There’ll always be an England

I’ve mentioned my love of British newspapers before, but the Guardian has reminded me why yet again:

  1. An incredibly long and apparently in-depth series on “climategate”.
  2. An evolution-based advice columnist (or “agony aunt” as they call them), complete with citations to the peer-reviewed literature.  (I love the idea here, although the execution of it is actually a bit uneven.)

Not to mention free cryptic crosswords.

5 Responses to “There’ll always be an England”

  1. Tim Savage says:

    OTOH, British papers’ coverage of North Korea sucks rocks. Both the Telegraph and the Times have published completely ludicrous crap on Kim Jong-il, including the clam that he’s been dead for four years and replaced by a body double.

  2. Tim Savage says:

    OTOH, British papers’ coverage of North Korea sucks rocks. Both the Telegraph and the Times have published completely ludicrous crap on Kim Jong-il, including the clam that he’s been dead for four years and replaced by a body double.

  3. Ted Bunn says:

    Interesting. Of course, US newspapers avoid this sort of thing by writing very little at all about most countries in the world!

    The other thing that’s striking to an American about British newspapers is that they’re more overtly partisan: everyone knows that the Telegraph is a Tory paper and the Guardian’s Labor. As I understand it, the same holds in at least some other European countries. I’m not sure that that sort of overt partisanship isn’t preferable to our insistence on a veneer of political neutrality.

  4. Tim Savage says:

    Korean papers are like that as well, but the result is that you really can’t trust any of them because the journalistic standards are so low.

  5. “I'm not sure that that sort of overt partisanship isn't preferable to our insistence on a veneer of political neutrality.”

    Had to parse that one a couple of times. Reminds me of a politician saying (real quote) “I would not be opposed to the repeal on the prohibition…”. That means it’s OK. You are saying that overt partisanship might be preferable to pseudo-neutrality.

    Yes, there is generally a bias in European newspapers. However (low-quality tabloids excepted), it’s not so much a matter of mis-stating something or having opinionated editorials, but more a question of what is deemed to be newsworthy and in what respect. Say there is a strike: It’s not a matter of misrepresenting claims of either side or expressing an opinion on it, but whether it is worth reporting at all and if so how.

    On the other hand, television news in Europe really is neutral. In part this is due to the fact that most people watch the news on the “public” (for lack of a better word) television stations, even if they otherwise prefer the commercial ones. The private ones tend to be neutral in the news (even if not otherwise) since otherwise the difference to the well-respected public stations would be too obvious. The public stations are, in a sense, owned by the state, but there are many rules and regulations in place to make sure that they are not controlled by the government with respect to what to report etc. They are as critical of the government as they should be. Private stations, relying on income from commercial advertisements, are under much more pressure. US television news (Fox News, anyone), by contrast, is in many cases overt propaganda.

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