Conflict Situations and Closed Societies

"Reporter Goes Undercover with Migrant Smuggling Gang" - Paul Kenyon - BBC News


". . .Using secret filming, he met up with an underground network charging migrants as much as £1,500 to hide them in lorries destined for mainland Europe.Some who use the service have lived illegally in the UK for years, but want to move on in the hope of finding richer pickings elsewhere in Europe. Others are thought to be fleeing the justice system. . ."

"Outrage in Damascus After Israeli Reporters Enter Syria" - Unsigned - France 24


". . .Syria, in the grips of a deadly civil war, is not a safe place for journalists – 17 have been killed there in 2012, according to several NGOs.The country is doubly dangerous for Israelis. Syria is still officially at war with the Hebrew state and Israelis are unable to visit most of their neighbouring Arab countries. . ."

"Cuba's Ladies in White" - Ivan Hernandez - People & Power

An Undercover Reporter Finds Out What it is Like to Live in a Culture of Fear and Surveillance


"After 53 years of revolution, Cubans are increasingly exasperated by the restrictions imposed on them by the country's change-averse communist regime.  In spite of, or perhaps because of, recent modest economic reforms, activism is growing as the government's opponents overcome their fear of arrest and take to the streets. . ."

"Syria Crisis: Aleppo's Deadly Aerial Warfare" - Paul Wood - BBC News (Syria)

The Syrian air force jet roared over, making people crane their necks and flinch at the same time.


". . .A small dot - a bomb - detached from the plane as it disappeared over the buildings on the horizon.We counted to five before it hit, a deafening explosion that rattled the windows. A large black cloud billowed up, blotting out the sky at the end of the road. It was noisy chaos when we got there. A crowd of dozens quickly became a couple of hundred as men ran in from side streets to help. A white pick-up truck was enveloped in flames. A circle of scorched earth, 30-40m across, radiated out from it. Weeds on the edge of the blackened concrete were still burning too. . ."

"Undercover with Activists in Syria" - Unsigned -


"West Papua Resistance Losing Fight for Freedom" - Hayden Cooper - ABC Radio Australia


". . .There are even claims that an elite counter-terrorism unit, one that has been funded and trained by Australia, is operating in West Papua where it is accused of targeting and killing independence leaders.The ABC's Hayden Cooper went undercover in the secretive Indonesian provinces, where he discovered a police state operating with impunity. . ."

"Undercover 'Journalism' in the DPRK" - Tad Farrell - North Korea News


"As most people are aware, Western journalists are not typically welcome in North Korea. The case of Euna Lee and Laura Ling last year was a good example of what can happen to those too eager for an NK scoop.  But that didn’t stop David McNeill of London’s ‘The Independent’ travelling to the DPRK just two weeks ago, ostensibly as a tourist attending the Pyongyang International Film Festival, but most likely there to try and cover the impeding Party Congress, initially rumoured to be starting around the same time.  He wasn’t the first reporter to enter the country on a tourist visa, and he won’t be the last.   But one thing is for sure, his front page story is a classic example of the hyperbolic and sensationalist approach to North Korea reporting that is standard in mainstream media -  a standard where fact-checking and normally rigid editorial standards go right out of the window."

"Face to Face with the World's Most Repressive Regime" - David McNeill - The Independent (UK)

Special Report: David McNeill, travelling undercover, infiltrates an illegal market in Pyongyang before falling foul of North Korea's authorities


 " . . . But off the wide, main boulevards, stories abound of poverty and malnutrition following a botched currency revaluation last year. Food prices, which rose 10-fold after the revaluation, have reportedly fallen back to about twice their old level, bringing enormous hardship to an already crippled economy."

"Undercover in Syria's Kurdish Region" - Orla Guerin - BBC News


". . .The fate of this area has implications beyond Syria. Iraq, Iran and Turkey have their own Kurdish populations. With a combined total of about 30 million, they are the world's largest stateless people.Our Correspondent Orla Guerin has spent 5 days under cover in Syria's Kurdish region and sent this report. . ."

"Syria Conflict: BBC's Paul Wood Meets Teens Turned Rebels" - BBC News


"Inside the Desert Storm Mortuary" - Jonathan Franklin - San Francisco Bay Guardian


". . . But after weeks of preparation and now a day inside the Desert Storm mortuary, I'm beginning to think I could really embalm, if I had to. The chief mortician must be equally convinced as he summons me to his corpse. " 'Got your embalming license, Franklin? You can start this afternoon.' . . . "