April 22, 2024

Frequently asked questions about NK News

Below follows a selection of regularly asked questions about NK News. If you don’t see an answer to your question or concern, please contact us today.

How does NK News generate financial support?

NK News is a subscription-based information product and therefore generates approximately 90% of its revenues directly from customers. The remaining 10% of revenue is generated through the sale of merchandise, direct advertising and occasional crowd-funding campaigns.

As a result of this financial model, NK News is not affiliated with any stakeholders, which ensures 100% editorial independence and the ability to tackle any subject the team wishes to cover.

Why is NK News for-profit?

When the team behind NK News decided to focus on the service full-time, two options were available, either a grant-based not-for-profit model or business-based, for-profit model.

For two reasons, NK News chose the for-profit model:

1) In an area where funding from institutions related to national governments or agenda-driven grant-making bodies represents the majority of potential support, an independent revenue stream was sought to maximize capacity for editorial independence and objectivity.

2) As few of the existing charitable revenue sources offer recurring support, a for-profit subscription model was preferable to better ensure the long-term sustainability of the service.

How does NK News acquire information about North Korea?

NK News acquires information about North Korea in multiple ways:

  • Information, media and data provided by named and anonymous sources within North Korea
  • Analysis of recent satellite imagery
  • Analysis of open source photography and video shot in North Korea
  • Testimony of former residents of North Korea
  • Interviews with international specialists and former workers in the DPRK
  • International media monitoring (English and foreign language media analysis)
  • Attendance and reporting of events and conferences about North Korea

Does NK News pay for information from inside North Korea?

NK News has a policy of not paying for news tips, documents or general information. However, NK News is willing to pay for photography and video, as well as persistent sources of verified and unique data.

How can I contribute to NK News?

Have a good idea for an op-ed, analysis, news feature, or investigation about North Korea? Then get in touch with our editorial team and make your pitch. We pay for contributions of all sorts.

Does NK News have any links with government, business or academia?

NK News does not have commercial links with the fields of government, business, or academia beyond subscription contracts for its suite of products.

Aside from these commercial relationships, NK News occasionally calls on members of these communities to provide comment and analysis on recent developments in the DPRK.

What is NK News’ advertisement policy?

NK News welcomes advertisements from both for-profit and not-for-profit entities. However, NK News does not accept vulgar or political advertisements, or material related to gambling, dating or medical/health based products .

Who uses NK News and what is it used for?

NK News is used by a wide variety of communities, listed in alphabetical order:

Academic: Universities and academics subscribe to NK News products primarily to access our streams of news and analysis, unique research tools/databases, media monitoring services, expert interviews and contemporary defector testimony.

Business: Business users subscribe to NK News products primarily to stay abreast of both risk and opportunities emerging from the DPRK, through access to unique news streams, datasets, and research tools.

General: General users subscribe to NK News, typically to learn more about daily life and culture within the DPRK, about travel opportunities there, and to follow the output of major opinion-makers.

Government: Governments use NK News products to bolster their informational knowledge-base on the DPRK through access to research tools, databases, media monitoring services, and our own output of news, analysis, and expert opinion.

Media: Journalists use NK News media monitoring services, databases, primary resources, and recent analysis to find new leads, inform their own work, and identify experts for commentary and analysis.

Research: Researchers and think tank staff use NK News to bolster their informational knowledge base on the DPRK through access to research tools, databases, media monitoring services and our own output of news, analysis and expert opinion.

What is the difference between NK News and NK News Pro?

NK News is a DPRK-focused news magazine service designed to inform a wide range of stakeholders with articles presenting the latest news, analysis and expert opinion on the DPRK.

NK Pro is a DPRK-focused information service designed for professionals working on North Korea issues. It complements their work with a wide range of research tools, databases, comprehensive media monitoring services and long-form, expert analysis on contemporary issues.

What is NK News criteria for op/ed submissions? Are contributors expected to write in favor of any particular viewpoint?

NK News publishes all manner of opinions, from uncompromising regime opponents to representatives of North Korea itself. The only criteria we judge by are that the op/ed submissions be well-argued, well-sourced and thought-provoking.

Why is there a paywall?

We use a paywall to protect:

  • All NK Pro content, to stop free access that would otherwise undermine our subscription-based system.
  • Some NK News content is automatically paywalled after a specified amount of articles are read, free, by each user each month.

What content is translated into Korean by NK News?

NK News publishes a 100% free Korean-service, designed to showcase what is viewed as the most editorially interesting English content every week.

NK News’ Korean team picks the content it decides will be most of interest to readers in the Korean language.

How are North Koreans incorporated into NK News’ operations?

NK News incorporates the views of North Koreans in two ways:

  1. Officially-authorized testimony and opinion:
    NK News encourages the DPRK government to allow its officials and civilians to share their news, analysis and opinion on our site. These voices are included through occasional analyses and interviews produced specifically for NK News, through the KCNA Watch tool, which highlights official media output and through the KCTV Monitoring tool, which gives users access to recent state DPRK TV. Of content submitted uniquely to NK News, the site does not accept overtly propagandistic news or analysis.
  2. Defector/refugee voices:
    Through columns such as the weekly “Ask a North Korean” or extensive opinion-driven interviews with panels of escapees, NK News incorporates a wide range of analyses and opinions from former residents of North Korea. NK News allows these writers complete freedom in expression, with no topic out-of-bounds.

Question not answered? If you don’t see an answer to your question or concern, please contact us today.