Posts Tagged ‘Laura Ling’
In an interview published yesterday in a South Korean newspaper, Han Park, a political scientist at the University of Georgia and who visited Pyongyang, says Ling and Lee were not in a prison camp, but rather in a guest house in the capital city.
One of the dangers, writes Stelter, is “they were working without the broad safety net that a traditional news organization can provide.”
Start-up news organizations like Current TV are increasingly sending journalists to the world’s hot spots, putting a spotlight on news stories in new ways. It is, experts say, another consequence of the fragmented media landscape and the declines in international news coverage by traditional outlets.
The two were detained March 17 after being led across the North Korean border by a guide. Their trial took just 5-days. A Korean-language version of the verdict said they were convicted of “hostility toward the Korean people.”
The State Department said it would “engage in all possible channels” to win their release.
An Iranian appeals court has agreed to hear the case of jailed American journalist Roxana Saberi next week. Saberi has been on a hunger strike since April 18 when an Iranian court convicted her of spying. Saberi’s father says his daughter is “weak and frail” after being admitted to a prison hospital last Friday.
Less is known about Current TV journalists Laura Ling (pictured) and Euna Lee, who were detained in North Korea on March 17, and will face trial for their unspecified “hostile acts.” A conviction could carry a sentence of up to 10 years.
A Current spokesperson tells TVNewser: “We do not have a comment.”
Robert Mackey who is editor of The Lede blog on NYTimes.com, asks, “Is it that the theocratic leadership in Iran seems easier to talk to, and comprehend, than the Stalinist leadership in North Korea?”
The journalists were reporting on North Korean refugees in China, and may have been led across the border by a guide “promising them exclusive footage of human trafficking or drug deals.” They’ve been detained since last Tuesday, March 17.
The State Department says “North Korea has assured Washington the Americans are being treated well.”
Ling’s sister is Lisa Ling of CNN’s Planet in Peril and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
And following up on a story we reported earlier this month, Roxana Saberi is still being detained in Iran despite initial reports she would be released soon. Her father says she has been told it may be “months or even years” before she is released.