AP plans to open bureau in North Korea

“Under one memo of understanding work begins immediately on discussions aimed at opening an AP bureau in Pyongyang. It would be the first permanent text and photo bureau operated by a Western news organization in the North Korean capital. Five years ago, AP Television News, headquartered in London, became the first Western news organization to establish an office in North Korea.” –AP Press release 29 June 2011

This is a month old, but I didn’t see it reported much. A Associated Press press release published on the Poynter website announces plans for the AP to open a photo and text bureau in North Korea. According to NPR, AP Television News already has an office in the country, but this would be the first text and video reporting bureau operated by a Western news organization. There are, of course, concerns about limits placed on anyone working at the bureau, but the AP’s chief executive Tom Curley sees the move as another step toward opening the country to the world. Part of the agreement to open the bureau includes provisions for cooperation with North Korea’s government news agency, Korea Central News Agency, to distribute KCNA’s historical materials, host a joint photo exhibition in New York, and coordinate on photo and video technology issues.

In recent related photo news, the AP withdrew a KCNA photo from distribution because of photo manipulation. People had been added to a photo showing residents of Pyongyang walking through floodwaters.

One Response to “AP plans to open bureau in North Korea”

  1. David Guttenfelder in North Korea | dvafoto

    […] Korea, one of few Western photographers with regular access to the isolated country. The AP was the first news organization to open a bureau in Pyongyang, in January 2012. Guttenfelder, an American photographer who has been a finalist for the Pulitzer […]

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