Lynsey Chutel - South Africa - Freelance (ex-Quartz, ex-AP)


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Should correspondents abroad for international publications like Associated Press, Reuters, NYT, etc be foreigners or locals? Lynsey Chutel (@lynseychutel), a South African journalist who has been a staff reporter for Associated Press and startup website Quartz, can see both sides of the argument. But she also shares her frustration at a two-tiered system within many organizations that at its worst gives foreign parachute journalists massive benefits packages while reducing locals to stringers or fixers with no clear route to advance.

We talk about growing up under apartheid (6:30), her first steps into journalism (12:23), how applying to Columbia journalism school on a lark kept her in the industry when she was considering leaving (17:20), realizing the dream of working at the AP and covering things like the Oscar Pistorius trial (30:50), a Columbia Journalism Review article on hiring foreigners vs locals (41:45), her story on how Chinese companies copied Congolese fabric patterns and ultimately killed their local textile industry (54:15) and finish on the lightning round, including a new question on work-life balance (1:02:00).

Here are links to some of the things we talked about:

Columbia Journalism Review's "Rethinking foreign reporting at the AP" -

Lynsey's story "China's role in the DR Congo's textile industry collapse -

theSkimm newsletter -

1619 podcast on Apple -

Jill Lepore bio -

Trailer for The Loudest Voice -

Howard French's "A Continent for the Taking" -

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Music: LoveChances ( by Makaih Beats



65 episodes