The Toronto Star has reported that the Washington Post is closing their Toronto bureau, but it’s not that simple. Post Foreign Editor David Hoffman tells FishbowlDC:
Canada is a very important story and we would be foolish to stop covering it. Can you look at the excellent work done by our current correspondent, Doug Struck, about global climate change? Would we want to just stop doing this kind of journalism? No, of course not. In fact, we are going to do more of it. One thing you will notice if you read Struck’s articles — which are not some kind of secret, but are open and published and available for free on our web site, washingtonpost.com — is that he has ranged over national borders in pursuit of the climate change story. He’s not confined to Canada because global warming does not stop at passport control. He goes out and sees and reports rather than sitting in an armchair in Toronto. He wrote about the impact of climate change in Peru. Last I checked, this was not in Canada. This is part of a trend toward more thematic, transnational journalism which we are proud of, and will deepen in the years ahead. It means we may indeed become more mobile and less fixed in our deployments. Instead of a bureau in a fixed place, we may invest more heavily in new tools that fit the task — a laptop and a wireless card, a satellite phone, etc. We may do whole projects about a country, a place, or a theme without requiring a bricks-and-mortar bureau. For example, we recently carried a front page story about religion in Albania. Do we have a bureau in Albania? No. This is only the start of an effort to bring to our readers the world as it really exists — more globalized, more transnational and more fluid.
When Struck’s tour is over this summer, the bureau will be open; not forever, but for a while. This is not uncommon, we often leave bureaus open and juggle people around the world. Our resources are limited. However, as I said before, we intend to continue covering Canada.