Foreign Correspondents

Foreign correspondents have captured the popular imagination for a long time. Movies, novels, and magazines are rife with representations of lone journalists who trek into dangerous territories with the goal of telling some of the world’s most complicated stories. Essential to the drama of these narratives is the idea that foreign correspondents are themselves foreign to the places they are visiting; traditionally, their audiences have been located back at “home,” depending solely on these journalists to help them make sense of the world outside their comfort zones.

The reality is much more complicated, however. First of all, the very word “correspondent” suggests that there is someone else with whom the foreign correspondent is maintaining regular contact. As John Maxwell Hamilton notes in his history of American ...

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