McClatchy chain of more than 30 U.S. papers may close all foreign bureaus

An employee passes McClatchy Co. owned newspapers in their DC office, 2008. REUTERS

The McClatchy Company, a chain of more than 30 U.S. newspapers, is expected to close its foreign bureaus by the end of the year. The media giant's chief executive denies the rumors, but it kind of sounds like the closures are likely anyway.

“At a time when the world is careening into greater chaos and mayhem, Americans want to know what’s happening and how this is going to affect them,” high-profile McClatchy war reporter Jonathan Landay told HuffPo.

Landay is moving to Reuters, so he's not part of the pending layoffs. He's credited with some of the most skeptical newspaper coverage of the Bush administration's arguments for the war in Iraq.

“By closing the foreign bureaus, we’re shutting off an important source of news and analysis at a time when we need to be paying more attention because our mission is to inform and educate,” Landay told HuffPo. “And boy, we need that now more than ever.”

Michael Calderone at HuffPo has more.

Following rumors in August that McClatchy might shutter its five bureaus -- Beijing, Mexico City, Istanbul, Berlin and Irbil, Iraq -- Chief Executive Pat Talamantes told Politico that no final decision had been made.

But on Friday, Dion Nissenbaum, a former McClatchy reporter who now covers national security for the Wall Street Journal, seemed to confirm the speculation on Twitter.

Indeed, sources tell The Huffington Post that McClatchy will not only close its foreign bureaus, but also cut back national coverage. Some fear the Washington bureau will be increasingly utilized to service local papers, resulting in a diminished national presence.

"McClatchy Expected To Close Foreign Bureaus By End Of Year" [HP]