North Korean ‘citizen’ journalism suggests possible change


North Korea is known, especially in Western nations, for oppression of its civilians, a corrupted dictatorship, and extremely heavy bias to the point of lying in the government controlled media. The situation in North Korea has been getting worse ever since Kim Jong-il really began to take control in the late 1990s. However, recently more people have begun to risk their lives to show the struggle, corruption and poverty that has been devastating North Korea.

One way in which citizens are displaying their tragedies is through undercover journalism. The punishment for undercover watchdog journalism is execution and very little, if any, evidence is needed for a conviction.  New York magazine’s Daily Intel was able to get its hands on video footage shot in North Korea by a brave citizen who goes by the pseudonym Kim Dong-Cheol.

While the video is disturbing and heartbreaking on countless levels, it also shows some glimmer of hope that the citizens are more willing then ever to try and stand up for themselves and force a change. So far the progress is still slow and obviously much more needs to be done, but the power of journalism in this video is very clear.

Not only is it used to show the current struggle, but also to show the emotions of the people who are struggling. The ability for this man to get his video out to the world despite unthinkable barriers could eventually do wonders to having outside influences help their situation. It could also motivate more people to take on a similar risk to be heard. Simply put, with undercover journalism, his use of video, and immense amounts of bravery, one person has a chance to initiate a process that could change his country.

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