Thursday, May 19, 2016

When No News is Bad News


We need to be grateful that two newspapers in the US still have reporters and correspondents, perhaps stringers, in Nigeria and Ghana.  

You will not find online news sites such as the Huffington Post with reporters there. Television broadcasters may get there eventually, but they will not give us the in-depth reports that newspapers provide.  

For you and me to know about things in Africa, Asia, and South America, there has to be someone there to do the initial reporting.  Everything else is a rehash built on the newspaper reports.

The New York Times staff of reporters, editors, and correspondents has been cut back in recent years, and more reductions are predicted for this year.

The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, claims to still have "a global news staff of more than 2,000 journalists in 85 news bureaus across 51 countries."

It has been owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp since 2007, so we have him to thank for today's first-hand report on the return of Amina Ali Nkeki (see my previous post).

In contrast, The Los Angeles Times, decimated over the years since its 2000 purchase by Chicago's Tribune Media, has no front page photo or story today on the return of the first of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls. 

Why?  It has no reporters there.  All this once-great newspaper could do is print an Associated Press story on page A4.  Its many foreign bureaus and correspondents have been cut to a skeleton.

Online, the LAT offers a rehash of the AP story with the byline "Tribune News Services" and credit to the AP at the very end.  You have to do a search to find the story--it's nowhere on today's home page.  

Or you can scroll to the very bottom of the home page (beneath sports, entertainment, columnists, and everything else) and click on World News, where it is the sixth story down, underneath "Popular This Hour."  Apparently this story not popular--perhaps because it is so hard to find online and in the print edition.

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