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AP Foreign Correspondents in Action
World War II to the Present


  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107519305

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About the Authors
  • Based on extended interviews conducted from the Pakistani countryside to Washington, AP Foreign Correspondents in Action: World War II to the Present reveals for the first time what it takes to get the stories that brought the world home to America. It gives new front-line insights into major events from the Japanese surrender in 1945 to the 2010s Syrian civil war, and it helps to understand news impact on international affairs through evolving journalistic practices. Both successes and failures through eight decades of foreign correspondence from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe show that public discourse has been best served by correspondents who, at great risk, challenged accepted narratives, exposed omnipresent lies, gave a voice to the voiceless, and stymied the frequently violent efforts of those who feared truth-telling eyewitnesses.

    • Providing a unique insider view on the making of foreign news, readers will read how those who chose, gathered and reported foreign news did so
    • With vivid and candid eyewitness narratives as the focus, the book offers readers a new window on the major historical junctures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
    • The book analyses the future of foreign correspondence, which is in crisis
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In war and peace, Americans rely on the Associated Press for much of their news of the world. Through oral history, Giovanna Dell'Orto has gone behind the AP's bylines and datelines to capture its foreign correspondents' personal stories of the often perilous ways in which they got that news.' Donald A. Ritchie, author of Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps

    'Giovanna Dell'Orto has done what the foreign correspondents for the Associated Press take pride in doing. She has gone to the eyewitnesses to hear their tales face to face - gathering dozens of AP correspondents' narratives about what they do, how they do it, and why it matters (perhaps even more today than in the predigital age). In so doing, Dell'Orto has filled a significant gap in media history, which typically has focused on marquee bylines and glamorous assignments. She has unearthed hero stories in the most American of traditions: Unsung, ordinary people who sacrifice safety and comfort to do what needs to be done, often without appropriate recognition or reward. These correspondents are the first on the scene of world news, record the first draft of history, give voice to the voiceless, challenge those in authority, and sometimes make a difference for the better. AP Foreign Correspondents in Action is a must-read for any serious student of the history of American journalism.' Michael S. Sweeney, Ohio University, and editor of Journalism History

    'Having worked side by side with AP correspondents from Beijing to Cairo to Delhi and beyond, I've seen the guts and talent of the men and women who are often the first to 'bear witness' to global events. At a time of new models of international news coverage, this book reminds us of the fundamental importance of having trained journalists at the scene. Plus we get some terrific memories and anecdotes from legendary correspondents about how they did it.' John Schidlovsky, Director, International Reporting Project

    'Giovanna Dell'Orto's study of AP foreign correspondents provides valuable insight into how foreign news is gathered and delivered by one of the world's major agencies. It shows in fascinating detail the complexity and pressures of the correspondent's work, frequently at great personal risk, not least in persuading the audience why a foreign story is important at all. The work is brilliantly illustrated by the correspondents' own words and anecdotes, often thrilling and moving. It shows that, despite social media, there's no substitute for the professional training, networking, dedication and courage of the foreign correspondent. This book makes a powerful case for foreign news reporting as an investment in democracy and global understanding, and an antidote to ignorance and parochialism.' Malcolm Downing, former deputy foreign editor, BBC News

    'Giovanna Dell'Orto's latest book on foreign correspondents gives a vivid, often thrilling, and always knowledgeable insight into the business of foreign correspondence. She shines light on every aspect of the profession, from the strains and risks of war reporting to the routine but tricky business of extracting information from foreign politicians. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what it is that correspondents do - and how our profession is changing.' John Hooper, Southern Europe editor of The Guardian and Observer and Italy correspondent of The Economist

    'One mark of distinction rests on a study's value to the academic literature, and on this score, the author has made a substantial contribution by revealing the complex process of an overlooked population of dedicated journalists. But there is another measure. This groundbreaking work reveals a transformed principal investigator: With this book, Giovanna Dell'Orto emerges as a transformational teacher, servant, and scholar in the field of foreign reporting.' Thomas A. Mascaro, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

    'From the grave to the gratuitous, Associated Press (AP) foreign correspondents have told the story of the world beyond US borders. Giovanna Dell'Orto's study of reporting practices abroad underscores the significance of the AP, which has evolved from its origins in 1846 to today's journalistic giant providing news to roughly half the world's population via two thousand stories per day. Historians will find much to ponder in Dell'Orto's work … The book is a useful reminder to historians of just what it takes to get history's first draft: journalists who believe so strongly in the worth of their labor that they risk their own lives and - occasionally and with regret - those of their sources to get the story that decades later historians may ponder in relative safety. It also functions as a rejoinder to those who would whip up popular enmity against journalists for political gain.' Benjamin Cawthra, H-War

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107519305
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 36 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Getting ready, getting started, and getting lost in translation
    3. What's the story? News judgment, news pitches
    4. Getting to the sources (and keeping them alive)
    5. Being an American abroad – perceptions of journalists
    6. Eyewitness reporting: getting to the scene
    7. The costs of being there to count the bodies
    8. Your byline today, mine tomorrow: teamwork and competition
    9. Access, censorship, and spin: relating with foreign governments
    10. Flacks, spooks, and objective journalists: relating with the US government abroad
    11. Getting it out, getting it edited: filing news and handling editors
    12. The evolving milkmen: writing for an audience
    13. Purpose and influence of foreign correspondence
    14. Eight decades of bearing witness and telling the world's stories: conclusions.

  • Author

    Giovanna Dell'Orto, University of Minnesota
    Giovanna Dell'Orto is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She teaches and researches the interplay between news, journalistic practices, and international affairs, topics she has lectured about to academic and professional audiences from China to Chile. A former newswoman with The Associated Press and fluent in four languages, she is the author of American Journalism and International Relations, also from Cambridge University Press, which analyses foreign correspondence's impact on American foreign policy from 1848 to 2008. She is also the author or editor of three other books on journalism and foreign affairs. Dell'Orto received her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Interview with Giovanna Dell'Orto

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