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Here’s What Happens When Networks Outsource Foreign News Coverage

Vocativ MSNBCEarlier this year, our sister site Lost Remote reported on MSNBC’s partnership with digital news startup Vocativ. The partnership debuted on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which has been airing “deep web” stories shot and produced by the New York-based start-up Vocativ, which includes TV news veterans in its ranks.

Last week, while most cable news coverage was dominated by conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, Farrow aired a Vocativ report on Libya.

Midway through the segment last Monday, Farrow played a 3-minute Vocativ report on Libya’s rival militia groups. “Thank you to Vocativ for taking a lot of risks to get us that report,” Farrow said coming out of the report. The risks in Libya became dangerously apparent a few days later when, on Saturday, the U.S. evacuated its embassy, rushing embassy employees to Tunisia as fighting between militias intensified around Tripoli.

In late June, Farrow aired another Vocativ report on Libya’s arms market. Just today, the show aired a Vocativ report on Spain’s recreational drug use.

This type of news outsourcing seems to be gaining steam. With so many foreign stories to cover–and only so many correspondents and producers on the ground — networks are leaning on digital start-ups. The trend is also spreading to social media. Earlier this year, CNN partnered with Twitter and Dataminr to gain a leg up on finding and reporting breaking news.

Watch both Vocativ-produced segments after the jump.


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