FOREIGN REPORTING IN THE 21st CENTURY: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH BUDAPEST- BASED FOREIGN PRESS
What is the future of foreign reporting? Foreign correspondents since the early 20th century have played a key and influential role in bringing the worlds news to domestic audiences. Reporters covering issues abroad must be experts in the regions affairs, filtering complex events for home audiences who often have limited knowledge of the subject. But the established model of international newsgathering,with foreign reporters working at fixed bureaus overseas, has struggled to survive in the 21st century media landscape. Traditional news media, hit hard by the economic recession and struggling to compete in the online environment, are closing foreign bureaus or sharply reducing their international newsgathering operations. Digital technologies and citizen journalism have revolutionized newsgathering and distribution, providing free, unfiltered information to the global public. But what does this mean for the future of foreign reporting? Is there a new, financially feasible business model for foreign reporting in the age of digital journalism? How can traditional reporters compete with citizen journalists who work for free and get to the story first? Can the traditional foreign reporting model adapt to the new media landscape? How will the changes in foreign corresponding impact foreign policy and foreign policy-making?
Markos Kounalakis is President and Publisher Emeritus of the Washington Monthly and a former foreign reporter who covered the end of communism for Newsweek in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, and the outbreak of ethnic strife and war in Yugoslavia. He was based in Rome and Vienna and later ran the magazines Prague satellite bureau for over a year. After Newsweek, he worked as the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent and covered the fall of the Soviet Union as well as the war in Afghanistan. Kounalakis has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The International Herald-Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, and many other regional and international newspapers and magazines.