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Snowy, icy Boston is a long way from the tropical rains of Zimbabwe.
Or at least it used to be. The internet has brought all corners of the globe next door to each other.
Before writing this column I spoke and exchanged e-mails with friends in Zimbabwe. I then interviewed an expert in Johannesburg before speaking with a health activist in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For journalists, the whole world is our beat. There is no substitution for being a keen reporter on the ground, however, and that is what we at GlobalPost are all about. We have great journalists all around the world doing good, old-fashioned reporting. And we are using the latest technological advances to bring those reports from our far-flung correspondents onto our site.
In the old days an international news service of this scope would take a huge team and a cumbersome and expensive communications system. No longer. Our e-mails stream back and forth carrying stories, photos and videos. Here in Boston, we edit, check facts and go over the dispatches with a fine tooth comb and put them up on the GlobalPost site with a speed that is surprising even us.
It is exciting to be receiving stories that represent the diversity and complexity of the African continent.
For our launch we have a stunning audio slideshow from Congo by Reuters’ award-winning photographer Finbarr O’Reilly. From Dakar, Senegal, he has written an excellent essay about working as a photographer in Africa that features two of his most arresting photos. Take a look. Or you can have a live chat with him on Jan.14.
GlobalPost highlights fascinating developments in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. We also have dispatches from Zimbabwe. And from here in Boston we have reported a story about Zimbabwe by interviewing health experts who have recently returned from that troubled country where I worked for 23 years.
That’s what I mean by all parts of the world coming closer together.
It is exhilarating. We have many more dispatches and multi-media stories in the works that will bring the best story-telling in the world right to your screen.