Reuters Gets a Satellite Dish in North Korea

The race to cover the secretive regime is on as AP works to open its Pyongyang bureau

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Reuters announced today it was going to partner with North Korea's Central News Agency to get access to video via satellite from inside the closed regime. The move means the agency will become, in the words of its press release, "the first international news organization to have a full time satellite dish in North Korea, delivering clean news video content in addition to the text and pictures covered by a previous agreement." The news comes a little less than two weeks after the Associated Press announced it would set up a bureau in Pyongyang, making it the first Western news outlet to operate a permanent text and photo bureau in the secretive country. Today's Reuters announcement seems like a direct challenge to that development. But while North Korea suddenly seems to be welcoming outside news agencies, who in turn race one another to set up shop there, the question remains as to what kind of coverage we can expect from state-sanctioned reporting. It won't be as ridiculous as the 30 Rock footage we dug up for our Comment of the Day post on June 29, but it almost certainly won't be as stark as the footage of starving children smuggled out earlier that same week.

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