March 15, 2013

This Map Helps Explain the Falklands Dust-Up


The Falkland Islands held a referendum this week to decide whether they wished to remain a part of the United Kingdom (they did, overwhelmingly). Argentina has long claimed ownership of the islands (which are controlled by Britain) and the standoff between the two countries has grown tense of late.

That's due, in part, to the discovery of potentially significant amounts of oil in the waters around the islands. Indeed, the estimated 8.3 billion barrels of oil believed to be off-shore amounts to triple Britain's current reserve.

Argentina and Britain are both signatories to the UN's Convention on the Law of the Sea, which spells out various ownership and legal rights to territorial waters and the natural resource wealth therein. The folks at Political Geography have put together the useful map above which highlights the various claims.

March 6, 2013

This Is the Last Tweet Hugo Chavez Ever Sent


Via Brian Merchant who notes that, among other things, Chavez was the second most followed world leader on Twitter. President Obama is number one.

March 4, 2013

Visualizing the World's Billionaires

Forbes has put together this illuminating infographic showing you just how rich the uber-rich really are.


February 26, 2013

This May Be the First Instagram Image from North Korea


The Associated Press's Jean Lee has taken what is believed to be the first Instagram photo from inside North Korea. The country's telecom operator Koryolink recently allowed foreigners to access mobile data services.

According to Jon Russell, North Korea has recently relaxed some rules regarding foreigners and technology following a visit from Google's Chairmen Eric Schmidt.

(Photo: Jean Lee/Jon Russell)

February 25, 2013

How Israel Survives in a Tough Neighborhood

A new film documenting the careers of six directors of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security force, is making waves (although it didn't win an Oscar). Dubbed the Gatekeepers, it was created by the Israeli filmmaker Dror Moreh and features extensive interviews with six ex-directors of Israel's famed security service. It details some of the service's most sensitive episodes, such as the assassination of a Hamas leader with an exploding cell phone. It also chronicles the men's frustration with Israeli politicians and their sense that the occupation has left Israel strategically adrift.

One thing that's immediately clear from early reviews of the film is that none of the leaders of Shin Bet could ever be a U.S. defense secretary. Here, for instance, is Avraham Shalom, a Shin Bet director who, among other things, captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, discussing Israel:

"We've become cruel. To ourselves as well, but mainly to the occupied population." Our army has become "a brutal occupation force, similar to the Germans in World War II. Similar, not identical."

Shalom was referring to Nazi persecution of non-Jewish minorities but it's still a shocking quote, considering the source. Indeed, Asawin Suebsaeng collects several more examples that would immediately land a U.S. politician in hot water.

Beyond the controversial rhetoric, Moreh is being widely praised for bringing an extremely secretive side of Israel's fight for survival to light. At least in the U.S. In Israel, the film has received a more muted reaction.

February 19, 2013

Can a Facebook Game End the Global Sex Slave Trade?

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof and author Shery WuDunn are attempting to raise awareness of the global trade in sex slaves through an unorthodox method: they've created a Facebook game about it.

Dubbed Half the Sky, the game is backed by an A-list of corporate sponsors and philanthropic interests like the Ford Foundation and Zynga (the creators of Farmville). The more you play, the more charitable donations you unlock.

February 12, 2013

'Fatty Kim the Third' or How China's Web Users Are Reacting to North Korea's Nuclear 'Earthquake'


China has long propped up the North Korean regime as a buffer state between it and U.S. ally South Korea. But China's patience with North Korea is reportedly running thin and this latest nuclear test may be the atom that broke the camel's back, at least if China's web users had their say (which, of course, they don't).

Liz Carter of Tea Leaf Nation took the pulse of Weibo (China's version of Twitter) and found the response decidedly hostile to North Korea. One commentator described China's policy of propping up the Hermit Kingdom as "raising a mad dog to protect your house."

Josh Kim is also surveying China's online reaction, where several commentators have had harsh words for "Fatty Kim the Third." Lian Peng, anewspaper columnist, complained that the "bitterest loser" of North Korea's antics is China. Another, Yao Bo, argued that if "China continues to tolerate this thug nation, we will lose big."

The official Chinese reaction is more restrained, with the Foreign Ministry claiming to be "strongly opposed" to North Korea's nuclear experimentation.

(AP Photo)

January 31, 2013

The 10 Worst Places in the World to Be a Journalist


Reporters Without Borders has released its annual press freedom index and some not-so-surprising names grace the "worst of the worst" column for 2013. Here's the "bottom 10" of the list, starting at the very worst:

1. Eritrea
2. North Korea
3. Turkmenistan
4. Syria
5. Somalia
6. Iran
7. China
8. Vietnam
9. Cuba
10. Sudan

Europe, particularly the Nordic countries, continued to score well with Finland, the Netherlands and Norway rounding out the top three. The U.S. placed 32nd.

The emerging powers of Brazil, Turkey, Russia, China, India and South Africa were "found wanting" and lost ground in this year's ranking. Some well-established democracies also struggled. Italy, Hungry and particularly Greece and Japan were singled out for criticism for laws that restrict journalism.

(Image: Reporters Without Borders)

January 22, 2013

Professor of Population Studies: We Need Less People


Paul Ehrlich, of Population Bomb fame, is out with a new paper arguing again that the world needs fewer people:

“Overall, careful analysis of the prospects does not provide much confidence that technology will save us or that gross domestic product can be disengaged from resource use,” the paper continued. The way to stop this is to “stop treating population growth as a ‘given’ and consider the nutritional, health and social benefits of humanely ending growth well below nine billion and starting a slow decline. This would be a monumental task, considering the momentum of population growth. Monumental, but not impossible if the political will could be generated globally to give full rights, education and opportunities to women, and provide all sexually active human beings with modern contraception and backup abortion.”

You would think Ehrlich is on the hyperbolic edge of this argument, but he's not:

David Attenborough has described humans as a "plague on Earth" that need to slow down breeding to stop the world's population being reduced by more brutal means.

Hyperbole shouldn't distract from the recent -- and largely bad -- climate news that has many analysts looking at the ramifications of resource use and the impact that a rising global middle class is having on the environment. The agricultural demands alone are immense -- agriculture is the leading source of carbon emissions, yet to feed the estimated 9 billion people that are expected inhabit Earth in the 21st century, food production will have to increase by 30 percent or more.

On the flip side, Daniel Bier argues that actually what the world needs is more people:

The reason why our intuition about the “limits to growth” is so wrong is that it fails to comprehend the role of human ingenuity in shaping and harnessing the environment. More people in a global market economy means more minds working to solving problems, more people producing things for each other, and more knowledge and ideas available to everyone.

Growth is only limited by our ability to innovate and solve problems, and that is only limited by our access to innovators and problem solvers.

The quixotic effort to quantify the exact amount of resources on earth and calculate when we will “run out” is doomed to fail because people are constantly inventing new ideas and discovering new uses for things. Nothing is a resource until someone discovers an application for it.

I'm certainly not in the Ehlrich camp on this, but Bier sounds a bit too glib to me. Some resources are finite, and while we shouldn't underestimate human ingenuity, we shouldn't overlook some other human traits (hubris, for instance) that could blind us to coming dangers.

(AP Photo)

December 19, 2012

Foreign Affairs' New Look


The storied Foreign Affairs magazine is getting a makeover. The first issue of the new year will be the first in 90 years to have a photo gracing the cover. Magazine editor Gideon Rose previews the redesign:

There were several reasons for the makeover, among them to distinguish successive issues from one another, to work effectively across multiple digital platforms, and to attract an even larger general-interest readership. Our goal is to build on our strong success in recent years and to introduce fresh audiences to all our wonderful content, and so we spent a lot of time and effort coming up with an incremental redesign that would maximize our aesthetic appeal and accessibility while preserving our readability and gravitas.

Politico also has a nice write-up on the magazine's new look.

RCW named Foreign Affairs as one of its top five world news sites of 2012, and suffice it to say we're excited to see what the magazine has in store for 2013.

(Image credit: Foreign Affairs)

November 20, 2012

'The Economist' Angers France, Taiwan

A few months ago, The National Interest ran an article essentially describing The Economist as the most important newsmagazine in the world. It's certainly hard to disagree with that assessment. (Full disclosure: I have written articles for The Economist.)

The author writes:

Twenty-five years ago, if you had asked a typical senior American corporate type or public official what his or her weekly reading consisted of, the answer would usually have run something like this: "Time, Newsweek and maybe U.S. News & World Report... oh, yes, and the Economist." Today, instead of being an afterthought, the Economist probably would head the list. It might even be the only publication mentioned.

That statement is also probably true globally. How do I know? Obviously, important people in France and Taiwan both read the most recent issue. And, oh boy, are they mad. High-level officials from both countries felt the need to respond. That's quite an impressive feat for a weekly newsmagazine.

What did this British publication do that ruffled so many feathers?

Calling France "the time-bomb at the heart of Europe" apparently didn't go over well in Paris, however true it might actually be. The cover photo, which was of several baguettes bundled like a package of dynamite, was their way of rubbing a little extra salt in the wound. Nobody can torque the French quite like the British can.


The French government responded with a childish ad hominem attack against The Economist. The credit rating agency Moody's responded by downgrading France's debt, which led ForexLive to speculate how exactly The Economist was celebrating. Sacrebleu!

Taiwan is upset with the magazine for referring to its president, Ma Ying-jeou, as a "bumbler." He has an approval rating of 13%, so they can't be that far off. But, this article really touched a nerve in Taiwan. Even the opposition party stated their support for the president.

The Economist should (and probably does) treat these criticisms as a badge of honor. Clearly, the magazine has more influence globally than most nations do. And even if they occasionally make some critics mad, at least they know people are reading.

(Image: The Economist)

October 18, 2012

Dictator Death Tolls: Who Killed the Most?


This grim graphic, via Jesus Diaz, depicts the estimated death tolls for the 20th century's worst dictators. Click on the image for a slightly more legible view.

September 11, 2012

London Tube as a Speaker Circuit Board


Artist Yuri Suzuki built the radio circuit board above to match the layout of the London underground.

(Hat tip: Leslie Katz)

August 8, 2012

The Global Small Arms Trade, Visualized


The world is awash in weapons. This interesting interactive database visualizes the flow of small arms and ammunition around the world. (Hat tip: Smeechi Mittal)

July 23, 2012

Vietnam Ranked Worst Country for Wildlife Crime

According to a new report from the World Wildlife Federation, Vietnam ranks last among Asian nations when it comes to wildlife crime:

The WWF report said Vietnam is "the major destination" for rhino horns trafficked from South Africa, where 448 rhinos were poached last year. Rhino horn can fetch the US street value of cocaine in Asia, where it is crushed and consumed by people who believe - wrongly, doctors say - that it can cure diseases.

It described South Africa as the "epicentre" in an African rhino poaching crisis, despite strong government efforts there that began in 2009 to stop the killings.

A record 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2011, and this year could be even worse with 262 already lost from January to June, according to WWF.

WWF accused the Vietnamese government of doing very little to stop rhino horns from being imported, describing penalties in Vietnam for buying them as not nearly strong enough to act as a deterrent.

It also said Vietnamese diplomats had been arrested or implicated in South Africa for trying to buy rhino horns.

July 17, 2012

Google Goes After Global Criminals

The company whose motto is "don't be evil" is looking to take on international crime:

Google Ideas, Google's think tank, is working with the Council on Foreign Relations and other organizations to look for ways to use technology to disrupt international crime.

Drug cartels, terrorists human traffickers and criminal gangs run their organisations via the web, often using advanced encryption technologies to conceal themselves from law enforcement.

But global anti-crime organisations hope that Google's technologies could be the keys to 'breaking into' these elusive groups.

Officials from Google and groups that combat illicit networks will meet Tuesday and Wednesday in Westlake Village, California, to develop strategies for fighting global crime.

July 10, 2012

Wikipedia Takes on Russian Regime Over Web Censorship

Via the New York Times:

Major Internet sites and human rights advocates sharply criticized a proposed law that would grant the Russian government broad new powers to restrict Web content, ostensibly to protect children from pornography and other harmful material. Critics said the law could quickly lead to repression of speech and a restrictive firewall like the one in China.

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, shut its Russian Web site on Tuesday to protest the proposed measure, and instead posted a large warning on its home page: “Imagine a world without free knowledge.” The notice said the proposed law “can lead to the creation of extrajudicial censorship of the Internet in Russia, including the closure of access to Wikipedia.”

July 5, 2012

WikiLeaks Releases "Syria Files"

Though its founder is buttoned up in the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK, WikiLeaks has poached millions of emails from the Syrian regime. Stories derived from this material will be published in the coming weeks, according to WikiLeaks.

July 2, 2012

Which Government Requests the Most Info from Twitter?


The United States. By a mile. Twitter explains in their first-ever "Transparency Index" that the goal of the report is to "shed more light on" three types of government intervention:

* government requests received for user information,
* government requests received to withhold content, and
* DMCA takedown notices received from copyright holders.

Where Are the World's Most Dangerous Biological Laboratories?


The Federation of American Scientists has usefully located all the labs in the world that conduct research into "dangerous and emerging pathogens." Click the map above for a larger, interactive image (and to see if you need to stock up on duct tape).

April 25, 2012

Who's Spamming Your Inbox? Indians

According to cyber-security firm Sophos, India leads the world in generating spam email. The U.S. comes in second, South Korea third and Indonesia and Russia are tied for fourth. Italy is the leading European spammer in fifth place.

March 29, 2012

Fun Facts About the World

Apparently, two German authors have published a book of things that suck. The title (translated from German) is Atlas of Stuff that Sucks. Sounds like a great beach read. But according to Claudia Ehrenstein, the authors also catalog interesting facts as well as sucky ones:

In a single year, so much cotton is produced that 15 T-shirts for every inhabitant of planet Earth could be made from it.

If the Internet continues to grow at the present rate, by 2030 it will use up as much electricity as the whole world’s population does today.

7% of the world’s population is linked on Facebook.

There are presently up to 800 million weapons in the world.

The mining of a single gram of gold for a wedding ring produces up to 750 tons of residue.

February 23, 2012

Hand Gestures

Some of them just aren't safe abroad.

January 24, 2012

New Foreign Policy Blogs

We're firm believers that you can never have too much foreign policy and national security commentary, so it's nice to see some new blogs pop up that are worth your time. First, there's Renewing America, a new blog from the Council on Foreign Relations on the U.S. in the global economy. Then there's Democracy Lab, from Foreign Policy, which is focused on tracking democratic transitions across the world. Last, but certainly not least, is Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, a new blog by renowned scholar Francis Fukuyama hosted on the American Interest's website. Check them out and if there are blogs we should be reading, let us know in comments.

January 3, 2012

A Tale of Two Internets

In Belarus, it is now illegal to visit any "foreign" website, while in Malaysia, it is now mandatory for an eatery in Kuala Lumpur to offer Wi-Fi access.

December 28, 2011

Social Networking: A Global Addiction


A new study from ComScore breaks down hours spent on social networking. As you can see, the U.S. is far from a global leader here. (And that's probably not a bad thing...)

December 15, 2011

The Word in 2011 (According to Google)

I could do without the music, but the video's pretty good.

December 13, 2011

A Street View of Japan Tsunami Damage


Via Google:

Back in July, we announced our initiative to digitally archive the areas of Northeastern Japan affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Today, we’re making good on that promise—after driving more than 44,000 kilometers through the affected regions, 360-degree panoramic imagery of those areas is now available through the Street View feature in Google Maps. The images can also be viewed via a special website called “Build the Memory,” where you can easily compare before and after shots of the towns changed by these events.

A virtual tour via Street View profoundly illustrates how much these natural disasters have transformed these communities. If you start inland and venture out toward the coast, you’ll see the idyllic countryside change dramatically, becoming cluttered with mountains of rubble and debris as you get closer to the ocean. In the cities, buildings that once stood proud are now empty spaces.

You can start this grim tour here.

November 8, 2011

YouTube - a Global Hub

Via Daily Dot:

YouTube, the six-year-old video-sharing site based in California, has an undeniably large International footprint. But just how much traffic visiting the site comes from outside the United States?

“70 percent of [all] traffic comes from outside the U.S.,” a YouTube spokesman told the Daily Dot via e-mail.

And 60 percent of users access the site in a language other than English, a YouTube spokesperson told Gigaom last week.

September 8, 2011

More from RealClear

We interrupt our global affairs blogging for a bit of home news. There are a few new members in the RealClear family as of this week: RealClearTechnology, RealClearBooks and RealClearHistory.

Please give them a look!

July 11, 2011

Arabic - The Language of Facebook?

A new study looks at the use of Facebook in the Middle East:

Since it was launched in 2009, use of the Arabic Facebook interface has skyrocketed to reach some 10 million users today. At the moment, they represent about a third of all Facebook users in the Arab world, but it’s expected that within a year Arabic will overtake English to become the most popular Facebook language in the region.

Spot On Public Relations, a Middle Eastern publicity agency specializing in on-line social media, found that two times as many people log on to Facebook in the Middle East and North Africa than purchase a daily newspaper.

“What’s fascinating for us is not Facebook’s overall growth in the Middle East but its growth in Arabic,” Alexander McNabb, director of Spot On PR told The Media Line.

According to their study, Arabic Facebook has grown about 175% a year, double the overall rate of the mushrooming use of Facebook worldwide. In some countries, like Algeria, it grew a whopping 423% annually.

“Until recently, many marketers pretty much took for granted that the region’s Facebook users were English-speaking Arabs or expatriates, using Facebook in English and representing a fairly elite group of on-line consumers. It has become apparent that this is now far from being true,” the study found. “We can expect Arabic to become the most popular Facebook langue in the region within a year.”

The Arabic platform’s 10 million users make up about 35% of the region’s Facebook subscribers, up from 24% in May 2010.

“The new phenomenon we are seeing is the growth in Arabic language usage, which in some parts of the region is truly phenomenal,” McNabb said.

According to their figures, 56% of Facebook users in Egypt (3.8 million) opt for the Arabic language version. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, 41% use Arabic and in Saudi Arabia it’s 61%. By contrast, Morocco has 17% recorded Arabic users and at the bottom of the list is the United Arab Emirates, with its big expatriate population, with just 10%.

July 8, 2011

Social Networking in Europe


The Economist measures social networking activity in Europe.

March 28, 2011

Map of the Year: World of Rivers


Via Flowing Data, the above map from National Geographic of every river system in the world won the annual Malofiej award for top graphics in journalism. Click the photo for a larger view. Pretty neat.

February 8, 2011

Tracking Global Obesity

I thought the word from Conventional Wisdom HQ was that a food-crisis was in the making. But according to the chart above from the Economist, we're also enjoying a bull market in obesity. There's some good news in that, as it means prosperity, like waistlines, is expanding.

January 17, 2011

The World of Peacekeepers


The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recently published a map showing the global deployment of multilateral peace-keeping operations. You can download a larger image here.

January 14, 2011

The U.S. as the World

Here's a fun interactive map from the Economist that recasts U.S. states as other countries by dint of their GDP or population size.

December 16, 2010

The World of Facebook Connections


This map, created by Facebook, shows the connections people have made around the world. It is useful for charting who is connected and, just as important, who isn't (at least via Facebook, there is still a world outside of Facebook, or so I've been told).

A recent Pew survey looked at the world's appetite for social networking:

Among the 22 publics surveyed, Americans most often say they use websites like Facebook and MySpace: 46% use such sites, 36% use the internet, but do not access these sites, and 18% say they never go online.

The survey finds three countries close behind the United States in social network usage: in Poland (43%), Britain (43%) and South Korea (40%), at least four-in-ten adults say they use such sites. And at least a third engage in social networking in France (36%), Spain (34%), Russia (33%) and Brazil (33%).1

Germans and the Japanese stand out among highly connected publics for their comparatively low levels of participation in social networking. While 31% of Germans use these types of sites, 49% go online at least occasionally but choose not to use them. In Japan, 24% are engaged in social networking, while 44% have internet access but are not engaged.

[Hat tip: William Easterly]

December 10, 2010

Google Zeitgeist

Google has released an overview of "how the world searched" the Internet in 2010. They have a very neat interactive tool here that lets you monitor global search volumes by major world events, like the Haitian earthquake or World Cup. Check it out.

October 8, 2010

A Multimedia Look at Pakistan's Crisis

The Council on Foreign Relations has put together a nice multimedia presentation Pakistan. Click the image for the full show:

Crisis Guide: Pakistan

May 30, 2010

Odds and Ends


In an effort to resolve my anemic presence on this blog as of late, I decided a daily - or quasi-daily - tab dump or roundup might be a good idea. Get excited!

- If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out FP's gallery of Afghan retro photos. (This one is my personal favorite.)

- Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy discusses how the Taliban converts children into suicide bombers.

- CSM looks at the role Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will play in today's Colombian presidential poll.

- Georgians head to the polls today in local elections that may serve as a referendum on President Mikheil Saakashvili.

- Washington Post, in case you missed it, released this handy PDF last week summarizing key provisions in the proposed sanctions resolution against Iran.

- They apparently like their coffee in the Nordic countries.

- Did you read Greg's review of Ian Bremmer's latest book? Please do!

- In keeping with the holiday weekend, which continent do you think is the most Pro-American (aside, you know, from North America)?

For our American readers who are either stateside or abroad, we wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Have fun, eat a lot of BBQ and give a couple bucks to the USO or the Wounded Warrior Project, if you can.

Now get off the internet and go get some sun!

(AP Photo)

May 21, 2010

(Not So) Deep Thought

As the anniversary of Iran's June 12 unrest rapidly approaches, I had a (not so) deep thought about this year's headlines as compared to last.

The top foreign policy story of 2009, I'd assume rather indisputably, was Iran. But barring some sort of cataclysmic event (knock on virtual-wood), the world news story of 2010 will likely be Greece and the greater Euro debt crisis.

So I ask: Which do you believe to be the more significant of the two? I think one's answer may reveal a lot about how they consider and approach foreign policy. (and yes, my answer is the Eurozone crisis.)

Please add your thoughts in the comments section and call me Neville Chamberlain.

May 13, 2010

The Global Rich List

London-based firm Poke has created a site that ranks income status around the world, using World Bank data and a global population estimate of six billion people. You can see how you rank among the world's earners here.

November 25, 2009

Curtain Call for "Abu Muquwama"

I have long felt that it is vanity for blogs and newspapers to treat news about the relay of news in the same way it does actual news. That said, there is something to be learned by watching the occasional trends in reporting. In a move that is getting a great deal of discussion in the military blogging community, Andrew Exum, aka Abu Muquwama, announced on Monday that he intends to discontinue regular blogging.

Abu Muquwama is a rarity in the military community, in that he is a self-proclaimed center-left figure who the military establishment takes seriously; he understands the tactical and operational levels of war; he is comfortable with the use of force. In my mind, he reflected the Truman branch of liberalism. While Abu Muquwama will continue on as an active blog, Andrew Exum will post less frequently, and the blog will serve primarily as an outlet for Londonstani, a correspondent in the Af/Pak region.

This reminds me of the transition that CNN experienced after the first Gulf War. While CNN had been around for years, it was only in the First Gulf War that it really came into its own. The hourly riveting and relatively sterile images made for extremely high ratings and propelled people like Wolf Blitzer into the national spotlight. However, after the war, a 24 hour news cycle was difficult to maintain, and CNN suffered. (Faced with a similar dilemma after the invasion of Iraq, the news channels increased their commentary to fill the gap.)

Similarly, Andrew Exum, like many bloggers, had plenty of fodder with two wars ongoing, and lots of news flowing out of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Quick evaluations based on experience could influence the course of debate, and that is exactly the role Abu Muquwama and others played. Now, a lot less information is reported in the news. Iraq has fallen off the radar almost completely, and most of the news about Afghanistan seems to be about the Obama administration's grappling with the war's complexities instead of actual events inside the country. As such, there is much less to comment or report on, unless you are on the ground like Londonstani, or Michael Yon. Unfortunately, the decline in readily available information means that the Western public is forming opinions on even less information than before, and in my opinion, that bodes ill for informed decision making on the part of democratic states.

November 23, 2009

The Decline of Maritime Empires

This is a neat video showing the decline of four maritime empires over time:

Visualizing empires decline from Pedro M Cruz on Vimeo.

If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy this one as well.

[Hat tip: Jesse Walker]

September 28, 2009

Congrats to GlobalPost

Exciting news for our friends at GlobalPost:

CBS News plans to announce Monday that it has formed a partnership with GlobalPost, a foreign news Web site, that will provide CBS with reporting from its approximately 70 affiliated correspondents in 50 countries.

As many print and broadcast news outlets are struggling to find ways to cover foreign news, the alliance may suggest a blueprint.


“Having a broadcast network partner was a high priority for us, and to be associated with CBS News is a great validation of what we are trying to build,” Mr. Balboni said in a phone call. “We hope to become an important source of international news for Americans, and this partnership is a big step in that direction.”

In the early going, at least, GlobalPost reporters will provide information, not work on the air, with CBS using its reporters and anchors to flesh out coverage for broadcast.

CBS News suggested that the alliance with GlobalPost, in which the network will pay a monthly undisclosed fee to the site, represents an expansion of the news divisions’ efforts to cover the rest of the world.

Congratulations to GlobalPost. They do a lot of great work, and being essentially a loose network of freelancers, this deal should enable them to keep producing great content -- and more of it.

For a taste of the quality work they do, please check out this piece by Nadja Drost on the Latin American arms buildup, and also be sure to hit up the GlobalPost website.

(h/t Joel)