I had been looking forward to the time in Germany for the newspaper-reading opportunities that it would offer.
I realize that I date myself by being a dedicated newspaper reader (just like Twitter use = for old people), but there you go.
I had anticipated cycling through different newspapers’ offers of trial subscriptions,for variety, but largely out of cheapness. As it turns out, I’m privileging variety over cheapness, by buying a different paper almost every day.
Lamenting N American Newspapers
I do like reading the Globe & Mail. It strikes a good balance between domestic and international, it’s the right length, offers a daily Sudoku, has a professional tone, and inspires me to want to write for the public occasionally. BUT, the Toronto-centricness is a constant irritant, while the network of international correspondents are strong journalists, dedication to this network appears to be shrinking, and, most damningly for me as a consumer, it’s really my only choice in Vancouver.
Not that the situation in the U.S. is any better. Yes, the New York Times is doing some amazing things with video, in-depth reporting, experimentation with apps and virtual reality reporting. Very interesting! BUT, it looks likely to be the only newspaper to remain standing in the U.S. in some short time (not quite, but, for example, there seems to be nothing worth reading in Cascadia, even on the West Coast until you hit the LA Times.
Note that the party to blame for this ultimately is the consumer, of course, as readers have turned from printed newspapers to online news or, even worse, “news”.
Other Newspaper Markets
There are other media markets that I appreciate. Obviously, the Japanese market remains very rich in the number of titles. But, it is not so rich in terms of the number of perspectives these titles offer. This is largely due to the (in)famous correspondents’ club system that enables and simultaneously stifles political reporting.
When we lived in the UK, I appreciated the choice of different papers, though I ultimately settled very firmly on The Guardian which continues to be a viable choice for international readers as well. One of the great strengths of British papers is the irreverent and personal tone that some journalists succesfully use that make reading more interesting without losing professional seriousness. BUT, the UK papers were entirely focused on national news. Even London or SE Englang regional issues seemed to be largely turned (somewhat arrogantly, though that’s what happens with dominat capitol cities, I presume) into national news or ignored.
France also seems similar in that there are a variety of choices, though I usually end up with Le Monde. Here as well, the local/regional seems largely subsumed into the national.
A Variety of Choices in Berlin
It feels like my local kiosk in Berlin gives me many choices, local and national, politically-rooted vs reporting focused.
One of the big choices is to read local or national. In Vancouver that is not/no longer a choice as I find very little to read in the Sun, even less so after recent consolidations.
The main local choices are Der Tagesspiegel and Berliner Zeitung. There are several other choices, incl Die Morgenpost, and several tabloids, but I ignore those.
For “national” papers with local/regional sections for cities that are not Berlin there are the Frankfurt papers (FAZ, Rundschau), the Munich paper (Sueddeutsche), and also the Zurich paper (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).
Then there are the lefty national choices like Tageszeitung and, somewhat exotically, Neues Deutschland.
There are also regional choices for Brandenbrug (the state around Berlin) which I haven’t explored at all.
And, then there are the weekly papers. Die Zeit and Freitag, for example.
Do you see what I mean about variety?