Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international media freedom NGO, visited the South Korean capital of Seoul in July to evaluate the level of media freedom and freedom of information in North Korea and published the results of this fact-finding visit. Entitled “North Korea: Frontiers of censorship,” it looks at the regime’s media control and censorship and the attempts being made by others to increase freedom of information.
Reporters Without Borders concluded that foreign radio stations, broadcasting on shortwave, continue to be the main source of independent information for the North Korean population. The flow of information is also reinforced by NGOs that send material and multimedia content across the border by various methods.
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Defending freedom of information against Kim Jong-Il’s regime –RSF
The Reporters Without Borders report states that videos from North Korea collected by the South Korean NGO, North Korea Strategy Centre (NKSC), are used by Radio Free Asia (RFA), Voice of America (VOA) and other foreign media. The report focuses mainly on Seoul-based radio stations operated by North Korean refugees such as Free North Korea Radio, Radio Free Chosun and Open Radio for North Korea. RSF has been supporting these stations since 2009.
Radio Free Asia and Voice of America are also a source of uncensored daily news delivered to North Korea on shortwave. BBG Watch, a U.S. NGO which monitors the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — a U.S. government agency in charge of RFA and VOA — reported, however, that Voice of America also used what was largely North Korean propaganda video after a VOA correspondent had been allowed to travel to Pyongyang. BBG Watch criticized the Broadcasting Board of Governors for issuing a press release that promoted this VOA video report from North Korea.
Link to the video on YouTube.
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB), a recently-formed NGO which supports free flow of uncensored broadcast news to countries without free media, also reported on the Voice of America video footage from North Korea.