Foreign Correspondents

In an excellent essay in the Washington post, “Demise of the Foreign Correspondent,” Pamela Constable writes about the “false economy” of newspapers and television news operations cutting out foreign bureaus.

In a speech at Columbia University last week, veteran TV news anchor Walter Cronkite warned that pressure by media companies to generate increasing profits is threatening our nation’s values and freedom by leaving people less informed.

Hrrm. That sounds familiar.

There’s a lot of talk about how bloggers can fill that gap. And I agree. But not given the way most currently work. In order for bloggers to become an effective network of news gatherers (as opposed to a latent one), two things have to happen.

First, they need to be paid. People work better for pay and they take the job seriously.

Second, they need to get off their asses. There’s a great deal to be said for multi-lingual bloggers who provide a digest of what their national or linguistic blogosphere is saying and for those who do the same for local press. But in the end, if you don’t get out and see what’s going on (and some do, of course), you are ultimately of limited value.

Cross-posted to Foam Finger Media.

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