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ARTICLE: News startups and freelancers providing global journalism

Picture: black and white world, by Hans Splinter, license CC BY-ND 2.0

As many legacy news organizations have closed down their foreign reporting bureaus, freelancer correspondents are taking their places in a new kind of global journalism. The article by Lea Hellmueller of the University of Houston, Sadia Ehsan Cheema of Texas Tech University and Xu Zhang of the University of Tennessee studies recent global news startups and their networks with freelancers.

The authors conducted 10 interviews with founders and editors of news startups, such as Storyful, ARA Network and Worldcrunch. They also conducted a content analysis on 226 stories. The results show that the startups have a global outlook, although their clients are almost exclusively in Western countries. There is a dominance of geopolitics and terrorism as news topics.

The startups differ in business strategies and on whether the organizations should also edit the stories they provide. They do agree on an ideology to transcend national frames and to aim for global audiences. Though, the ideology of a global frame may still be just a goal instead of reality, the study suggests.

The article “The Networks of Global Journalism” was recently published in Journalism Studies and is available online (free abstract).

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