North Korea’s propaganda and agitation department orders journalists to “take lead” in ideological education

The Central Committee’s Propaganda and Agitation Department has reportedly issued an order to “bolster the skill and party loyalty” of local journalists who “should take a lead in politically awakening and ideologically educating the people.”

In a telephone conversation with Daily NK on Wednesday, a source in Yanggang Province said the Propaganda and Agitation Department recently issued an order calling for journalist “innovation,” pointing to the important role officials in the press sector “tasked with agitprop activities in each province” play in “politically awakening residents who are working to achieve the policies set forth in the Eighth Party Congress and inspiring them in economic construction.”

According to the source, the department strongly criticized journalists for failing to play their “proper role” as propagandists, despite their mission to encourage and inspire people in all sectors, including politics, the economy and culture, “leading them from the front.”

In particular, the department emphatically decried that the so-called “cultural warriors” who are the “buglers for achieving party policy” — namely, the reporters of newspapers affiliated with the propaganda departments of provincial parties and the writers of the Korean Writers’ Union — have grown lax.

Moreover, the department said reporters and writers “are severely deficient in creativity” and that the “cultural warriors” should first boost their skills to “vividly convey the struggles and efforts of workers, farmers, soldiers and officials of worker organizations who are passionately working to carry out this year’s planned economic tasks and achieve party policy.”

The department said only reporters and writers “with heads full of loyalty and hearts full of the will to truly obey the party can most accurately penetrate reality.” It said “cultural warriors” can “vividly convey dynamic scenes full of people achieving party policy” only by strengthening their party loyalty. 

The source said the department directed leading officials such as the head and deputy head writers at newspapers affiliated with the propaganda departments of provincial parties and the head of the Korean Writers’ Union to bolster their skills, and called for stronger ideological reviews and internal training so that everyone becomes “cultural warriors loyal to the party.”

The department also reportedly called for skillful personnel management to produce reporters and writers “under the concrete guidance and close watch of provincial party branches.”

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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.