What would you ask the AP?

The AP is hosting an event on social media in North Korea, with the AP’s Eric Carvin and its Korea Bureau Chief, Jean H. Lee.  Thanks to the readers who let me know.

The conversation was dead — no one seemed all that interested the AP’s views on social media amid the re-declaration of Korean War II — so I decided to stimulate a livelier discussion by asking whether the AP will ever reveal its agreements with KCNA, whether it pays North Korea anything under them, and whether AP should be more forthcoming with its readers about those arrangements, given the potential for conflicts of interest.

Oddly enough, rather than start a lively discussion, my questions seem to have thrown a wet blanket over things.  (It’s the sort of uncomfortable silence you associate with the first Thanksgiving after the sex offender comes home from prison, right after Uncle Bob asks Ray and Nancy why they didn’t bring the kids.)

Hey, maybe your questions will liven things up a little. And then again, maybe the AP’s silence will speak volumes about its fearlessness and independence, or even reveal that North Korea has found a way to censor America’s most influential media organization, wherever it speaks.


  1. If you really want the AP to answer your questions, you should probably ask them questions that they have spent time researching, like does Ri Sol-ju look better in basic colors or pastels? How would she look in a nice floral pattern? You know, the important questions of the day in a starving, nuclear armed state.


  2. James Smyth’s question was the best:
    “@EricCarvin @AP @newsjean What benefit has the AP seen from it’s being in NK, when major stories are reported by external agencies first?”

    It’s the best because it might actually get a response and encourage some discussion.

    Unlike Joshua’s questions which, while they’re all things we want to know, were worded in such an aggressive and confrontational way that they’re obviously not even going to get touched. Great way to stimulate discussion, there (but somehow I’m not surprised).


  3. As an aside, now that she has internet access, I’m finding Jean H. Lee’s Twitter account to be fairly interesting I’m not sure what to make of the fact that I’m learning far more from her Twitter feed, than from AP Pyongyang officially; that said, it’s better than nothing.


  4. @michael

    Umm, sure that has a good chance of getting answered because it’s open ended and they can fill it full of shit.

    Jean H Lee is a liar, so you might want to follow Lindsay too.


  5. @james: Better than no answer at all. They still have to justify themselves.

    Jean H Lee is a liar? Do tell how so? What a vacuous, useless statement, or if you prefer: bullshit. You can go ahead and call her a “useful idiot” if you like, I think you probably have a point. But I’m not sure how a person who makes sure the propaganda is cleaned up of outright lies is a liar.


  6. @michael

    there are obviously differences to our views. you say tomayto, i say tomahto.

    i’d rather not hear it if it’s just more bs.

    you’re right….calling jean a liar might be a bit too much. i officially take it back. yet, i will say she is full of shit on this answer.


    Has KCNA ever tried to pitch a story to you, either blatantly or subtly?


    Would not having the AP come along to that event where that woman “un-defected” be a subtly pitched story to them by KCNA (I consider KCNA the NK gov.)?

    How about having the AP host an art gallery in NYC?

    either way….potayto, potahto.



  7. looks like poor Jean H Lee’s and Guttenfelder’s (sp?) instagram has turned back into wait-till-i-get-back-to-beijing-agram.


    what a bummer considering the AP tried to make themselves relevant at SXSW.

    i am really bummed for moravius though, as it seemed like he was taking advantage of the 3g as well.


    i think his photos are way more value add than the constant photography of pyongyang.


  8. breaking news. the rodman episode was actually going to be on the down low.

    too bad jean h lee found out about it and made it a showcase for the AP:


    another move by jhl to make themselves relevant.

    funny thing though was that she wasn’t invited to “the dinner” with the vice squad and rodman after the game.

    I bet she was all dressed up with nowhere to go.