Friday, May 26, 2006

Appointing correspondents in foreign countries


It is a unique feature of Indian journalism that even big papers refrain from appointing correspondents in foreign countries. Even keeping stringers or letting some Indian living in foreign country to write for them is rare.
Big newspapers like HT and Times of India remain content with a correspondent each in UK and USA while leaving vast regions and particularly the African continent without a single correspondent. (The Hindu is the exception and has some foreign correspondents).
The volatile middle-east and the countries of Gulf and East Asia with whom we have had historic relations remain no where on the agenda of these papers. It is a great asset to have a correspondent in a country because he gives you perspective of a story rather than agency reports that are same and appear everywhere.
So it was refreshing to read Asian Age the other day when a story appeared from Poland. (Seems AA has appointed a correspondent or find a person to write for it).
The 99% Christian country's reaction on protests in India over Da Vinci Code movie made an interesting read because it was an story of an Indian issue from the perspective of Indians and the clergy and locals of Poland who were surprised by these protests had a wide range of reactions. Unfortunately, the so-called big newspapers seem to think that UK and US together comprise the rest of the world. How myopic indeed!

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