Changes in Foreign News Coverage
In an age of real-time, multimedia, interactive forms of communication, there is a tendency to declare obsolete (or at least dispensable) the diplomat and the foreign correspondent in the field. We will do so at our peril. The myriad forms of instantaneous communication threaten to substitute immediacy for insight, reaction for reflection, sentiment for judgment, hyperbole for reality and deniability for integrity.
-- Peter Krogh ( 1996)
You know, being a foreign correspondent is like being a maitre d'in a fine restaurant. You meet so many distinguished people under such humiliating circumstances.
-- Quoted by Stephen Hess ( 1996)
International news gathered by foreign correspondents -- that far-flung and glamorous specialty of American journalism -- has been undergoing some basic change in recent times. Because of new technologies and financial concerns, less news from abroad is reported and in very different ways today. The correspondents are becoming a different breed of journalist than in the bad (yet, journalistically, good) old days of the Cold War. Today the American public seems a lot less interested in news from abroad, and editors and broadcasters seem inclined to give the public less. Among the print correspondents themselves, as with broadcast journalists, there is a sense of decline. Things were better in earlier times -- when we were young.
Serious journalists have long held that foreign news is important and