As a novelist, you deepen your characters as you go, adding layers. As a reporter, you try to peel layers away: observing subjects enough to get beneath the surface, re-questioning a source to find the facts. But these processes aren't so different.
I think it's important for tourists to know the facts of what's happening in the Maldives. I don't think people realize that there's a flogging taking place a kilometer away when they're sunbathing in their resort.
The truth is, there's an information blockade in America, and it must be broken. In order to find crucial facts, numbers and outside perspectives, a person must spend an hour searching and cross-searching on the computer.
Real education is about genuine understanding and the ability to figure things out on your own; not about making sure every 7th grader has memorized all the facts some bureaucrats have put in the 7th grade curriculum.