The Internet Is Killing Foreign News.
Only if we let it. You won't hear this from most Western news organizations, which today are fighting for their financial survival andclosing foreign bureaus, but we've never had faster access to more world news than we do today. Aggregators like Google News might be disrupting the business models of CNN and the New York Times, forcing substantial cutbacks in one particularly costly form of news-gathering -- foreign correspondents -- but they have also equalized the playing field for thousands of niche and country-specific news sources, helping them to reach global audiences. How many people would be reading AllAfrica.com or the Asia Times Online were it not for Google News?
While we decry the Internet's role in destroying the business model that supported old-school foreign reporting, we should also celebrate the Web's unequivocally positive effects on the quality of research about global affairs done today on the periphery of the news business. The instantaneous fact-checking, ability to continuously follow a story from multiple sources,and extensive newspaper archives that are now freely available were unimaginable even 15 years ago.
The real danger in the changing face of foreign news is the absence of intelligent and respected moderators. The Internet may be a paradise for well-informed news junkies, but it is a confusing news junkyard for the rest of us. Even fairly sophisticated readers might not know the difference between the Global Times, a nationalist Chinese daily produced under the auspices of the Communist Party, and the Epoch Times, another China-related daily published by the Falun Gong dissident group.