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Prof. Bob Steele '69 Discusses Jailing of US Reporters in North Korea

June 20, 2009

Bob Steele MarkerBoard.jpgJune 20, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "The changing media environment has created more opportunities for journalists affiliated with new outlets, and for anyone with computer, to cover the news around the world," notes an Associated Press report on North Korea's detention of two American journalists who crossed into the country. Juliana Barbassa writes, "As the lines are blurred, the protections afforded reporters might weaken, said Bob Steele, a journalism values scholar at The Poynter Institute," who is also DePauw University's Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism.

"The protections for journalists can be jeopardized given these changing roles, these looser affiliations," Dr. Steele tells AP. "If a journalist is not working directly for a news organization, or one that is not a long time, traditional news organization, there might be a heightened risk. There might be questions about whether they're really journalists."

Another possible factor, says, the professor, is that the two journalists arrested in North Korea work for Current TV, which was founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. According to Steele, "In his case, you have some competing loyalties playing out."Associated Press Logo.gif

Access the story at the Web site of the Idaho Statesman.

Bob Steele, a 1969 graduate of DePauw, is considered one of America's top experts on ethics in journalism. In recent days he has also been quoted in Atlantic, the Charlotte Observer of North Carolina, Georgia's Macon Telegraph, Pennsylvania's Scranton Times-Tribune, and by Los Angeles television station KABC.

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