Let's say a group of journalists from abroad visit an institution in your country and you'll write an article about them. What would you call them?

International Journalists or Foreign Journalists or in another way.

Remember that these journalists do NOT belong to a specific group or association like "International Federation of Journalists". They are just random journalists from all over the world.

3 Answers 3


"Foreign" means "from another country". "International" means "from multiple countries". Which is appropriate depends on context.

From the point of view of someone from country X, anyone not from country X is "foreign". So if, say, you were talking about journalists from a variety of country coming to your country to, say, report on some local event, you could say, "Foreign journalists came to cover this event."

If you are talking about a group of journalists from many countries, and no one country is a reference point, then you could call them "international". Like if journalists from many countries were working together to cover events happening in many countries, or to discuss journalism in general, so there is not one obvious "home". Like, "International journalists formed an email group to discuss objectivity in news reporting."

If the group includes both domestic and foreign journalists, than it would be inaccurate to say "foreign"; you'd have to say "international".


Foreign journalists does not include journalists from the host country while international journalists does. A visit by the US president to the UK would be covered by both foreign and UK journalists and pieces by both foreign and UK journalists my well be syndicated worldwide so the vist would be covered by international journalists.

However a report in the UK might well include the sentence "Foreign journalists came to London to cover the Presidential visit"


It really depends on the forum and the context.

It you are addressing the journalists themselves, calling them "foreign" might not be well received, especially if some of them are not (or do not perceive themselves to be) "foreign".

If you are communicating internally with your staff, and they are not used to international visits (and you are trying to help them understand how to behave :-) maybe "foreign" is better to help them understand the situation.

For any neutral communication, I would recommend "international" over "foreign".

  • 1
    Hmm, I'm not sure why someone would object to being called "foreign". I'm from the U.S. If someone from, say, Germany was talking about me I'd expect him to refer to me as a "foreigner". I'm even more confused about "do not perceive themselves to be foreign". Whether someone is native or foreign is usually a pretty straightforward question. Barring a few special cases where nationality is disputed, like Taiwan and Palestine.
    – Jay
    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:46
  • @Jay - "Foreign" means not from here and does not belong here, and usually implies not very welcome here. Someone from Germany would only call you a foreigner if a) you were in Germany and b) they didn't really want you in Germany. Otherwise they would call you a guest or visitor.
    – Paul Smith
    Nov 18, 2016 at 12:46
  • @PaulSmith "Foreign" does not imply that the foreigner is in your country. We routinely talk about a nation's relations with other countries as its "foreign policy". Someone might well say, "The president urged a change in U.S. foreign policy to focus more on Europe." That doesn't imply in any way that Europeans are all moving to the US. And I've never understood "foreign" to mean "not welcome here". Foreigners might be unwelcome, of course, but it's quite reasonable to say, "The Bahamas is very welcoming to tourists from foreign countries, because foreigners bring in a lot of money."
    – Jay
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:46
  • @Jay - "Foreign" means "Not of or from here". You cant be foreign at home, no matter who is talking to you. Foreign policy is the policy that applies to people and things that are 'Not from here'. 'Here' is relative so from a government perspective, it means other countries. The original 'Foreign Policy' was probably in Ancient Athens where a 'foreigner' was anyone from outside the walls. You can make foreigner feel welcome, but it is more difficult when your starting point is to identify them as not from here.
    – Paul Smith
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:24
  • @PaulSmith Of course you can be foreign while you're at home. You can still be foreign TO ME. We routinely talk about "foreign countries". Presumably those countries are still in their proper places. I can refer to Germany as a "foreign country" even if Germany hasn't been transported to America.
    – Jay
    Nov 19, 2016 at 5:32

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