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Hot Clicks: Washington Post reporter Facebook livestreams from North Korea

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Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield Facebook livestreamed from her hotel room in Pyongyang, N. Korea. Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield Facebook livestreamed from her hotel room in Pyongyang, N. Korea.
PYONGYANG, North Korea -

On Friday, North Korea is hosting what's being described as a " once-in-a-generation" Workers' Party congress and as a result, journalists from all over the world are being allowed into the country - a rare occurrence for a country that rarely allows journalists within its borders and is ranked second to last in terms of press freedoms by Reporters Without Borders

Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield, was in Pyongyang on Thursday, in preparation for the Worker's Parrty congress and she did something that's never been done before - she broadcast a Facebook livestream from her hotel room.

She starts the livestream describing that she's been assigned to stay at the Yanggakdo Hotel which is on an island in the the middle of the Taedong River. "This hotel is favored by the authorities here for journalists because it's on an island and we can't get off," she says. "So foreigners and foreign journalists here often nickname this place Alcatraz for obvious reasons."

She then takes questions from the viewers who tuned in which included: 

  • How close are N. Korean officials wrangling you while you're there?
  • How are you able to broadcast live from Pyongyang on Facebook?
  • Is any N. Korean authority watching you live stream?
  • Is there a lot of propaganda there in the streets?
  • What's the weather like?
  • What channels are on your TV?
  • Are you scared to be in N. Korea?
  • Is your room bugged?
  • Are your handlers aware you're doing Facebook Live?
  • Fifield explains why Pyongyang cannot be construed to be representative of N. Korea as a whole.
  • Is this your first visit to N. Korea?
  • She explains how she's watched the country change since her first visit. 
  • Are there any N. Korean delegates staying in the Yanggakdo Hotel as well or just foreigners?

Perhaps most interesting was when Fifield explains that everything she reports from Pyongyang can not be construed to be representative of N. Korea as a whole. "Pyongyang is the capital city and home to about 3 million people. The people who get to live here are the people who are considered loyal, the most loyal to the regime. These people are privileged, they have a much better standard of living than the rest of the country, much greater access to food, information, money - there's a lot more wealth here. So I'm telling you, the stories I'm writing are all based on Pyongyang, but this should not be construed to be representative of the country as a whole. I would love to go out into the hinterlands and things but that is not permitted, I'm not allowed to go there according to my minders and the people who are here and I can't move freely."

If you follow Fifield on Twitter, you will see glimpses of what life is like at least within the walls of Pyongyang. 



 

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