In an Australian exclusive tonight Dateline will show in full the controversial Panorama investigation that has generated media headlines around the world after BBC reporter John Sweeney spent eight days undercover inside North Korea.
Joining a group of university students on an official tour, he travels from the capital Pyongyang, into the countryside, and to the de-Militarised Zone on the border with South Korea, secretly capturing the harsh reality of life. Journalists are all but banned in the secretive state, but the BBC crew captured the “real North Korea” rarely seen by the outside world – a desperately bleak landscape, miserable poverty, people brainwashed for generations, and a regime which seems so strong, but may not be quite as invincible as it looks.
The BBC has come under fire for its report. The London School of Economics claims the broadcaster endangered the safety of the students on the tour by not providing full and adequate information about the embedded Panorama crew. However, the BBC continues to adamantly defend the program, arguing that the students were not placed in any undue risk for this important piece of public interest journalism.
Tuesday 23 April, 9.30pm on SBS ONE.
David Knox blogs Eurovision for SBS