Expert advice on journalism, by KJi the Dear Leader
Unknown to many people in the outside world, Kim Jong-il, the dearly departed Dear Leader of North Korea, was an expert on journalism, one of the many subjects he was reputed to command (besides North Koreans of course).
Long before he succeeeded his father as the guiding light of North Korea, he was already inspiring the country’s journalists to greater heights, working hard at…
“plac[ing] the pressman at the zenith of happiness and glory” and “constantly giving them meticulous guidance in spite of the heavy pressure of the task of leading the revolution and construction.”
His standing as a the great journalism expert is documented in a 170-page book, The Great Teacher of Journalists, published in English in Pyongyang in 1983 (eleven years before Kim became the Dear Leader) by the government’s Foreign Languages Publishing House, reports Liz Cox Barrett in the Columbia Journalism Review.
Always stick to your subject
You should not leave the great leader when you cover functions held in his presence.
Only then will you be able to impressively cover his on-the-spot guidance, and also write good articles.
Get out there
‘Comrade journalist, you must see things on the spot before you write your articles. Otherwise you may talk big,’ advised the Dear Leader.
Don’t report from the desk
The journalist blushed. Across his mind flashed the bygones when he used to write his articles in his office only after conversation with officials. The dear leader told the man that he better not report about the pepper bushes at the moment but do so when more oil-bearing trees were planted.
The meticulous editor
The dear leader went over and over again a political essay written by journalists of the Party paper, until it became perfect. The writers were deeply moved by the great efforts he had made and the meticulous care he had taken of the political essay, when they saw his benevolent pen marks as they received the first proof he had checked.
Know when to rewrite
Having read the first galley proof, the dear leader showed how to correct the article [refocusing] on the noble personality of the great leader.
Turning over page by page with gratitude, the writers could see at a glance that he had read and revised the essay several times. It was because the paper bore distinctive ball-pen marks of different colours, red, black, and blue, which he had left while revising and underlining whenever necessary.
Boring Old Headline
Love is Like the Sunshine
New Improved Headline
Noble Love that Made a Longstanding Intellectual’s Life Brilliant
Now With Added Subhead
An account of the Great Leader Training Comrade Kang Young Change into Revolutionized Intellectual, a Leadership Official of the Country.
In fixing the place of the camera, the cameraman’s first consideration should be how to take the leader’s best picture.
Unlike the cinema, the TV has a small screen. Therefore, you should close up the object, and should not make it small.
Press the shutter when you are sure of success.
NOTE: For 10 years running, North Korea was last or second-last on the world » press freedom index produced by Reporters Sans Frontiéres.
Right: Dearly departed Leader and Young Leader share a joke