Devil You Know

To the Editor:

I disagree with some of John Maxwell Hamilton and Eric Jenner's analysis ("The New Foreign Correspondence," September/October 2003). Although Web sites have opened up new channels of communication and information, most large audiences continue to rely on established news organizations -- such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Time magazine -- to shape the news they receive. Furthermore, readers will always be more comfortable with news from their own country. Speaking as a three-year news veteran in London, I have noticed there is a cultural gap, for example, between British- and American-style journalism. Readers of The Sun do not necessarily want the style of reporting found in USA Today.

On a more specific point, Bloomberg is not a new form of news dissemination but a modest expansion of the traditional wire service. And it does not sell news "directly to the public." Rather, its customers are large financial institutions, which have needs that are very different from those of the average citizen. Some news is indeed given free to newspapers, but this is a form of marketing and is typical for any wire service.

ANDREW COLLIER

Beijing Correspondent, South China Morning Post

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