Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Your career aspiration is now out of service...goodbye.

At the risk of sounding glamour-greedy, I have been aspiring toward international/foreign network correspondence since I can remember. Christiane Amanpour's work inspired me to pursue a career in journalism, partly because I admired her creative ability to report stories and maintain poise and porfessionalism in any environment. Like Amanpour, I wanted to be based in London, preferably CNN or BBC, and travel all over the world finding the breaking news and delving into the worldy meaning and significance behind them. While my dream to become a foreign correspondent has subsided a bit, I was a bit unnerved when I read on that foreign correspondence is essentially disappearing. Where are they going? According to Fons Tuinstra, who wrote a blog titled, "Foreign Correspondents Abandon Ship," the foreign correspondence job title is becoming obsolete. Tuinstra wrote that citizen journalists have displaced, and continue to displace, foreign correspondent positions - partly because viewers are demanding more local news and news that is relevant to their lives. This means to me that my career aspiration is gradually, or not so gradually, signing off the journalistic scene.
The blog outlined the disappearing act of foreign correspondents and listed some organizations that are trying to combat it. One Dutch publication, called De Volkskrant, placed an ad on their Web site calling for foreign correspondents. Tuinstra calls the media out on this contradiction. He said he was confused because his foreign correspondent peers were "on their way out" and then all of a sudden there is an ad in favor of hiring them. His only conclusion is that an upcoming FCC meeting regarding the foreign correspondent position "changing with the times."

"Tomorrow the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club (SFCC), which has been virtually dead for a year, holds its annual meeting in a desperate attempt to survive the changing times. Today, Maria Trombly -- very briefly -- grieves her departure from foreign correspondence."

I will be grieving as well - aren't foreign correspondents widely respected for their work? I have not encountered anyone who says Christiane Amanpour is a "bad" journalist.

My dilemma arises in figuring out whether I should continue to pursue this position or not. Personally, I am drawn to being a foreign correspondent because I think the global and worldly stories should appeal to everyone in the world. Also, as opposed to local news, you have an entire globe as a medium. In my career, I need to travel and find in depth stories to pursue. But unless foreign correspondent positions resurface, I guess it's time to re-think these aspirations of mine.


At Wednesday, May 16, 2007, Blogger ji said...

I am sure that if you are passionate about becoming a foreign correspondent you can do so. Just follow your dreams and make the job come back to life. Remember you are a trained journalist with a degree, use that to your advantage over the citizen journalists. Just make a name for yourself as a credible female out there and the position will be all yours.

At Sunday, May 20, 2007, Blogger MK said...

Web-based foreign correspondents may be the next en vogue thing. This will take the guts to be a bit of a self-starter, but if you attract an audience on the Web with great reporting, you will certainly have a job - either as an independent or some agency will take notice and hire you. There will always be a place for great news from abroad and citizen journalists won't be able to do it effectively. The trick is finding the outlet still dedicated to journalists. But if you feel the pull to do something, there is enough space on the Web to do what you like. If it's good enough, people will consume it.

At Sunday, May 20, 2007, Blogger MW said...

I think it's still very possible, it's just being redefined...maybe it'll be more freelance based?


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