What is World News?

World News

World News is the general name for news that is about a place or subject that spans several nations, or – as in the case of world wars or the summits of multilateral organizations – is of interest to people from many countries. It is distinct from “national” news, which refers to events that directly affect the citizens of a specific nation, such as local elections, a war between the country’s military and an invading enemy force, or summits of a multinational organization that are hosted by one of its members.

Until the 19th century, when the modern concept of nation-states was still developing, the news industry had to rely mostly on foreign sources for its stories. As a result, early newspapers often had separate sections for world and national news. With the development of telegraph technology and innovations in printing, it became easier to distribute news from abroad. Consequently, in the latter part of the 19th century, some of the first news agencies were founded, such as AFP (France), Reuters (UK), Wolff (currently DPA, Germany) and AP (US). The term “world” in this context is meant to encompass a variety of international subjects, including political developments, natural disasters, war, and sports events.

A journalist who specializes in reporting about the world is a foreign correspondent, also known as an international reporter or a foreign affairs reporter. A full-time correspondent is stationed in a city or region, sometimes an entire continent, and regularly files stories to the newspaper office in which he or she works. The correspondent often gathers materials for his or her stories through interviews with local officials, members of the community, or other persons, as well as through direct observation of events.

In some cases, a freelance journalist is sent to a foreign country to cover a particular event or series of events for a major newspaper. Such journalists, often referred to as stringers, are called on when a major story breaks or when the paper has no permanent staff in the field. These writers often have a much more limited budget than their permanent counterparts, and therefore are unable to afford as many expenses in covering the story. For this reason, they are usually paid a flat fee for their work. Occasionally, a freelance writer may be paid on a per-story basis. The amount of money for a single article varies from publication to publication, and the rate depends on the prestige and reputation of the publisher.