Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parachute Journalism

Parachute journalism is an often derogatory term used to describe the practice thrusting journalism into an area to report on a story in which the reporter has little knowledge or experience.
As a term, “Parachute journalism” invokes both the exciting image of the scribe coming to the rescue from the sky and the pejorative notion of the unprepared neophyte landing over his head in a big story abroad, but in fact it invokes a broad assortment of practices that share the characteristic of a reporter covering news in a place other than the ones in which he or she has experience. That defines much of journalism, from high-profile coverage of major wars and events of global significance to local reporters who drive from their usual beat to encounter regional events where little reportage normally occurs.
One advantage of this type of journalism is that parachuter is an outsider who can look at the news event from a fresh perspective and notice things or provide an angle to the story that a stringer may have missed. He or she is more likely to be able to pinpoint what a global audience will be interested in.

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