World news (also known as international or foreign news) is the jargon term for news about events and issues that are not of local interest. This is a large and important area of journalism, although for the most part it does not include stories about wars or other major world conflicts, which are generally covered by national newspapers or broadcasters.
The first major world news agencies were established in the 19th century, including Agence France Presse, Reuters and Wolff (now DPA, Germany). These prepared hard news stories for other publications, providing them in bulk electronically through wire services (originally by telegraph, then by telephone, and now often over the Internet). Other organizations, individuals, corporations and intelligence agencies may subscribe to these services.
A reporter based abroad who covers a country, region or global subject is referred to as a correspondent. Correspondents usually work for a news source on a full-time basis, but they also report freelance stories. They are sometimes referred to as stringers because they don’t have a permanent contract with a particular news organization, and they produce articles for several different sources simultaneously. Often they are sent overseas to cover a specific event, such as an election or war. They may be a specialist, such as an expert in health, science, or foreign policy. In other cases, they may be a general assignment reporter who has no specialties. This is typically true for journalists who work for wire services, and it may be less common for reporters working for print or online news outlets.