Archive for International journalism

Got just a short posting about a friend’s review of the world’s highest bar. (FYI, it’s in Hong Kong.)

The issue of who pays for the food and drink at a restaurant to be reviewed for most Americans is a no-brainer. But that is not necessarily so in the rest of the world. And my friend even has to refer to it in her blog.

Take a look and tell me what you think the ethics are in this situation.

Highest bar and journalism ethics

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Many thanks to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing for pointing out this great CNN story about “newspaper landlords” who rent the want-ads by the minute.

Is this the wave of the future of newspaper readers?

I have argued with journalists and cajoled students into thinking globally with their local stories.

Here is an example of how a Washington correspondent for a  New Jersey paper linked Pres. Obama’s current trip to Brazil with very local issues in New Jersey.

First posted at my Journalism, Journalists and the World site.

Congratulations to Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for the [New Jersey] Record.

He not only understands the idea that there is a connection between international and local events, he knows how to dig into the various databases to get the numbers to back up the link.

Obama’s trip to Brazil key to N.J.

He did what I and a few others have been arguing for a long time. He took information already on hand from the wire services, looked up some data and did some local interviews.

Without spending extra money to send someone overseas, the readers of the Record got a news story that was specific to their local area AND showed how the New Jersey economy depended on global trade.

This is called providing context.

It would be nice to see more LOCAL reporting like this.

Too often most Americans don’t know or care about global events. In part, this is because the U.S. media don’t show enough intelligence to provide the context of why understanding what goes on in Brazil or Japan or Germany means to the local reader/listener/viewer.

Again, congrats to Herb Jackson for being a good journalist who sees connections vital to his readership.

In today’s Folha de S. Paulo there is a story about how Brazil sold Libya the anti-riot trucks and tanks being used against the demonstrators. And that is a good example of reporting about an international event and showing the local connection. It informs the Brazilian people about what deals its government has concluded.

Unfortunately, for the rest of the world will not hear about this. Seems as of noon today Folha did not put that story on its website.

Here is a picture of the story from the paper just to prove it exists:

I am not saying Brazil does not have a right to sell its products to anyone who can pay. All I am saying is that many in the world press went after the USA for selling tear gas to Egypt. Why then, are there no similar reports of Brazilian or French equipment being used in Libya and other despotic places?

UPDATE: It seems the article is now available but only to online subscribers. And you have to search by the actual title of the article. Searches for “Libia” or “Urutu” — Brazilian Portuguese terms for “Libya” and “tank” — came up with goose eggs.

If you want to see the online article, here is the link: Folha de S.Paulo – Brasil vendeu veículos “antimotim” ao país – 21/02/2011.

Just remember you have to register with the paper.

The following item was first  posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World. One of the good things about the Wikileaks cables, I argue, is that it shows how the U.S. Foreign Service promotes and protects U.S. jobs — a very domestic issue.

Unfortunately few in the U.S. — and within the journalism community — understand that connection.

Perhaps a new generation of journalism students will grasp the local connection to international issues and the international side of local issues.

One can only hope.

A lot has been said about the Wikileaks cables and how they have — at a minimum — hurt the ability of U.S. diplomats to do their jobs. (A position I still hold.)

Most of the cables would have been declassified 10 years after they were written so anyone interested would have been able to see everything we are seeing today.

But that is just the problem — that “anyone interested” part. Damn few people in the States seem interested. (Unless they have a political agenda.)

Thanks to Wikileaks more people are now paying attention to what U.S. diplomats do. And how that work affects local situations.

A recent story in the New York Times showed how closely domestic and international affairs are linked. (Diplomats Help Push Sales of Jetliners on the Global Market)

Anyone who pays even the slightest attention to domestic economic affairs should know that the U.S. economy depends on trade. That means imports and exports. That means trade agreements and the ability to sell goods and services overseas.

And just how do you think the agreements that allow for imports and exports happen? Yep, through the work of the foreign services of a number of U.S. government agencies.

The Trade Representative Office works to make sure that our trade partners adhere to the trade treaties the sign with us.

The State Department negotiates the treaties and protects U.S. interests abroad. (Government and business.)

The Foreign Commercial Service (Commerce Department) has offices around the world promoting the sales of U.S. products from fortune cookies (yes, really) to aircraft.

The Agriculture Department has offices in most of the major U.S. embassies promoting U.S. agricultural sales as well as working to ensure the safety of food imported into the United States. (BTW, did you know that Wisconsin ginseng is more popular in China than Korean or Chinese ginseng?)

So why is there so much talk about cutting the foreign affairs’ budgets? I can only think it is out of pure ignorance of what the U.S. foreign service agencies do for the American government, people and businesses.

As I have stated before, foreign affairs does not have a constituency that can speak for it before Congress. The Pentagon hands out contracts to all 435 Congressional districts. And all the other agencies deal with domestic issues that voters can see and understand.

Unfortunately, the U.S. media have not helped the situation. Years of neglect about why events in the rest of the world mean anything to the American people have given us a generation (or more) of globally unaware people and leaders.

The amazing thing about the NYTimes story linked above is that the Times is treating this as news. As the article said, “It is not surprising that the United States helps American companies doing business abroad, given that each sale is worth thousands of jobs and that their foreign competitors do the same.”

Interestingly, the article focused on the sale of Boeing passenger jets. Yet there are also a number of Wikileaks cables that deal with the sale of U.S. military hardware. And this is just as important to keeping U.S. factories working.

Too bad they missed that little tidbit.

The authors find the details to be interesting. And they are. But, again, anyone who paid attention to such things did not need Wikileaks to get this kind of information.

But with media groups cutting budgets and bean counters screaming, “Local! Local! Local!” the resources are just not available to do the stories that explain to readers/viewers/listeners the connection between overseas’ events and their local economy on a regular basis.

So I guess even the harshest critics of Wikileaks should be thankful that finally the media are beginning to do some stories that show the domestic impact of what the foreign services do overseas. (I don’t really expect to see many more like the story mentioned above, but it would be nice.)