Unfortunately we don’t know what it takes to move up because none of us have a high enough security clearance, but if you keep writing stories, national or international you will move up. It came faster than I expected.
Yes, I got bonuses each time I ranked up.
I don't know if you have to visit a foreign country in order to hit internationally known or not. I have only written about one foreign country (Mexico) and I managed to hit internationally known. The exact benchmarks are a secret.
Good to know @BelfryBat! I've written a couple stories about Germany and I have some more to write about France. Looking forward to the points bonus!