Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Stream of Consciousness on German News

More from the Bundesrepublik….

Ahh, journalism. It’s such a relief to hear news delivered by professionals. The current story is on the elections in Zimbabwe (Mugabe got his butt kicked). I haven’t heard a thing about any of the usual bimbeaux, relationships, local color, just a stream of fact filled German. And now, the Olympic torch lighting in Beijing….

The contrast between German news and American couldn’t be greater. First, I’m watching ARD, German Channel 1, a State-subsidized channel. The news is non-profit and supported from tax dollars, yet independent. The result is an objectivity that even NPR can’t approach. Another thing that really jumps out at you is the lack of color reporting. They don’t find someone, interview them to death and hope you realize the interviewees’ experiences may not be representative. Just facts.

When I compare with CNN, I can’t. CNN is noise, infotainment. CNN has Wolf Blitzer asking trick questions and mistaking it for probing journalism. CNN covers Natalee Holloway and Brittney Spears. CNN sensationalizes.

CNN is not news.

ARD can tell me more about what’s going on in the world in 15 minutes than CNN can all day and I won’t even mention Faux News. Bild or Prinz (gossip mags) can tell me what’s going on with the world’s bimbeaux, with animals or small children savants. Not serious news outlets, though: They report real news.

Live-blogging the German evening news:

She’s actually reading the news from a piece of paper. There’s no teleprompter. She’s reading ink on cellulose. She only makes eye contact about once per sentence.

Items of interest in Germany today: Attempt to pass a minimum wage (they don’t have one). Should the Deutsche Bahn become a publicly traded company. Avoidance of a postal strike (they went on strike). Avoidance of a strike in public service (they didn’t). A coal mine can start back up after being closed for safety violations. Investigation of the loss of over 7 billion Euros by a state bank through bad investments in real estate. An attempt to forbid a number of Turkish politicians further careers in politics over women wearing scarves. Hey, the news is mostly over and no politician has told me to be afraid! I haven’t seen a general officer telling me not to believe what the facts indicate, that they’re really winning their loosing war. I haven’t heard anything about missing blondes, girls gone bad, politicians gone bad, wide stances, mudslinging, artificial conflict and pseudo-balance. Just the elections in Zimbabwe. Heard anything about that in the States? Mugabe lost by a landslide. Pictures of the demonstrations and the violence against them in Tibet. And finally, the weather.

Heavy snow in the Alps and Nosy with no skis. So geht das Leben.


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