BBC Blasted for Covert Reporting Trip to N. Korea

London School of Economics irate journos traveled with students
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2013 7:28 AM CDT
BBC Blasted for Covert Reporting Trip to N. Korea
People visit giant statues of the late North Korean leaders, Kim Il Sung, left, and his son Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, April 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

On the heels of a child abuse scandal, the BBC finds itself embroiled in another controversy—this time over covert reporting in North Korea. The London School of Economics says the media organization "deliberately misled" and endangered 10 of its students during a trip to the country that included a trio of undercover reporters. The leading university wants the BBC to cancel the resulting documentary, set to air today, and offer an apology. But the BBC says students were informed multiple times that there would be a journalist among them, while the program is firmly in the public interest and won't be canceled.

"The only people we deceived" were those in "the North Korean government," said the BBC's news chief, who noted that students were informed of risks including "arrest, detention, and the possibility of not being allowed back into the country." Still, the BBC later clarified that the details of the documentary hadn't been revealed to students for their own safety, in case of questioning, the New York Times reports. The students ranged in age from 21 to 28, the BBC reports, and their identities will be hidden in the documentary using techniques like pixelation, the Guardian adds. Meanwhile, Dennis Rodman, whose previous visit to the country was tied to an HBO documentary, says he's headed back, the Miami Herald reports. (Read more BBC stories.)

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