There is very little that qualifies as better foreign reporting than a story by a Robert Kaplan or a Dan McDougall. It’s not a 2-minute soundbite from a television camera on broadcast news or a ten-thousandth reiteration of an Associated Press story. It’s hardcore investigative journalism that usually comes after months if not years of living in a region, interacting with its denizens, and observing livelihoods.
Unfortunately, in a flailing journalism world, where international bureaus are far from cost effective for major news organizations and foreign correspondents are fast becoming their most dispensable employees, this breed of reporters is dwindling.
The good news – if there was ever one in journalism these days – is that new media is taking up the slack. There is a whole new host of Web sites that are dedicating themselves to reporting major issues from different parts of the world; many of these sites are implementing innovative ways to gather information from around the globe, and are forming robust online communities while they’re at it. Continue reading