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NK journalists summoned to Pyongyang, urged to become ‘loyal spokespersons’By Ji Da-gyum
Published : April 5, 2023 - 15:56
North Korea held a rare conference of the national union of journalists earlier this week for the first time in 22 years to discuss ways to strengthen state-controlled media’s role as a propaganda tool to “maximize the effectiveness of indoctrination and ideological penetration,” state media reported Wednesday.
The purpose of the Kim Jong-un regime summoning its journalists to Pyongyang was clear. Journalists in the country with the worst press freedom in the world were urged to “become capable political activists who can swiftly and accurately disseminate” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s revolutionary ideology and tow the ruling party’s line and policies to the people.
The ninth Congress of the Journalists Union of Korea was held Monday and Tuesday in the capital city, the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said in an article published on the front page.
The conference was held for the first time since Kim Jong-un took power in 2011, as North Korea has stepped up its large-scale nationwide ideological campaign. The eighth congress was held in November 2001.
North Korean anchor Ri Chun-hee, members of the union, officials of the related departments of the Party Central Committee, personnel from the propaganda departments of the provincial party committees and others participated in the congress.
At the conference, journalists were urged to “become loyal spokespersons for the Party Central Committee, active propagandists of party policies and friendly educators for the people in a bid to vigorously take the lead in overall revitalization and development of socialist construction through aggressive media campaigns.”
To that end, state media reported that journalists were called to become “ardent followers, staunch defenders and thorough implementers” of Kim’s revolutionary ideology.
Participants also discussed why North Korean state media channels have failed to make changes in the content and formats of publications in line with changing times, which is a required step for the publications to serve as “ideological weapons.”
The conference discussed ways to “actively publish and distribute articles and publications that encourage the entire people to vigorously and continuously push for the struggle with confidence” in North Korean ideologies.
“We need to produce more articles and publications that people eagerly await and welcome … to maximize the effectiveness of indoctrination works and ideological penetration,” read the Rodong Sinmun.
The conference highlighted the necessity of devising the right strategy to utilize information technology tools to “continuously amplify the promptness and power of propaganda.”
The journalists were also urged to propagate and explain Kim’s new agricultural strategy and “strongly push for political and ideological offensives to arouse the whole country to implement the party’s strategy for rural development” by indoctrinating all agricultural works to fulfill their role as the owners of rural development.
North Korea was rated the world’s worst among 180 countries in a press freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders in May 2022.
Kim Jong-un “personally ensures that the media only imports content that praises the party, the military and himself,” while strictly prohibiting independent journalism, according to the international media watchdog.
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