The media here is actually pretty good – I’ve only been here three weeks so can’t comment with authority, but there are about four or five good quality English-language dailies, and of that the Daily Star is perfectly worthy of comparison to other international titles – certainly a lot better and more intelligent than The New York Post or Daily Mail or some other rag.
The papers are small, often no more than 20pages, with a couple on international and a couple on sport – mostly cricket and English football. Most of the non national stories are taken off the wires, usually AFP or AP, although some sporting ones are just basic cut-and-paste jobs from BBC Sport online – and amusingly accredited ‘internet, undated’.
The international focus revolves around N.Korea, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq at the moment (which is fair enough!), and obviously some extra attention on the regional powers.
National news is either about the forthcoming elections (which I’ll try and write about separately, soon), or the constant power cuts, which really are messing the whole country up at the moment. Most reports don’t have a byline though, and although I get the impression that the Fourth Estate is held in high esteem, there are plenty of stories of journalists being attacked by mobs. It’s tricky to get my head around it, I’m just giving a first impression.
Some of the comment pieces are very good though, and I’m a big fan of this little gem in from the Daily Star on Monday, about Blair and his legacy. Check it out. The last sentence in particular is a work of art…