Teenage girl’s blog post more interesting, informative, and balanced than AP Bureau Chief’s report.

Nate Thayer does it again.  Don’t miss this one:

Why then did an amateur teenage college student accompanying her father on the same Google trip deliver a knockout blow in her blog posting of the high profile top world story, putting to shame with substance, detail,  quotations from key participants, color, and written presentation the entire AP Korea coverage, despite the AP Pyongyang Bureau Chief, Ms Jean H. Lee being physically present at every event of the 4 day visit, even accompanying the official delegation on the airplane from Beijing?

Ouch.  It’s both remarkable and embarrassing to read so many interesting facts in Sophie Schmidt’s post that Lee omits.  What else isn’t AP Pyongyang telling us?

As much as North Korea may think that the Schmidt-Richardson trip may have been a domestic propaganda coup, it appears to have been a net loss for North Korea’s quest to burnish its global opinion.

Update:  Now that I have confirmation that Sophie is only 19, I couldn’t help changing the title of this post.



  1. It was an interesting read except for the part about “go visit” since I don’t think feeding the beast any “tourist” dollars is a good thing.

  2. More than anything it shows just how much not only the AP but nearly everyone else who visits Pyongyang is hiding and/or distorting to maintain their air of exclusive North Korean guru expertness.

  3. People are really giving her more credit on her post than it deserves. The minor experiences about visiting on a government sanctioned trip are really the only thing new or refreshing here. Everything else was either lifted from internet blogs of first time tourists or was nothing that hasn’t been said before on those same blogs. Saying that the AP dropped the ball just isn’t true.

    There are plenty informative postings on blog from people who have been there many times with current accurate information if you’re willing to look.

  4. Mark, I think the point of the article/blog was to point out that a girl with zero experience regarding North Korean affairs or journalism could freely write a piece that is easily more moving, free, and detailed than the rubbish vomited out by the AP’s censored pseudo propaganda machine in Pyongyang.

  5. Whether she’s 19 or 25, she is an adult woman, not a teenage “girl”. But thanks for the very interesting link.

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