Trump-Kim summit 2018: A look at the media coverage around the historic event

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By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

June 12, 2018 | 9 min read

With 2,500 journalists from all over the world descending onto Singapore to cover the historic summit between United States president Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, the media coverage of the event has been unprecedented.

The journalists are being housed in the International Media Centre at the Formula One pit building in the city centre, where they have been provided with a wide variety of food as they work round the clock to cover the summit.

From Dennis Rodman appearing on CNN while in Singapore and crying, to the White House press corps interviewing the television, here is a look at how the world media covered the event.

CNN

The American broadcaster brought out its heavy guns for the summit, with Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and John Berman all in town.

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Reporting from the Fullerton Hotel against the iconic background of Marina Bay, the trio were joined by correspondents from the network’s White House and national security teams, Jim Acosta, Jim Sciutto, Jeff Zeleny, Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond.

The network also scored an exclusive with former NBA player Rodman, hours after the American arrived in Singapore. Sporting a shirt to promote a cannabis cryptocurrency firm, Rodman wept on the live broadcast as he recounted his friendship with his 'best friend', Kim.

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CNN also secured an interview with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the previous day, where Amanpour quizzed Lee about the summit.

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Mediacorp

As the host broadcaster, Mediacorp operated the broadcast centre within the International Media Centre where it offered live feed distribution and monitoring system, indoor and outdoor live presentation services and media booth space with editing facilities.

Over 300 journalists including reporters and editor from its news channel, Channel NewsAsia, and its vernacular news teams in Channel 8, Vasantham, Suria, digital platforms (channelnewasia.com and todayonline.com) and radio stations (958FM and 938NOW) also provided on the ground coverage.

Special programmes included 'Path to Peace', a geo-political analysis leading up to the summit and 'Prep and Buzz Pre-Summit' which looks at the media centre, social media and the public buzz leading up to the summit.

ABC

The American broadcaster also served up some star power in Singapore, sending its Good Morning America crew, led by anchor George Stephanopoulos to report from within the country.

Stephanopoulos scored an exclusive with Trump after the president signed an agreement with Kim, which will see the North Korean leader commit to nuclear disarmament.

Rodong Sinmun

The official newspaper of the North Korean government sent a photo and video crew which stayed at Kim's side from the moment he landed in Singapore. They were given special access like filming from his motorcade and in his hotel.

The result? The cover of its Tuesday edition was crammed with 14 photographs, covering more than half of the front page, showing Kim in action, like visiting the main sights in Singapore with a huge fanfare.

According to media experts, the speed of the coverage in Rodong Sinmun and other state media is unusual in North Korea, where events are often reported long after they happen.

White House press corps

Reporters covering Trump from the likes of Bloomberg, Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press were housed separately from their counterparts at the International Media Centre.

They filed their stories from the media centre set up in the ballroom of the swanky JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach in the Central Business District.

As a result of not being afforded access like their North Korean counterparts, they ended up getting sound bites from..a television.

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According to The Straits Times, these reporters wrote stories which hinted at their admiration for Singapore, perhaps for an audience back home who still thought Singapore is part of China.

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