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Tips for covering global trade issues

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Global Business Journalism co-director Rick Dunham joined Paul Wiseman of The Associated Press and Megan Cassella of Politico for a reporters' roundtable on global trade sponsored by the National Press Foundation. (Article here.)

The three veteran journalists offered tips on how to cover the rapidly changing trade landscape, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international trade and the global economy.

As the National Press Foundation's Chris Adams notes: "For most news organizations, trade used to be a backwater beat. No more: Since 2016, the struggles between Congress and the president, between free-traders and protectionists, between Silicon Valley and the Rust Belt, and between the U.S. and the world’s most populous country, China, are often front-page news."

During his presentation, Professor Dunham cited The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press for best practices in trade coverage. He also described differences in coverage of the U.S.-China trade war in Chinese media, American media and European media. Chinese media avoided using the term "war," he noted, while American media coverage was more "Trump-centric."

“There was a lot of [coverage of] who’s winning and who’s losing,” Dunham said. “Is this helping Trump or hurting Trump? Is China winning or is the U.S. winning?”

Wiseman, a longtime trade reporter, won won the NPF’s inaugural Hinrich Foundation Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade. (Watch here as Wiseman accepts the award and describes his reporting here.)

Here are links to some of his award-winning stories:

Cassella writes a daily trade newsletter for Politico and covered the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the 17-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Here is a link to her comprehensive tick-tock report explaining how the new deal came together.

Click on the above video to watch the entire reporters' roundtable. And here are some resources to help you cover trade, thanks to the National Press Foundation.

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