Baker tells B&C that there are several levels of oversight. "International staff from APTN will have frequent access to North Korea to oversee the work of local employees, he says. "Their work will also be scrutinized by editors in London and New York."
He also says the local staffers will be working "solely" for APTN

The agreement was the culmination of four years of negotiations with state-run TV and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The announcement came the same day that NBC News announced it was opening a Beirut bureau, and the same day veteran newsmen Ted Koppel, in the pages of B&C, chided the industry for not doing enough international reporting.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.