December 06, 2023

For every action, an overreaction? Media on the death of Kim Jong Il

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction. In the wake of the death of Kim Jong-il, applying Newton’s law could also show that there can also be an overreaction, especially in the field of reportage.

Whilst a frenzied part-natural, part-managed display of grief echoed around Pyongyang, an equally frenzied worldwide press scrambled to publish their articles on the matter. Naturally, differing editorials reflected the differing political leanings of media outlets and individuals, with some looking back upon Kim Jong-il’s rule over famines, human rights abuses and acts of belligerence; whilst others looked forwards, finding optimism in the chance for a fresh start in negotiations or, conversely, pessimism in the DPRK’s supposed ‘power vacuum’.