Consider the amount of television coverage associated with the swine flu from Mexico. And as you do, ask yourself how many of the anchors and reporters you see and hear from are based in Mexico or Mexico City.
The answer to that question will be "zero" or (if you are lucky) "one."
What does that mean? These journalists don't know the culture as well as they should. They don't have access to the complete range of sources that can help them tell this story. They likely don't speak Spanish. These and other factors mean they are forced to chase the story instead of being able to quickly grasp who to call, how the society is actually reacting, and what the leadership is doing to get the answers to the public.
This brand of journalism would not be necessary if corporate owners opted not to slash international news coverage because of the expense associated with it.