Both of Chicago’s major newspapers once had prolific international bureaus. Now, most international news comes from wire services or parent companies. Instead of local editors deciding the direction of reporting, these umbrella organizations direct reporters and freelancers to produce content that trickles down to local media outlets.
Hundreds of pieces of journalism are written or taped a day this way, so there’s no lack of content. But the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of consumption of international news. A 2012 report says that only 44 percent of Americans follow international news.
International reporters have worked to make international news relevant to local audiences. How American taxpayer money is being spent in Pakistan or how Brazil handles racism are things that need context.
To discuss the need for providing context in international journalism, we’re joined by Gregory Warner, the host of NPR’s Rough Translation podcast, and Stephen Franklin, a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.