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Kai Ryssdal: Given the international headlines — both economic and political — it’s hard to argue that foreign news is becoming less important. The thing is, though, that newsrooms are cutting foreign coverage because it’s so expensive. Today CBS announced it has found a work-around.
The Tiffany Network is looking to save some cash by partnering with a Web site called GlobalPost. It provides a worldwide network of reporters, for a fee of course. And perhaps is a way that news organizations can expand their foreign coverage instead of cutting it. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson reports now from New York.
JEREMY HOBSON: GlobalPost launched in January. It gets about 400,000 visitors a month. It also offers its articles to about 25 news organizations. Media blogger Dan Kennedy says it’s no BBC World Service, yet.
DAN KENNEDY: They’ve put together a worldwide network of correspondents, but there are very few people out there for whom GlobalPost is their main job. These are essentially freelancers. Some of them experienced, some of them fairly inexperienced.
But Kennedy says deals like the one with CBS could provide GlobalPost with the funds it needs to beef up its coverage.
Tom Fiedler knows what it’s like to stare at a news budget. He used to be the executive editor of the Miami Herald and is now dean of Boston University’s College of Communication.
TOM FIEDLER: From the standpoint of a news organization that is having to manage its dollars much more closely than ever before, I think this is a huge opportunity for CBS.
A network that once had two dozen foreign bureaus and now has just a few. Feidler calls the GlobalPost model an encouraging one.
FIEDLER: This in some ways brings the benefits of outsourcing, but without some of the problems that sometimes come with that, primarily over quality control.
CBS won’t be taking full reports from GlobalPost at the outset. Instead, it’ll take in information and repackage it for broadcast. But if current trends continue, GlobalPost correspondents might want to find a good hair and makeup team — just in case.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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