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Foreign News: Who Needs It?

by David Gura
Mar 26, 2009

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David Gura

On his blog, Letter from China, Evan Osnos, once a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, now a staff writer for The New Yorker, draws attention to new, sad news from 435 N. Michigan Ave.: The Tribune has cut its foreign desk. From now on, the newspaper will rely on the Los Angeles Times for news from abroad. As Osnos points out, the move didn't get much of a mention in the Tribune itself.

Osnos, in this interesting paragraph, says he saw it coming:

The truth is that the merging of the foreign staffs was already inevitable long ago. I remember visiting Chicago, on a break from Iraq a few years ago, and being invited to observe a focus group in which a dozen readers were asked for their opinions of the Tribune's foreign reporting. They had about as much to say as they might have on the mating habits of the red-footed booby. That's not a criticism, because it's not unique to them.

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