France42.blogspot.com is keeping its eye on the new French TV channel, France 24,that 'se veut 'la voix de la france dans le monde'. http://france42.blogspot.com/2007/12/le-monde-vs-la-presse-anglo-saxon-sur.html
France 42's position is that French TV and radio widely considered internationally as the voice of the President and Foreign Minister, often inverting the reality of current affairs in order to tow the official line. Which is why their blog is called France 42.
Their views on French media, and the comparisons they draw between it and that of other countries extends to the print media as well, and they posted an interesting observation on the divergent coverage of the Merkels' recent dealings with Putin in Le Monde, with that of coverage provided by that of the Anglo-Saxon press, the International Herald Tribune included.
Here's how they illustrated it:
"A la différence d'Angela Merkel, qui défend les droits de l'homme et les principes démocratiques en tous lieux et quel que soit son interlocuteur, M. Sarkozy profite de l'incapacité de l'Europe à adopter une position commune sur ces questions pour se "placer" auprès des dirigeants les moins respectueux des libertés."(Edito du Monde, Kadhafi à Paris, 10.12.07)___________________________________
International Herald Tribune:
"Merkel told Nicolas Sarkozy last week, according to a German version of their conversation, that she's against setting up a formal group with the French, British and Americans to skirt the UN Security Council, and levy harder sanctions against Iran."(By JOHN VINOCUR, International Herald Tribune 17.09.2007)
"As Iran's largest trading partner and biggest European investor, Germany is critical to turning the economic screw on Tehran. Mrs Merkel must deal with competing pressures. Because of Germany's strong trading position in Iran, powerful commercial interests oppose sanctions."(By Alex Spillius and Harry de Quetteville, www.telegraph.co.uk 12.11.2007
What they didn't do is to distinguish between news, news analysis and opinion in the above three examples.
Only the IHT clearly separates and flags these categories, and rarely does an Anglo-Saxon slant creep into its news coverage, even if one could place the opinions of Vinocur in the Anglo-Saxon camp.
That's the beauty of the IHT, and what makes reading The Daily Telegraph of little use to readers who value that clear separation of these three, very different forms of information.
Which leads me to wonder if I too shouldn't be doing the same in this blog, flagging news, analysis and opinion. Or is blogging already too firmly established as a dangerous and unreliable mix of the three?
The Huffington Post wants to become an online newspaper, and it will be interesting to see how it tackles this issue of news definition.
As to Think! , for now I think I'll reflect on it.....The main problem is that it would require me to practise the disciplined skills of a journalist - multi-sourcing, fact-checking and all that stuff that takes time and money. But I don't want to be a journalist, haven't the time and there is no money in this.
I think for now any reader should assume that anything I write is unedited, barely re-read for typos save a quick spell check, unreliable, sloppily written and in no way resembling quality journalism- if that wasn't abundantly clear already...