McClatchy, Christian Science Monitor get cozy in Baghdad

More than six months after the Christian Science Monitor became an online-only publication to offset $18.9-million annual losses and save money on print, the newspaper has found another way to carry out some cost-efficient reporting. According to a memo obtained by Romenesko on Monday morning, the Monitor has taken up residence in McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau.

To: McClatchy editors
From: John Walcott
Re: 2010 McClatchy foreign bureau lineup

For 2010, McClatchy will have foreign bureaus in Beijing, Cairo, Kabul, Mexico City and in Baghdad, where we’ll be sharing staffing and expenses with The Christian Science Monitor. We’re still working out the final arrangements, but we and the Monitor will rotate reporters through the Baghdad bureau, and we’ll share the costs of housing, local staff, in-country transportation, etc. The main Monitor reporters, whose work you’ll be seeing regularly, will be Jane Arraf, whose work you may know from CNN, and Scott Peterson, who happily is also an expert on Iran…

Now that McClatchy has found a bedfellow willing to shoulder the burden of foreign correspondence, maybe it will consider reopening its Africa bureau in Kenya, which it closed on Nov. 30.

Or there might be another solution: the newspaper publisher can collect lots of these reporters who know about more than one country and put them in the same office — a bureau with such experts might allow them to “happily” eliminate all its foreign bureaus by next year.

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