Americans often forget that, just as they watch the world through U.S. media, they are also being watched. Foreign correspondents based in the United States report news and provide context to events that are often unfamiliar or confusing to their readers back home. Unfortunately, there has been too little thoughtful examination of the foreign press in America and its role in the world media. Through Their Eyes fills this void in the unmistakable voice of Stephen Hess, who has been reporting on reporting for over a quarter century. Globalization is shrinking the planet, making it more important than ever to know what is going on in the world and how those events are being interpreted elsewhere. September 11 was a chilling reminder that how others perceive us does matter, like it or not. Hess seeks to answer three basic yet essential journalistic questions: Who are these U.S.-based foreign correspondents? How do they operate? And perhaps most important, what do they report, and how? Informed by scores of interviews and armed with original survey research, Hess reveals the mindset of foreign correspondents from a broad sample of countries. He examines how reporting from abroad has changed over the past twenty years and addresses the daunting challenges facing these journalists, ranging from home-office politics to national stereotypes. Unique among works on the subject, this book provides an engaging and humanizing “Day in the Life?” section, illustrating how foreign correspondents conduct their daily activities. This book continues the author’s comprehensive Newswork series on the nexus of media, government, and politics. These five books, starting with The Washington Reporters (Brookings, 1981), have become valuable reference materials for all who seek to understand this intersection of journalism and government. Through Their Eyes furthers that rich tradition, making it essential and enjoyable reading.
July 1, 1991