“As the image above shows, The Times reports from all over the globe. We have journalists in more than 30 international news bureaus worldwide, and every day we publish news, feature stories, videos, slide shows and more from dozens of countries around the world. Our new ‘Country of the Week’ feature celebrates this abundance to help build students’ geography skills. A weekly interactive quiz will first introduce students to a country via a recent video or photograph, then ask them to find that place on a map. Next, the quiz will focus on the demographics and culture of the country. Finally, we’ll include links to recent reporting from that place in case they, or you, would like to go further.
In ‘Why Geography Matters,’ Harm de Blij wrote that geography is ‘a superb antidote to isolationism and provincialism,’ and argued that ‘the American public is the geographically most illiterate society of consequence on the planet, at a time when United States power can affect countries and peoples around the world.’
This spatial illiteracy, geographers say, can leave citizens without a framework to think about foreign policy questions more substantively. ‘The paucity of geographical knowledge means there is no check on misleading public representations about international matters,’ said Alec Murphy, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon.”