Redefining foreign correspondence

At 19:00 GMT on Tuesday the 1st November, Index on Censorship and the London Press Club presented a debate on the changing role of the foreign correspondent in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

This English-language discussion took place at The Frontline Club in London and a full recording of the evening can be found further down this page. 

Topic / Speakers / RecordingLocation / Organisations

Journalist documenting events at the Independence square. Clashes in Ukraine, Kyiv. Events of February 18, 2014.

About the debate:

Over the past twenty years, budget cuts across the foreign news industry have seen the near-demise of Western foreign correspondents posted abroad. In their place, local-national stringers have become increasingly important providers of foreign news stories.

As the nature of conflicts has been changing and reporting from high-risk zones has become more dangerous, the traditional model of the foreign correspondent has been undergoing a transformation. The majority of foreign news is now no longer gathered by traditional foreign correspondents posted abroad, but by local nationals, who have grown up in the countries they report on.

Is, therefore, the foreign correspondent an endangered species in the news industry and which models of foreign reporting are emerging alongside new information-gathering technologies? Index on Censorship and the London Press Club welcomed an expert panel to discuss trends in the industry and the future role of the foreign correspondent.

Full recording:

(please note that the initial distortion disappears as of 1.13)


Haider Al Safi is a London-based Iraqi journalist, covering Middle Eastern politics. He started working as a journalist in 2003 during the American invasion of Iraq and is now the executive producer of HARDtalk Arabic.

Caroline Lees is a researcher at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the editor of a Europe-wide network of journalism research platforms, entitled the European Journalism Observatory. A former foreign correspondent, she has reported extensively from Southern Asia and Africa.

Kim Sengupta is The Independent’s defence and diplomatic correspondent and has reported from a number of countries, including Iraq.

Samira Shackle is a British journalist, writing mainly on politics, terrorism and gender, with a particular focus on the Indian subcontinent. Currently, Samira works as the assistant editor of the New Humanist magazine, but has reported for a number of outlets and previously spent a year reporting from Pakistan.


Rachael Jolley is the editor of the Index on Censorship magazine.



Index on Censorship magazine:

The Index on Censorship magazine is the print form personification of the fight for freedom of expression. And, Index‘s latest issue, released at the end of October, turns its sights on the matter of anonymity and our rights to such. Looking at reporters working in dangerous environments, this issue identifies the importance of a degree of anonymity for bloggers in Bangladesh, the impact of the “War on Terror” on surveillance requirements and, via an interview with ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, even the need to mask one’s identity as a secret agent. Outwith the themed report, there is also space for poetry from Alejandro Jodorowsky and reviews of new fiction from Turkey and Egypt.

For more information about the autumn edition, visit Index by clicking here 

The Frontline Club:

The Frontline Club is a London media club, based in Paddington. Besides its relaxed member facilities, the club also provides regular workshops and hosts events on a number of diverse and media-related issues.

To find out more about The Frontline Club, click here to be taken straight to its website 

The London Press Club:

The London Press Club is a venerable London journalists club, which can trace its origins back to 1882. The club provides opportunities for journalists and others interested in media to meet, learn about and debate new developments as well as to explore the trade’s collective past as a medium for communication. Its events range from the purely social to discussions on matters of importance, touching not only on journalism, but also on the general furtherance and protection of free speech throughout the world.

To learn more about the London Press Club, visit its website by clicking here 

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The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ