HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Newsonomics: The Financial Times triples its profits and swaps champagne flutes for martini glasses
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 9, 2010, 2 p.m.

An attention deficit: Ethan Zuckerman on the supply and demand of foreign news

[Our sister publication Nieman Reports is out with its latest issue, which focuses on the current state of international reporting. There are lots of interesting articles — check out the whole issue — but we’re highlighting a few that line up with our subject matter here at the Lab. Here’s Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices and friend of the Lab, writing about the demand side of foreign news. —Josh]

As news organizations wrestle with the challenge of discovering profitable reporting models for a digital age, at least three types of public service journalism are endangered species—investigative reporting, in-depth statehouse and city government coverage, and foreign coverage. Expensive to produce, they have been subsidized by more profitable facets of news operations. While online news producers like ProPublica and Voice of San Diego offer promising new models to sustain investigative and local government reporting, less experimentation—though some—is being directed at sustaining high-quality international coverage on digital platforms. If greater attention is not paid to this circumstance, we may soon reach a time when the foreign correspondent is a relic from a past age of journalism.

My colleague Solana Larsen offers a provocative suggestion that the end of the foreign correspondent model might be a good thing. Too often, foreign correspondents parachute into unfamiliar situations and offer a view that’s insufficiently informed by the facts on the ground and is overly influenced by the biases of the audience they’re speaking to. The rise of participatory media and the flowering of independent press around the world gives us alternatives to the foreign correspondent: We can listen to local journalists (professional and citizen) who report on the situation in their countries through local eyes, relying on local knowledge.

I share Larsen’s passion for amplifying independent voices to a global audience. But I am less sanguine than she at the prospect of losing the foreign correspondent.

Keep reading at Nieman Reports »

POSTED     Sept. 9, 2010, 2 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Newsonomics: The Financial Times triples its profits and swaps champagne flutes for martini glasses
The FT is a leader in crossing over from print — digital subscribers now make up 70 percent of its paying audience, a number that keeps growing.
A farewell to #content: Optimism, worries, and a belief in great work
A few thoughts on the state of media (and meta-media) from our departing staff writer.
On convening a community: An excerpt from Jake Batsell’s new book on engaged journalism
“An engaged journalist’s role in the 21st century is not only to inform but to bring readers directly into the conversation.”
What to read next
789
tweets
Snapchat’s new Discover feature could be a significant moment in the evolution of mobile news
By putting mobile-native news adjacent to messages from friends, Snapchat could be helping create part of the low-friction news experience many want and need.
750Snapchat stories: Here’s how 6 news orgs are thinking about the chat app
From live events to behind-the-scenes tours, The Huffington Post, Fusion, Mashable, NPR, Philly.com, and The Verge tell us how they’re approaching Snapchat.
714Here’s how the BBC, disrupted by technology and new habits, is thinking about its future
The British broadcaster released a new report looking at the future of news as it looks toward its royal charter renewal in 2017.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
The Globe and Mail
WyoFile
Plaza Pública
The Fiscal Times
Tribune Publishing
Ann Arbor News
The Atlantic
Chicago Tribune
BBC News
New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Bayosphere
E.W. Scripps