If Mitterrand were from Schenectady

Zuckerman, Laurence
September 1981
Columbia Journalism Review;Sep/Oct1981, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p5
This article deals with the use of satellites by U.S. television stations to cover international events in 1981. The shooting of Pope John Paul II on May 13 was one of the overseas events that attract television journalists. More and more stations are dispatching reporters to far-off lands to cover breaking news. Some stations have the past done an occasional feature abroad, but budget constraints and cumbersome technology have traditionally made news directors content to leave international stories to the better-equipped networks. Thus, the increased availability of satellite time and the growth of news budgets, stations have been boosting their international coverage. Still, because of substantial costs, many stations try to make the most of their international jaunts by promoting them. While some big-city stations began experimenting with satellite coverage in the late 1970s, many middle- and small-market stations first made extensive use of the technology at the 1980 Republican National Convention. Moreover, going international can sometimes provide a competitive edge to stations in ratings battles. It also enhances the credibility of the station. However, the increased use of satellites might make the stations more selective about sending reporters abroad.


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