A veteran American newsman is to set up a website devoted exclusively to international news, with correspondents in more than 70 countries.
The Boston-based site, to be called Global News, is the brainchild of Philip Balboni, the founder of the New England Cable News, which claims to be the largest regional news network in the US.
A group of investors has raised $7m for the new venture. They include Boston billionaire Amos Hosletter – co-founder of Continental Cablevision, one of America’s first cable companies – and Benjamin Taylor, former publisher of the Boston Globe.
Global News will use the established wire services for breaking news, but will rely on correspondents living and based abroad for in-depth coverage of social, political and economic news.
Correspondents writing for the website will not be full-time employees – but will be offered “ownership shares”.
Balboni said he expected to attract reporters living abroad who already have connections with newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
The website hopes to make enough from advertising to pay for itself – and ultimately turn a profit.
Balboni, who turned 65 this week, said there was a tremendous interest among US readers for world news – an interest which he claimed was not being well served by the American media.
With the exception of Iraq, he said there had been a decline in international coverage, and front page coverage of foreign news has declined by about half since 1987. The moment is ripe, he believes, for the new network.
A number of important newspapers such as the Baltimore Sun and the Boston Globe have cut their foreign bureaux, while many television networks now rely on one-person bureaux around the world.