Saturday, April 11, 2009

All the news that's fit to print

I just got back from a great few days back in Basel (about which more later). One of the things that always gets me is how different the nature of the news is here and there. Not that I can actually read the news there since it's in German, but I generally can figure out enough to get the gist. Here, it is not uncommon for murders in DC to either go unreported or, perhaps, to get a short paragraph somewhere in the middle of the Metro section. By contrast, here are some of the items I came across in the various free local papers (which, I realize, are probably not of the same journalistic quality as the Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung or even the Basler Zeitung):
  • Someone burned a couple of sofas on Basel streets in the middle of the night

  • City gardeners are upset by the increasing use of disposable charcoal grills

  • Since the weather was so nice last weekend, 20,000 tons of garbage was collected in Basel

  • There was an update on the status of naked hiking

  • The Basel Zoo now has a walkway that allows visitors to see the giraffes at eye-level

  • Swiss butchers are being hard-hit by the crisis in the automobile industry because of weakened demand for leather (in Switzerland it's all about the cows)
Actually, as much as there was lots of such frivolity, the biggest news by far seemed to be the earthquake in Italy, whereas Gretchen said it hardly made a ripple in the news here. And best of all, I didn't see a single thing in the news there about the evil UNC winning the basketball national championship...