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.