Tweets from the DMZ: Social Media in North Korea
Social media has transformed culture, communication, creativity and journalism in every nation on Earth — other than North Korea, of course.
Wait — not so fast. What do we really know about social media’s role in the mysterious nation — or what role it could play in the future, in the open or underground?
Frankly, not much. But one of the few Western journalists who's reported from North Korea is piecing together the clues.
Get some insight and answers to your questions as Associated Press Social Media Editor Eric Carvin leads a conversation with AP Korea bureau chief Jean H. Lee, a social media-savvy journalist with firsthand expertise on the reclusive regime north of the 38th parallel.
Lee, named to Foreign Policy's Twitterati 100 list of Twitter feeds to follow, has made more than a dozen trips to North Korea and is the only American reporter with permission to travel there regularly. If anyone can make sense of social media’s role in the isolated nation, she’s the one.
Eric Carvin is the social media editor at The Associated Press, where he directs social strategy throughout AP’s global news operations. He oversees the use of social media to uncover breaking news, gather user-generated content, connect with readers and share AP content. He also guides AP’s 2,000-plus journalists as they use social in the pursuit of news.
Carvin, a 13-year AP veteran, has extensive experience with innovative and interactive storytelling. He ran Meltdown 101, an award-winning series that unraveled complex aspects of the economic crisis, as well as Ask AP, a column in which AP journalists answered readers’ questions about the news. He was the news editor of asap, an AP service that pursued innovative and multimedia approaches to news, and he edited “Far and Wide,” AP’s first news blog. He has played a number of other roles during his AP career, at times coordinating the AP report as a whole, at others editing national news copy or analyzing exit poll results.
In addition to his work at AP, Carvin was recently elected to the Online News Association's Board of Directors, where he hopes to enhance ONA's leadership in ethics and standards issues related to digital news. Relatedly, he recently co-founded a working group within ONA that's examining social newsgathering ethics.
Away from work, Carvin enjoys looking for berries in Central Park. (Though lately, he spends more of his spare time changing diapers and chasing a 1-year-old around the playground. Which he also enjoys.)
Jean H. Lee is the Korea bureau chief for The Associated Press. She has been Seoul bureau chief since 2008, and in January 2012 also became chief of AP’s new bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea. She divides her time between the two Korean capitals, making her the only American reporter granted regular access to North Korea.