Editors from around the country were talking about you last week in Washington. And readers of American newspapers, like yourselves, were the focus of 16 panelists representing organizations, media outlets and the academic arena. These people enlightened media representatives on foreign policy, international happenings and subsequent news coverage or lack thereof.

One question surfaced repeatedly. Do our readers really care about what's happening in Mexico, Indonesia or the Middle East? And what followed was, Should they care? You bet, especially if whatever is happening impacts us or our communities.

That was the message delivered by the experts. The occasion was the 1999 Pew Fellowships Gatekeepers' Conference: U.S. Media and the World. And the purpose of it all was for editors to learn how to better present world news to their readers back home. There were copious tips on how to translate what's happening overseas from complex jargon into understandable news copy.

This newspaper was among 30 or so selected to be represented at the two-day session. The Pew Fellowships in International Journalism, in cooperation with the International Center for Journalists, sponsored the program. You might remember the latter organization. It was the group that brought visiting editors from Third World countries to The Caledonian-Record and other American newspapers in recent years.

Like many of our professional seminars, the one in Washington was intense and jam-packed with useful information.

We're hoping, in future issues, to offer more depth, background and analysis of international news reports. And we hope to do this without sacrificing what you have told us repeatedly you want, and what we consider we do best. - local news.

However, in an era when so many of us have children who serve in the Peace Corps or families who travel or kin stationed abroad in the military, we cannot ignore what may be happening thousands of miles from us in another country or continent. We have constant reminders of expanding international links. The World Wide Web activity only draws us closer to other places and cultures. And the global economy that inevitably affects something we consume or purchase, is yet another reminder of a shrinking world. Our proximity to the Canadian border merely reinforces the need to broaden our horizons.

To this extent, we invite readers to tell us of their interests and what they'd like to read more about on the international scene. Call us, drop us a note or send us an e-mail at editor@hcr.net.

Copyright 1999

The Caledonian-Record



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