Kidnapped Reporters Still Can’t Get Story Covered

When “journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling stepped back onto American soil after being detained in North Korea for over four months. Their safe return was covered widely in the American media, and rightfully so,” writes Women In Media & News guest blogger Tristin Aaron (8/12/09), “yet their reason for traveling to North Korea has been all but forgotten in the media reports on Lee and Ling”:

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were reporting on the trafficking of women from North Korea into China. As Ji-Yeon Yuh notes in, “What Were Laura Ling and Euna Lee Looking For in North Korea?”: “Of North Korean women and girl refugees in China, an estimated 80 to 90 percent are victims of trafficking. This is likely the highest percentage of trafficking in a single population.”…

Further, these victims of human trafficking are treated as criminals by North Korea, and as illegal immigrants in China. Writing for the Womenâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Media Center, Ji-Yeon Yuh highlights a gap in the media’s coverage not only of the story Euna Lee and Laura Ling were reporting, but of coverage of North Korea in general: “The wider world takes little notice of these victims, with mainstream media closely focused on the issue of North Koreaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s nuclear weapons.”

Read all of Ji-Yeon Yuh’s story on the website for Aaron’s Womenâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Media Center. And listen to the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “John Feffer on North Korea” (5/29/09).