Through their eyes: The work of foreign correspondents in the United States

Lars Willnat, David Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study, based on a mail survey conducted in early 2000, investigates the professional norms and values, personal backgrounds, daily routines and work-related problems of foreign correspondents working in the United States. The analysis assumes that the correspondents' professional values are related to what is reported about the United States around the world - and that this news coverage matters in terms of world public opinion and policies. The study identifies how foreign correspondents perceive their professional values and provides an in-depth analysis of where foreign journalists come from, how they think about their work and how they perceive their professional roles. Professional values analyzed in this study include perceptions of the importance of different journalistic roles, opinions on the importance of different aspects of the job and journalists' images of their readers, viewers and listeners. Professional norms include opinions about which questionable reporting methods might be justifiable. The main objective is to provide a detailed analysis of who foreign correspondents are, how they cope with their daily work, what specific problems they face in obtaining information from official and private sources and how they manage to adjust their professional work to American culture and customs. Some findings of this study are compared to similar studies of US journalists to provide a comparative context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-422
Number of pages20
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Foreign correspondent
  • Foreign news
  • Job satisfaction
  • Journalism ethics
  • Journalist
  • Media audiences
  • News media
  • Professional roles
  • Professional values
  • Reporting methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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