When I read this story, I was shocked. I have no idea how these people ever sleep!

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the very archetype of a “closed society.” It ranks dead last—196th out of 196 countries—in Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press index. Unlike the citizens of, say, Tunisia or Egypt, to name two countries whose populations recently tapped the power of social media to help upend the existing political order, few North Koreans have access to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. In fact, except for a tiny elite, the DPRK’s 25 million inhabitants are not connected to the Internet. Televisions are set to receive only government stations. International radio signals are routinely jammed, and electricity is unreliable. Freestanding radios are illegal. But every North Korean household and business is outfitted with a government-controlled radio hardwired to a central station. The speaker comes with a volume control, but no off switch. In a new media age awash in universally shared information—an age of planet-wide instant messaging and texted manifestos—the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains a stubborn holdout, a regime almost totally in control of its national narrative. –North Korea’s Digital Underground by Robert S. Boynton (The Atlantic, April 2011)

Writing Prompt: Put your character in a situation where the radio never turns off. What is on the radio? What is your character’s reaction? How does your character cope?

Journaling Prompt: What media outlet do you wish you could turn off forever and why?

Art Prompt: Propaganda

Photo Credit: Paul on Flickr

9 Responses to Prompt #108 No Off Switch

  1. Julie Farrar says:

    An interesting post to come across on SW this week since I was writing myself about banned books. I’m not a fiction writer, but I seem to remember in the Fahrenheit 451 film (can’t remember about the book) every house had a television screen they couldn’t ever turn off. I have to believe that the time will come for this population to throw off the chains of their government. And now I’m off to thing about what media I would like to get rid of.
    Julie Farrar recently posted..Get Radical — Celebrate Banned Books WeekMy Profile

    • Liz says:

      It must be in the air, Julie. Really, we have a huge amount of freedom here, but it seems to be shrinking steadily. I hope we never get to this point. Banning books was bad enough. Horrible idea!

  2. Me, too, Julie. I immediately thought of Fahrenheit 451.

  3. […] Prompt #108 No Off Switch » The Writing Reader What if there was no off switch? #writingprompt #amwriting #writing #journal #creativity… Source: […]

  4. My daughter teaches English in South Korea and went for a ride into the countryside on her bicycle one day. She came across a dog farm where the radio was blaring loudly and continuously. Absolute insanity.

  5. I just nominated you for a Liebster award. I’ll have the post up at 8 am ADT Thursday, and the requirements are there.
    Sue Ann Bowling recently posted..Fantasy and Science Fiction QuotesMy Profile

Leave a Reply to Liz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge