Saturday, April 16, 2016

The News Offerings

If you live in Germany, as an American or Brit, and desire real news besides what's on from the German state-run or commercially-run networks, there's only a limited number of choices.

For business news, there's Bloomberg or the CNBC Business Network.  Both will do a five-star job with business-related news.  For anything else?  It's lacking in a serious way.

So, you turn and find the eight other options.

1.  CNN.  There was a time twenty years ago when I might advocate or recommend CNN.  At some point, it became painfully obvious that they'd report some episode and leave out several key parts of the story.  It might be intentional, or it might be just poor journalism.....but when you start to do this makes your 'product' less than satisfactory.

2.  China News (in English).  I probably watch 90 minutes a month from the satellite network.  They do forum-style discussions where they talk about the changing face and economy of China.  I have to admit that it's usually an open discussion and interesting to get fresh prospective of different issues.  Oddly, they try avoiding being critical of any nation and then to stay with facts.

3.  RT (Russia Today, in English).  Ok, it is painfully slanted on occasion and you have to go onto other sources for additional facts to determine if they are telling a legit or correct story.  The thing is....they occasionally tell a five-star story, loaded with facts and balanced reporting.  For reference, the bad countries are always Turkey, Germany, and the US.

4.  BBC.  If some big event has occurred and minute-by-minute reporting is desired.....the BBC does a great job.  Throughout the day?  They run a fair amount of interviews, sports, and commentary.  There are occasions when it's not balanced.  I would also note that there's always some Brit-only BIG story with no impact to the other 99-percent of the world being reported.

5.  Deutsche Welle.  They've gone to live English broadcasts.  From summer of last year, they've gone to a new studio...started doing live news....bringing in various journalists from key events and talking about the facts over some developing story.  A slant?  It's hard to be a German journalist and not have some slant of some type.  But on the whole, they try to stay with the facts.

6.  Korean TV (in English).  It's an odd network.  There's probably three or four news periods throughout the day.....the rest is filled with young Korean chat, entertainment news, or Korean music (rock or pop).  If you were into cultural stuff on South Korea, it's a great device to learn about the country.  For news, I give them a marginal score.

7.  Japanese TV (in English).  News will come up a dozen times in the day and it can be informative although three-quarters of what you get is Japanese news.  The rest of the day is Nat'l Geographic-style documentaries on Japan.

8.  France-24 (in English).  For me, it is one of the best news networks in existence.  Rarely is there any slant.....for a majority of occasions, it's simply facts or live interview of people at the scene and what they perceive.  If you wanted a really decent explanation of the day's top ten news items.....turn in around 7PM (German time) and you get an entire hour of round-table discussion with four to five French or France-based journalists.  

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