Headlines from the Berliner Morgenpost

by on June 12, 2010 at 2:57 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

This is from yesterday's paper:

Running header on the World Cup and dreams of a world championship

Fight about Opel brings the governing coalition deeper into a crisis

Billing fraud in a medical clinic is only the tip of an iceberg

Günther Jauch takes over somebody's talk show

A cashier, "Emmely," who stole 1.30 Euros in "Pfandbons" has been reinstated to her job (this is by far the biggest headline and biggest story)

A new study shows how little children today know about plants and animals

Then on the right hand side there are leads to other stories:

A particular kind of truck will be allowed to drive on some streets

Half a million German children have accidents every year, whether at home or in their time outside

An item, written partly in the local dialect, about the World Cup

You should note that the Berliner Morgenpost, while not Germany's most serious newspaper, is by no means a tabloid.  There are no photos of naked or busty women and there are plenty of sentences in the passive voice.  By United States standards, it would be considered a serious newspaper. 

Berlin, of course, is the largest and capital city of the largest and most important country in the EU and Eurozone.  Keep these headlines in mind the next time you read of trouble in the Eurozone and calls for greater intra-EU cooperation or a common EU fiscal policy. 

On p.8, the third page of the Business section, there was a short and inconspicuous article on how the ECB had prevented (past tense) a dangerous chain reaction from spreading within the Eurozone.  It's much less prominent than, say, the lead business page article about how the cartel-regulating bureaucracy is changing its policies for dealing with prices and rebates for glasses manufacturers in Germany.

Stephen Smith June 12, 2010 at 3:26 am

“… there are plenty of sentences in the passive voice.”

When I read German I feel like every sentence is in the passive voice.

Somewhat unrelated but: Do you know of any (good?) German-language longer-form aggregators article aggregators, like The Browser or Arts & Letters Daily? Or maybe if you’re still in Germany, you could ask around?

not_scottbot June 12, 2010 at 3:57 am

Hmmm – the media of an industrial society tends to reflects the interest of its members – such as labor relations, technology, sport, etc. People here don’t care much about the euro, in general, because they care a lot more about real things. This can be quite difficult for an American, especially one from Northern Virginia, to grasp – to put is simply, Germans still think like engineers/craftsmen/technicians in general, and financial engineering remains something broadly scorned, not respected. That’s right, you have left the Anglosphere. And no one here is worried about the euro per se – but then, any East German you see older than 25 has lived with at least three currencies (till now). Currencies come and go – creating industrial products that other people will pay for has been a good model for more than 150 years, one most Germans see no reason to abandon.

I bet reading the TAZ would be really fun – though quite small, a list of its headlines would certainly expose the typical reader here to another world. One with roots stretching back to the time of the first socialists, ponzi social security schemes (that’s right, Bismarck’s ponzi pension and health insurance schemes will be collapsing any century now), and the idea that a highly qualified labor force with political power to match the wealth it creates is the foundation of a successful, and non-war like, society.

Millian June 12, 2010 at 5:02 am

Please be more clear in your criticisms, so that at least your critics know what they are criticising.

From the European’s perspective, this seems to be equivalent to the New York Times not running a daily headline on the USA’s having the world’s highest incarceration rate.

Tyler Cowen June 12, 2010 at 6:22 am

I don’t find it puzzling, in many ways I find it good!

Kary June 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

The german economic crisis in Germany is different from the crisis in other european countries or in the United States. Germany had no housing bubble or too much private debt. Perhaps there is a problem with a high savings rate. Look at the unemployment rate in Germany, the lowest since many years. There is a problem for the export industries. But this problem has been handled by a state-sponsored reduced working hours program. Moreover, this problem did not occured at all in Berlin because there is no material export industry in Berlin. Accordingly, the average German does not feel any special crisis-driven constraints in his personal economic decisions. The inflation is still low. The Euro problems are problems only occurring in the politics and the news, but not in the daily life. The falling value of the Euro implies higher gasoline prices and more expensive vacations overseas, but the current level of the Euro is still above the value 10 years ago.

GW June 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

“Günther Jauch takes over somebody’s talk show.”

A little context makes a trivial-sounding story much less so. The talk show in question is the most important of the weekly political discussion rounds, held Sunday night on the first public television channel, ARD and akin in function to the Sunday morning interview programs in the US. Jauch is an extremely popular television personality. Although he began in sports and talk shows and has had a good gun as quizmaster in the German version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, he has long been the moderator of “stern TV”, an investigative news magazine generally considered populist but more serious than its namesake paper and ink magazine and, in his frequent appearances in discussion rounds, has long been recognized as a modest, smart, and articulate questioner and observer. Getting a popular host who is unlikely to dumb-down the content of the premier discussion program is considered a real coup for ARD.

urgs June 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

Point?

Rahul June 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm

ostrich burying his head in the sand?

urgs June 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

http://www.ftd.de/ <— the right Newspaper for market fundamentalists with Euro panik, hey they even wrote an election recommendation for the FDP.
Just look at the headline GOOOOLLLLLDDDDD :-).

not_scottbot June 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm

‘We apparently care more about Europe than the Europeans do.’

Or Americans are being treated to another spectacle to keep their attention distracted from what is happening in their own country – especially as most Americans have little personal experience of anything outside of their own borders.

Interesting GMU based anecdote from the very early 1990s – the number of Malaysian college students (of which GMU then had a fair sized contingent) in the U.S. was greater than the total of American university students studying abroad.

Stanfo June 13, 2010 at 12:51 am

In reply to scottbot above:

Perhaps more students would study abroad if the US did not have what are perceived as the best universities in the world, and more so at the graduate level. Clearly people like you wouldn’t come here immerse yourselves in our “cowboy” culture. You come to go to university. Revealed preferences, as it were.

And Americans aren’t as dumb as you seem to think we are.

not_scottbot June 13, 2010 at 2:22 am

‘Perhaps more students would study abroad if the US did not have what are perceived as the best universities in the world, and more so at the graduate level. Clearly people like you wouldn’t come here immerse yourselves in our “cowboy” culture. You come to go to university. Revealed preferences, as it were.’

Well, I am an American, so I don’t exactly understand what you mean by come here and immerse myself in something that I certainly have never experienced – Northern Virginia, where I grew up, went to school, and worked certainly has nothing in the way of cowboy culture.

As for that best schools argument – GMU was certainly not a world class insitution 20 years ago, and yet, there were the Malaysians. And gnerally, the Malay women were wearing typical Malaysian clothing – that is, everything but hands and face covered. Of course, in the early 90s, none of the faculty or staff, nor the student body, cared in the least. Makes you wonder what those same students would experience today, living and studying in Fairfax. Actually, I don’t really wonder much at all – just read some of the comments here.

There is a top tier of universities at an international level, and the U.S. has many of them. After that – well, you may want to look at the level of international students enrolling in U.S. universities since 2001 to get a feel of how prized a place at a typical American university is these days.

‘And Americans aren’t as dumb as you seem to think we are. ‘
Yes, we are.

Ted Craig June 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm

“The number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 7% to a record high of 623,805 in the 2007/08 academic year, according to the Open Doors report published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This 2007/08 growth builds on a 3% increase reported for 2006/07, and the total number now exceeds by 6% the previous all-time high of 586,323 reported in 2002/03. Open Doors data show an even stronger increase in the number of “new† international students, those enrolled for the first time at a U.S. college or university in fall 2007. New international student enrollments rose by 10%, following on increases of 10% and 8% for the previous two years.”

Andy June 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

Is it fairly common for Berliners to read foreign newspapers? Maybe the paper doesn’t want to be redundant in their efforts. German efficiency strikes again.

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