Thursday, November 13, 2003

Some cat, who apparently has an ample supply of rhythm and soul, is playing jazz trombone in the courtyard outside my window. Ah, to be serenaded.

In Erica news, frustration mounts over course requirements. Journalism recs, art minor and honors college may not mesh. Oregon student communicates only in headlines, grunts. Muh.

These requirements are ridiculous. I want freedom, but I'm constricted by the fact that I simply can't do everything. It's going to be hard enough to balance J-school classes with the HC crap, but an art minor on top of it is beyond the pale. Something will have to go, especially if I want to study abroad. After a similar rigmarole in high school, I'm not going to repeat my mistakes. There will be no sacrifice of what I love to do for what I feel obligated to complete. Please feel free to throw this back in my face when I'm going on about how I can't leave the honors college because I'm a gigantic quitter, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Today's real feature, however, is my gush of the day. The topic? The New Zealand press.

I love the New Zealand press above the American, Canadian or British press for my international news source. The NZ Herald's coverage of Revenge of the Gulf War (to term it lovingly) is as objective as any. From reading this article, you wouldn't know that New Zealand has a defense staff of 61 stationed in Basra right now, where bombs are falling. They balance articles well; compare the above link to this one, and tell me that they're taking a stance on the war. I dare ya. We all know that the American press is totally spun--liberal and conservative alike. It's hard to find an American news source that subscribes to the Joe Friday Doctrine -- "just the facts." So US media is in a bipartisan pissing contest, while the Canadians just kind of give it a tsk and go back to their affairs. Canada is a friendly and caring country, truly the best kind of neighbor. Their press, inasmuch as I've observed, tends to have a strong focus on domestic affairs, which is great, if you're Canadian. The importance I place on international news and the global community isn't totally satisfied with Canadian foreign journalism. Then we have the Brits. Another fabulous country, one that I've had the pleasure of visiting. Sensationalism and yellow journalism is rampant, sadly. I'm not talking about the paparazzi (another rant entirely), but the British newspapers. Even the Guardian can ham it up. The thing about UK reporters and papers is this: either they're with Tony Blair and Bush (a dying breed), or they're barely or poorly concealing their ire at the White House. Yes, yes, Bush is a moron and the whole administration reeks of unprecedented corruption -- I agree with all of that passionately -- but that should not show in an objective piece of copy. Period. To briefly touch on the Aussies, they have firmer ties with the US than New Zealand, being a larger country and all. They're good, but not as good as my beloved Kiwis.

As for a less America-centric view, INTERnational news. It's actually from many nations. Not just the USA, not just Oceania, not just Europe. Admittedly, no one but African papers carry as much African news as I'd like (unless, of course, they're asking the United States for aid...) but you can't have everything. My biggest gripe about the international news sections -- limiting my argument to rags in English -- is the emphasis on Europe and the US (and Australia, if you're in that neighborhood). At any rate, the New Zealand press has a hold on me because of their beautiful, beautiful world news sections.

Thanks for reading, Bai. I now know someone is out there...

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