Goal 16 - Peace and Justice

How Foreign Journalists Here Try to Explain the U.S. Election Back Home

Journalists from Germany, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey share some of their experiences.

It hasn’t been easy for journalists covering the 2016 presidential race. While doing their jobs, they’ve had to confront unprecedented threats, abuse, bans and accusations of conspiracy and bias.

Journalists from other countries who are covering the election have confronted their own set of challenges. The foreign press corps is low on the food chain during any U.S. presidential race, and perhaps never more so than this one. Since foreign journalists’ audiences rarely include U.S. voters, campaigns don’t consider them a priority. Access, particularly to Donald Trump’s campaign, has been a challenge and a source of frustration. Some journalists have redirected their focus to U.S. voters themselves.

“Americans are not aware of how closely we follow what you guys are doing,” says Matthias Kolb, a reporter with the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We are so obsessed with America, it’s like the North Star, sort of. There is so much connection and attachment.”

Image: Journalists work in the Trump campaign’s designated media pen as they wait for the candidate to arrive at a town hall meeting on March 14 in Tampa, Fla. Foreign journalists covering the campaign say gaining official access to Trump events has been more challenging than to Hillary Clinton’s. Brian Blanco/Getty Images.

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