Joe Hendren

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Avoid the sports news for more politics

As a regular viewer of TV3 news I sometimes find myself a little bored when the sports news comes on. I really enjoy the cricket and sometimes the soccer, but I am afraid all the endless analysis of rugby and motor racing and the like bores me.

I find it an irony politicians are often accused of being experts at 'saying nothing', when the All Black coach gets away with saying a lot less, uttering meaningless nonsense such as 'it was a game of two halves' and 'rugby was the winner on the day'.

I don't think its the sports news itself - its the timing. When I am getting my daily fill of televised politics, the sports news sometimes feels like an interruption before the 'real news 'continues on Campbell Live. Noam Chomsky suggests one of the reasons spectator sports are encouraged by the dominant institutions is that it occupies the population, and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter :)

But never fear friends, I found a solution. At 6:30pm on weeknights Southland TV hosts the excellent 'DW-World News'. Its a bit like a German equivalent of BBC World, and yes, it is in English. Lately I have been able to enjoy extended coverage of the German elections and coverage of international news leap years ahead of anything on TV1 or TV3. Each edition includes a special indepth report - allowing much more satisfying coverage of an issue.

Last night Deutsche Welle-TV looked at the two sides of Germany on the 15th anniversary of reunification, following the paths of two industrial towns, one in the west, one in the east. Some Westies complain too much public spending is sent to the east, while a far greater proportion of East Germans are without jobs (18%; double the rate of Western Germany).

This made me wonder two things - do German politicians attempt to use 'the east' as an excuse to cut public spending in the west, and are some of the complaints about high public spending in the east just a veiled form of beneficiary bashing?

DW World News - 6:30 weeknights, Southland TV (Sky Channel 90). Recommended!

Cricket PS: As the sole kiwi representative in the World XI playing Australia tonight, Dan Vettori turned out to be the absolute star with the ball. Vettori took four wickets for 33 runs, including one maiden. Playing in a team alongside Flintoff, Kallis, Akhtar, Muralitharan and Pollock, gaining the standout figures of the innings is no mean feat.
Cricket PS2: Brian Lara just got a duck. Boo! :(

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At 2:35 am, Blogger Rich said...

There are people around who know more than me, but German reunification was a massive stress on what was a very succesful example of a social market economy.

Imagine what would happen to NZ if we were to not only merge with Fiji, but exchange all the Fijian dollars in circulation for NZ ones at several times the market exchange rate. That is more or less what happened in Germany.

The effect of this has never really worked its way out of the German economy, even in 15 years. I actually believe that with steady growth, it will eventually do so without revolutionary reforms. German business is still efficient and succesful on a world scale (BMW, Volkswagen, Siemens, SAP) - and people forget that Germans are still a lot richer than most other peoples.

At 8:47 am, Blogger Comrade_Tweek said...

DW TV used to be on free to air television at one point and it was very interesting - offering not only a German, but a pan European perspective on life, culture and politics.

From memory, it was on the old Channel 6 (Regional stations). But then it was removed and replaced when the frequency was brought by this right wing christian fundamentalist station from the US.

However, good to see that DW has made it's return even if it is not free to air.

At 4:01 am, Blogger Rich said...

DW was free to air on Triangle TV in Auckland, at least 3 months ago it was.


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