The world is a big place and there are many fascinating stories to keep track of. World news, also called international or foreign news, covers global events such as wars, terrorism and natural disasters. It also includes major political happenings, such as elections and treaty negotiations. World news is often sourced from local newspapers, radio and television broadcasts and news agencies. A specialized type of journalist who reports on foreign events is a foreign correspondent, or “correspondent.”
Correspondents generally have no permanent contract with a particular newspaper, magazine or radio or TV station. Instead, they work for a news agency that supplies the bulk of its articles to a variety of publications. A news agency usually prepares hard news and feature stories that can be used with little or no modification by different news outlets. News agencies often sell their stories to governments, corporations, organizations and intelligence agencies as well as individual readers. In the era of digital technology, many news agencies now prepare and distribute their stories online as well as through traditional channels such as print and radio or television. In the past, they delivered their reports through telecommunication technologies like telephone and telegraph. News agencies are also sometimes referred to as wire services. UNESCO’s World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development series offers a macro-level perspective on the state of global media in terms of freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists.