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loading... Now Offers Easy Access to Background on the News

June 18, 2014


The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has given one of its most popular resources, Backgrounders, a reboot. More than seventy of the in-depth foreign policy primers have been enhanced with images, graphs, and videos and can now be navigated by region, issue, most recent, and curated series. Series topics include terrorist groups, China's rise, international organizations, and U.S. competitiveness.

CFR President Richard N. Haass sees Backgrounders as a valuable educational resource for students and teachers at the college and high school levels: "Backgrounders provide smart, authoritative histories and summaries in a concise, accessible format."

Both the portal and individual primers are optimized for social-media sharing, as well as mobile and tablet use.

"The Backgrounder franchise is an important entry into an increasingly competitive field of digital 'explanatory' journalism," says Editor Robert McMahon. "What distinguishes these is that we are able to draw on CFR's think tank for added depth."

For more than a decade, the series has served CFR's mission to be a resource on international issues for interested citizens. Originally launched as an online encyclopedia of terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the primers have since been widely cited across the web, including on Wikipedia. editors will continue to add to the library of Backgrounders. Subjects that are resurgent in the news will be regularly updated, such as those on the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Boko Haram, and South China Sea Tensions.

Browse the Backgrounders at:

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