Once upon a time, journalists could reasonably say, “we don’t make the news, we only report it.” In 2013, though, journalism is the story. E-commerce pioneer Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, has purchased the Washington Post from longtime owners the Graham family, reminding everyone of the struggle for survival that now overwhelms the newspaper business in the United States.
In newsrooms, in boardrooms, and in living rooms, the question is often put: Is high-quality, professional news reporting on its last legs? At the GlobalPost offices overlooking Boston Harbor, editors and reporters are giving many around the world reason to believe that professional journalism does indeed have a place in a digital, mobile world. The online-only news site has earned a reputation for international news reporting in just a few short years, filling gaps in US news coverage left where the old guard has retreated.
“We built GlobalPost from scratch. We created our entire operation to be highly efficient, to produce high-quality content at the lowest possible cost,” Phil Balboni, president, CEO, and founder of GlobalPost, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “While we spend millions of dollars, it’s a modest amount of cost compared to the scale of what we’re doing, and it gives us a greater opportunity to be financially successful. This is not something that legacy media is able to do.”
GlobalPost correspondents file from far-flung corners with reports on politics, business, culture and conflict. The coverage can range from the Syrian civil war to a celebration of International Cat Day. Late last month, GlobalPost announced a content syndication partnership with NBC News that weds the start-up’s award-winning news and features with the media giant’s own on-air and online coverage. Other GlobalPost news partners include PBS-TV and CBS.
“We are making our correspondents available to them 24/7 to help with their coverage. We’re able to help them be sure that when something happens, there’s somebody that they can trust that’s close by,” Balboni explains. “It gives them a trusted partner whose focus is purely international to augment what they’re able to do themselves.”