Foreign news morphs

Sorry to step away from posting for a bit. Busy time of year.

This story in the NYTimes this morning piqued my interest. Foreign bureaus have been closing for a long time. But this piece notes happily how the digital revolution is evolving new means by which to access journalism about other countries in English.

The sites they’re talking about aggregate and translate into English the top stories of the world.  It sounds like a promising way to rationalize that part of the market that costs western media companies so much per word to provide to North American audiences.

But part of me worries about the impact of fewer voices and perspectives on anything.

Even from my Canadian perch, I know that it is sometimes better to read what The Guardian has to say about something happening in the United States than the NYTimes, is all.  Take any Wikileaks story, or the latest from Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t care how objective you think you want to be about your own country. You can’t get the red white and blue out of the blood.

Foreign correspondents bring real value to the global conversation. Sadly, it is the sort of value that doesn’t get picked up by the technical rationalism of bottom-line thinking.

Anyway, it would be a switch to add Worldcrunch or Presseurop to my morning surf — a survey that includes the Times but skips my local paper most days as it is.  But they  both look interesting.

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