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The FixersLocal News Workers' Perspectives on International Reporting$
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Lindsay Palmer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190680824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190680824.001.0001

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Networking with Sources

Networking with Sources

(p.88) 3 Networking with Sources
The Fixers

Lindsay Palmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the labor of networking with sources. News fixers indicate that their networks of potential interviewees are perhaps the most lucrative thing they can offer a visiting reporter. Because of this, they spend years cultivating trust with a variety of contacts, some of whom are dangerous people to displease. Parachute journalists might try to buy fixers’ local contacts, showing little regard for the years of emotional labor that led the fixers to build trust with people who might pose a threat to both the journalist and the fixer. Once the journalist arrives and the news fixer draws upon his or her contact list, another problem emerges: the fixer must ensure that the client does not upset the valuable contact by showing cultural ignorance or insensitivity. This can become a complicated dance of playing to both sides, something that many of my interviewees say is necessary in order to keep the contact for future jobs, while also helping the journalist get the interviews needed to tell the story.

Keywords:   international news, foreign correspondents, fixers, news sources, dignity, network, networking

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