Friday, July 22, 2005

World News Tonight

Having returned from an extended European trip, I'm not up to speed on local events, however with the internet, the Herald Tribune and CNN it's somewhat easier to have a general sense of national and world events.

Internet access is managed at internet cafes. It isn't something travelers tend to linger over since the meter is ticking on both the vacation as well as the computer. Cafe in this context falsely implies nourishment. The process of buying time tends to vary. Some internet cafe have you pay in advance by feeding a coin into the timer, some by buying a password for a specified period of time and some by paying after logging out. Either way it has the charm of hanging out in Laundromat but costing about 3 euros per half hour.

The Herald Tribune is the New York Times international paper. The paper is yesterday's news covering international events in just a few pages and augmented with editorial and op-ed pages. The paper assumes you've arrived from the northeastern quarter of the US and are already on that wavelength. In any event it provides entertainment and a short respite from struggles with languages you've yet to master. Generally available for 2 euros

CNN seems excessively repetitive and one gets the sense that their audience has a short attention span--The London bombing, world weather and an unending bicycle race repeated every 15 minutes. After the initial reports of the number of bombs and locations, followed by updated casualty figures, CNN reporting settled into the appearance of a filibuster. Weighty news events cause television to avoid being caught running a commercial. They have to stay on the story even when nothing is occurring. Return of weather and bicycle race reportsignaleded that the bombing story had used all its oxygen. In reality CNN hadn't a clue how to provide insight. Switching to Italian or German channels provided roughly the same information even though the language barrier remained intact.

Staying with CNN long enough rewarded viewers with the occasional packaged piece. In one case this was a feature on global warming that used a videoloop to illustrate the issue. Unfortunately, the video showed a nuclear power plant with STEAM coming from the cooling towers. No one claims nuclear power or steam leads to global warming--it's one of the solutions. CNN is free because you wouldn't pay for such idiocy.


Post a Comment

<< Home