Publications

Are Foreign Correspondents Redundant?

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The changing face of international news

International news reporting is undergoing a profound transformation. Western newspapers and broadcasters have steadily cut back on foreign correspondents and reporting over the last 20 years in the face of economic pressures. Now technology and cultural changes brought by globalisation are bringing additional pressures to news organisations and the internet has also allowed new voices to be heard. News organisations are having to adapt and redefine themselves in the face of turbulent changes to how we learn about the world. Richard Sambrook has been closely involved in reporting international news for 30 years. Here he analyses the changes underway and points towards fresh ways of reporting the world.

This is a fascinating look at a rapidly changing area. The foreign correspondent of old is being replaced by a new breed, a new ethos and a new technology – all combining to change the way we see the world and the world sees us.

David Schlesinger, Editor-in-Chief, Reuters

A comprehensive look at foreign reporting, why it matters and how it’s changing by one of the wisest heads in the business.

Alan Rusbridger, Editor, the Guardian

No one is in a better position than Richard Sambrook to help the news industry navigate between the ‘I was there’ of the foreign correspondent and the supposed “I don’t care” of the digital generation. A clear view on a problem with no easy answers.

David Weinberger, Senior Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society

The testimony of the independent, well-informed eyewitness is more vital than ever in our interconnected world. In this searching study, Richard Sambrook shows us how this can still be achieved when the technology and business of journalism is being transformed out of all recognition.

Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Author of Facts are Subversive and Professor of  European Studies, Oxford



Richard Sambrook spent 30 years as a journalist and manager in the BBC editing many major programmes and covering events from China to the Middle East, Europe, Russia and the United States. He was Director of the BBC’s Global News Division overseeing services for audiences of 240 million people each week. He is now Chief Content Officer for Edelman PR helping other organisations to tell their own stories.