Midt i lykketåken over de hjemvendte journalistene Laura Ling og Euna Lee stiller  TIMEs Massimo Calabresi et vesentlig spørsmål: Hva faen gjorde de rundt de nordkoreanske grensen i første omgang? Calabresi har lang erfaring som reporter i krigsområder, og ser spørsmålet i sammenheng med debatten rundt de nye, privat organiserte mediene som har vokst opp ved siden av de tradisjonelle medieinstitusjonene:

«For those weighing the pros and cons of democratization in journalism, the four-month North Korean detention of Laura Ling and Euna Lee is instructive.

Ling’s sister told CNN Thursday night that the journalists, who work for Al Gore’s user-driven Current TV, briefly crossed into North Korea before they were detained by border guards. Eventually the full horror visited on North Korea by its leadership will be revealed and perhaps the two women were trying to advance that goal. Pyongyang deserves no credit for its behavior. But the journalists crossed an internationally recognized border without permission, and there are very few stories that justify breaking the law. Much effort and some diplomatic capital was expended to get the two women released.

A news organization fielding a seasoned TV crew overseen by experienced editors would not have crossed the line in North Korea.»

Publisert 9. august 2009.
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