Eesti väliskorrespondendid aastatel 1991-2011
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Key words: foreign correspondents, the future of foreign correspondents, adaptation, cultural proximity, foreign news. This study „Estonian Foreign Correspondents 1991-2011“ researched the specificity of foreign correspondents’ work through their eyes and the factors affecting this job. Data was gathered over 8 spoken interviews and 13 written questionnaires. In addition, two interviews with the editorial representatives were done as well. To analyze the data, qualitative text analysis has been used. One of the aims of this study is to enumerate Estonian foreign correspondents after re-independence. The results of this study showed that the main difference between foreign correspondents and journalists covering the world from home is working in strange environments, where they have to adjust fast and get to know the covered area. Adapting has a crucial meaning in how journalists can handle working in different environment. Generally foreign correspondents do not have their sources network before going abroad. It is important to establish it for information gathering. For this, journalists usually use local press, journalists from other countries, official events and press conferences. A good way to gather information is also talking face to face with the local population. Cultural specificities, political regime and bureaucracy play an important role in how to access information. In the job of foreign correspondents it is important to take into account cultural specificities while gathering information and talking with sources. In conflict areas gathering information is very difficult. It is also hard to gather and transmit information in areas where the development of technology has been slower. Estonia plays important role in accessing to information. Often it is harder for a journalist from smaller and unknown media outlet to get an interview. This study also researched how foreign correspondents see the important competences they need in their work. Another fundamental skill is fast adaptation and ability to get important contacts. Journalists named also intensity, which can be different from the intensity of work from their home country mainly as foreign correspondents work for many broadcasts. Secondly it is the big distance which makes it harder to go from one place to another. To book the interview with important source also takes longer. Foreign correspondents work alone, this is why it is important to be very independent. Being long time away from home can cause a situation where journalists cannot distinguish so well which topics could be interesting for Estonian auditorium. This is the reason why it is important to be in regular contact with the home office. The role of media organization is to ensure that journalists are not working too hard abroad and give feedback. Although the contact between foreign correspondents is not as regular as the journalists in home countries, the interviewed foreign correspondents said it is sufficient. Although many critics have discussed about the extinction of foreign correspondence, journalist and editorial representatives interviewed have an opinion that foreign correspondents are very important. They help to enrich the worldview and cover the topics from interesting corners for the home audience. Freelancers and stringers do not ensure regular news feed and also the quality of information could be not as good as professional foreign correspondents.