We’re sharing highlights from the Excellence in Journalism national conference. Follow @spjonadepaul on Twitter for more journalism news and tips!
By Carina Smith
“So You Want to be a Foreign Correspondent” took place on the second day of the EIJ conference and featured a panel of four journalists who had a variety of experience across the world reporting on a number of foreign issues.
The panelists were:
- Kim Barker, South Asia bureau chief for The Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009, based in New Delhi and Islamabad. Her book “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan” became the movie “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” with Tina Fey
- Geoffrey Cain, an author, writer and journalist in East Asia
- Jason Strother, a freelance multimedia journalist who’s reported from both sides of the Korean peninsula since moving to Seoul in 2006
- Jim Clancy, media trainer and former CNN correspondent
- Donald Kirk, correspondent and author
The journalists spoke about the trials and tribulations that come with being a foreign correspondent. They openly discussed how hard it can be to maintain relationships and find a steady paycheck, especially in the modern era when so many outlets don’t seem to care about what is going on outside of our own borders. The panelists also spoke openly about times when they had risked their lives while reporting and were treated as enemies by the local governments.
However, the panelists also spoke about why they continue on this career path: because they love it. The journalists said that despite the downsides they continue to report abroad because they think it is important for America to know what is going on in the rest of the world. The panel ended with the speakers telling everyone who is interested in being a foreign correspondent to do it. It may be hard, but the payout is worth it.