Trending Now: North Korea Borderlands Project

NK News managing editor Chad O’ Connell visited the China-North Korea border in 2013.

“Standing on an abandoned bridge just feet from North Korean territory, I felt millions of miles from the increasingly sensationalized Google news feeds which provide the majority of what people think they know about North Korea today,” O’Connell said.

To get a better sense of life there, NK News wants to send two reporters to China for “extended periods of time” to explore story leads and tell stories along the China-North Korea border.

With 16 days to go, the North Korea Borderlands Project has received $13,000 of its $16,000 goal.

Rewards include a “Recipes of North Korea” cookbook, a collection of essays about life in North Korea and T-shirts and mugs with the UNHA-3 rocket, the kind the country used to put a satellite in space and the kind they threatened to fire a nuclear missile at the United States. Pay $10,000 and you can get a seven-day tour of North Korea.

The list of risks and challenges for this project are long.

Due to the cold reception investigative journalism may receive from governments in China and North Korea, “it is impossible to guarantee the overall success of the project.”

In the event that reporters are expelled early in the reporting process and sufficient funds remain, NK News will dispatch reporters to Africa and the Middle East to follow story leads.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.


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