Friday, June 17, 2011

French newspapers and US newspapers - ever heard of one another?

It's bad enough that most US newspapers, and most French newspapers, would not dream of adding links (most of the time) to any other newspaper in their country for a different perspective, added depth or breadth on a story. In some ways, it's even worse when they refuse to do this across the sea.
The Dominique STRAUSS-KAHN case is a perfect example, and perhaps the best. Sure, the articles and the source materials in some cases appear in languages other than the first language of most of their cusotmers, but what's to be lost (and how much ot be gained!) by giving customers a chance - using various online translation tools if necessary - to see how the "other side" of the Atlantic is reporting the case. It's complicated for people in each country to understand the other's criminal justice system in all its aspects, and why not pull out all the stops - add all the links - in order to give readers their best shot at comprehending the full story? Isn't that what newspapers are supposed to do? If I have time, I will add some examples. This morning, here in France, I heard a report on French radio of the release of the prosecution's summary of events at the time of STRAUSS-KAHN's arrest. The announcer said that the full text was on the Europe1 website. English, French, links to anything else?

That same document as posted on the NYTimes site, and on Europe1.

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