Post Announces Changes In “The Traditional Definition of Correspondent”

Post brass would argue (as they do below that) this model allows correspondents to be “more mobile and flexible than in the past.” Others might argue that it’s basically a cheaper way to cover the globe, since you’re not actually hosting (and closing) bureaus, in the traditional sense.

FishbowlDC has obtained the below memo, which lays out some changes to the Post’s foreign coverage in the new year.

    The world in 2008

    We have three upcoming openings on Foreign for which we are going to change the traditional definition of correspondent. We are launching a new model that will be more mobile and flexible than in the past. These opportunities are coming up soon, and we invite applications from all those who are interested.

    Most urgent is a correspondent for Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, replacing Griff Witte, who is heading to Jerusalem. Beyond that, we will be looking for new faces in Africa and Latin America in the next few months.

    These new assignments will not be based in bureaus as we have known them. Instead, the correspondent will be the bureau. We need people who can live and work for extended periods out of a suitcase, who will organize their planning, reporting and writing around nothing more than a laptop, air card and cell phone. We seek reporters who will be comfortable traveling at least two and sometimes three weeks out of every four. We need skilled jugglers who can move seamlessly from one story to another.

    While each correspondent will have a base, we envision only a light presence, with no office, no formal staff, and a strong demand for work in the field. The assignments will be from one to two years, with renewals possible.

    We are looking for writers with a knack for enterprise. These beats will require an ability to frame themes which leap over national boundaries and conventional zones of coverage. We want fresh thinking that matches the incredible pace of globalization and transnational movements in people, capital, goods, knowledge and threats.

    We are also devoted to news, and want reporters who have the instinct to jump when a story is hot. We do not see these assignments as tranquil enterprise cruises – we will be deploying reporters often, and demanding more travel than ever before.

    We are committed to the highest and best training for work in conflict zones.

    The Pakistan-Afghan opening is a priority, but we urge anyone interested in these opportunities to contact us soon.