While we've been thinking about the people of Japan, Egypt, and Libya, it seems we've forgotten the plight of those hit hardest by international upheaval: American journalists. The Wrap reports that with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the political upheaval in the Middle East, news organizations may have already spent their entire annual budgets. "We've already had a year's worth of breaking news coverage, and it's not even the end of March," says NBC News VP David Verdi.
Networks have already been shutting down foreign bureaus and slashing budgets, and shipping equipment and correspondents overseas can cost millions (supplies to keep reporters safe from possible radiation in Japan are particularly expensive). We'd feel bad for the networks, but think of how much money they saved last year by killing time with talk of iReports and being the "best political team on television."