Invest in International News
"If the market for global news is growing, why is the delivery of it shrinking?"
There's money to be made for commercial media in the business of global news.Sure, news audiences appear to be shrinking, the big media companies have spent the years since the Cold War cutting news staffs and foreign bureaus, and American consumers still appear more interested in the latest travails of Britney and Paris than in what's happening in China. But there is mounting evidence of an audience-and not an insignificant one-for international news.It will come as no surprise to anyone that the U.S. news industry is struggling. In response to the rise of the internet and the disappearance of traditional revenue streams, most media outlets have cut expenses by laying off staff and closing international bureaus. Television news networks have reduced the number of foreign bureaus by more than 50 percent over the past two decades. Similarly, the number of foreign correspondents working for U.S. newspapers dropped 25 percent between 2002 and 2006.Even worse, the global coverage that does appear is increasingly restricted to a few high-profile topics. A 2004 study found that only 12 percent of local television news was international, and of that, 81 percent was devoted to the so-called war on terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The paltry remainder-49 minutes out of 48 analyzed hours-was spent on all other international issues.
|If the market for global news is growing, why is the delivery of it shrinking?|