Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Geopolitical intelligence and political journalism

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Why es Stratfor so often out of sync with the news media?, asked David Judson in a piece for GEOPOLITICAL WEEKLY on Oct 29, 20913, after recognizing tha «it is a common one», often coming from former colleagues in newspaperdom, in STRAFOR or from readers. His answer is an excellent introduction to an interesting debate on content, interest, repercussion and communication in general.

All of us at Stratfor encounter questions regarding the difference between geopolitical intelligence and political journalism. Oneuseful reply to ponder is that in conventional journalism, the person providing information is presumed to know more about the subject matter than the reader. At Stratfor, the case is frequently the opposite: Our readers typically are expert in the topics we study and write about, and our task is to provide the already well-informed with further insights. But the question is larger than that.

For as the camp of those who make their living selling — or trying to sell — words and images grows exponentially via the Internet, the placement of one’s electronically tethered tent takes on a new importance. This campsite has its own ecology, something scholars have taken to calling the «media ecosystem.» We co-exist in this ecosystem, but geopolitical intelligence is scarcely part of the journalistic flora and fauna. Our uniqueness creates unique challenges, and these are worth some discussion in this space that is generally devoted to more specific geopolitical themes.

For the moment, let’s skip how we approach subjects such as Syria’s civil war, a protest by Colombian farmers or the tweet by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after a chat with U.S. President Barack Obama in comparison to our colleagues in the conventional news business. Instead, let’s go to the core dynamic of the media in our age and work back outward through the various layers to what we do in the same virtual space, namely, intelligence… MORE



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