Searching for information on foreign correspondents in India has proven to be very difficult. I did happen to find a very interesting article from the American Journalism Review. It mentioned that there are several news publications that have foreign bureaus in India:
- Christian Science Monitor: New Delhi bureau
- Associated Press: New Delhi bureau
- Los Angeles Times: New Delhi bureau
- New York Times: New Delhi and Mumbai bureaus
- Wall Street Journal: New Delhi and Mumbai bureaus
- Washington Post: New Delhi bureaus
In general, India is safe to travel to for a tourist, but there still are issues for travelers. I went to India this past summer for six weeks and never felt unsafe, but that isn’t always the case for some female travelers. It’s not easy to travel in India as a woman compared to the experiences of a male tourist. It’s also not exactly easy for native Indian women in their own country, so it’s definitely not going to be easy for tourists coming to the country.
An article by US Today highlighted a lot of the fears women have about going to the country for touristic reasons. The survey they cited said that traffic from western countries, like the US and Canada decreased by 35% after the media’s reports on India’s prevalent rape accusations.
For a foreigner reporting in the country, things are a little different.
An article by First Post, an online news publication that is run by Indians who mostly reside in India, shared a survey that said India is more dangerous for journalists than Pakistan. The survey was done by the International News Safety Group (INSG) and it explained how there were 40 journalists and support staff killed in the first half of 2013 in India, over half (21) were killed in peacetime as opposed to warfare.
I found a very interesting article that explained the day-to-day life of a foreign journalist in India written by an Indian writer on his blog. The most interesting piece of information from that reading is that foreign correspondents in India usually get 100,000 rupees a month for their salary, which is basically $1,568.
There is also a really interesting article by the Huffington Post that discusses in great detail on how foreign reporters inaccurately report on the country in comparison to local journalists. He says that there was a time when foreign reporters went “native.” What he means by that is reporters used to extensively immerse themselves in India’s culture, history and language. He explains how that truly added to foreigner reporter’s work and that’s been lost throughout the years. He also says when foreign correspondents arrive in India’s big cities, they limit their social and professional circles to other foreign correspondents. He says poignantly: “The native view that they reflect is usually the view of the elites they are familiar with.”
The Huffington Post article also notes that on the flip side of this issue, the objectivity and unfamiliarity with India could be invaluable by providing a different perspective than most local journalists can provide. However, a reporter’s lack of knowledge of a country that is so often exorcized and seen as a weird oddity can end up misinforming instead of informing their audience.