CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta near the epicenter of earthquake that devastated Japan Mar. 11, 2011.
Propelled by revolution in the Middle East and radiation in Japan, television news coverage of foreign events this year is at the highest level since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 10 years ago, news executives in the United States say.
The foreign press corps is working in exceptionally dangerous conditions in countries like Japan, where members carry radiation monitors on assignment, and in Libya, where crews of journalists have been detained. “We’ve had a year’s worth of international breaking news, and we’re only halfway through March,” said Tony Maddox, the executive vice president and managing director at CNN International, where anchors spoke on Saturday of being “live on five continents.”
The coverage exposes just how much reporting of foreign news has changed in the past decade, through cuts at news outlets and through the contributions of the Internet and other new technologies. Fewer journalists covering foreign news work full time for American broadcast networks than once did, and those who remain have had to hopscotch from one hot spot to another this year, sometimes creating lags in coverage.