Thursday, January 17, 2008

30 Days of Bloggery: Questions Answered

Well, Roger gave me a few questions to answer the other day, so here we go:

Where do you get your news about the the US? Do you find yourself interested, at arm's length, what?

99% of it from online or from local coverage (which is mostly picked up from British papers like The Independent, which has an amusing slant to their coverage of the current administration. I'm still very interested in what goes on "at home" and still spend a lot of time reading US websites like The New York Times, Washington Post and SF Gate, as well as papers I used to work for. I am totally up to date on the Britney Spears beat.

Where do you get your NZ news?
From work, really - I work with APN Media which owns much of the biggest papers in the country, and am a regional chief editor for the Napier paper and work with several others. So I'm pretty plugged in to "the system" so to speak.

What is the nature of NZ news anyway? Is it as good as most countries in covering the world (something the US does poorly unless it affects us directly)?

This is kind of a tricky one to answer as I work in the industry here and don't want to "bite the hand" I feed so to speak. I find that from my perspective, often the papers are far bolder (or biased) than I'm used to seeing in their political views, and NZ's small size often means teacup-sized issues get blown up into armageddons. (For instance when David Beckham came to Wellington for a one-day visit last year, from the hysterical press coverage you would've thought the Pope came to town and sang the theme from "Cats" naked. In the US it's like, eh, Beckham, OK, what's Paris doing?) Generally it's a little higher on hyperbole than US papers but not quite as tabloidy as British papers, somewhere in between. I think any American journalist would be surprised by how small an industry it is here.

As for world coverage, I do think we have a nice variety of global coverage -- the US still takes a big chunk of it, but we have a lot more coverage of Indonesia, such as events in Burma recently, or Australian politics. Much of it is picked up from British papers but there's still a decent amount of foreign correspondents. In fact I'd say as a whole NZ papers show a "wider view" of the world than too many American papers do, where you have to struggle to find more than the latest bombings.

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