Richard Sambrook‘s new Challenge booklet Are Foreign Correspondents Redundant? was launched yesterday at an event at Thomson-Reuters in London.
We had a really excellent discussion with Lindsey Hilsum, John Owen, and Fran Unsworth and many members of the audience–most seemed to agree that, despite the wonders of new media technologies and user generated content, Richard is right to insist on the continuing importance of international news and the relevance of good foreign correspondents, journalists who can fact-check, verify, and bear witness about things far away–a high standard, and of course one that is not always met as imitation and “churnalism” is rampant amongst foreign correspondents as elsewhere in the profession, and one that may be undermined by the economic erosion of many parts of the commercial news media and by old bad habits like everyone covering the same story the same way (3,000 journalists and 33 Chilean miners, anyone?)
Anyway, the book is available for download (after registration) here, and a number of smart people have written thoughtful responses already, like
3. and then an old and provocative post by Solana Larsen, recursively involving the very same Richard Sambrook.