I just posted a much longer piece on building local stories on international issues at the SPJ International Journalism blog site. (Local Angle: Russia and US in cyber-security talks. What does that mean for the U.S. geeks)
Getting local editors and reporters to think beyond the borders of their hometowns is difficult. Part of the problem is that owners and publishers are so focused on ONLY local news that any attempts to tie in a national or international story to a local angle is shot down.
Another problem is that the international awareness of most Americans is abysmal. And, despite what many demagogues may say, U.S. journalists are more like the rest of America than they think.
Beyond reporting the facts, it is vital for journalists to provide context to stories. And that means being able to see bigger pictures in local events and the local perspective in international events. (Just ask my former students at George Mason how much I really believe this.)