New graphics in regular use during North Korean TV’s economic news segments

The new graphics introduced for just one day during North Korea’s TV news in March are making a comeback.

Korean Central TV used a more modern production method in reports during its March 21 bulletin. It featured 3D graphics overlaid on video and more interesting camera shots, but the next day things were back to normal.

It’s taken a month but now those new graphics appear to be in more regular use. This week they featured in the evening news on both Monday, May 6, and Tuesday, May 7. Both times they were used during segments that emphasized economic growth or increasing production.

Graphics in a Korean Central TV report on May 7, 2019.
Graphics in a Korean Central TV report on May 7, 2019.

The station also used an infographic in a May 6 report about the Ministry of Culture’s art directorate:

Graphics in a Korean Central TV report on May 6, 2019.

At the time of their first use in March, it was a bit of mystery why KCTV reverted back to its old style of reporting a day later. One potential reason was the station did it as a test to gauge viewer response. If that was the reason then it seems they were deemed a success.

Infographics do make it easier to understand more complex information while the 3D text overlaid on video makes the news reports more engaging.

Ultimately though, no amount of window dressing can alter the basic problem with North Korean TV media: it’s all centrally-controlled government propaganda designed to put a positive spin on the country for its citizens and the wider world.

One piece of the experiment hasn’t returned yet: a more contemporary studio presentation style. Back in March, the anchor sat in front of an out-of-focus shot of Korean Central Television’s control room:

A KCTV news broadcast on March 21, 2019.

That hasn’t reappeared yet with the anchor remaining in front of a more conservative backdrop.

Graphics in a Korean Central TV report on May 6, 2019.
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