The Contrast Between French and Swiss News

The Contrast Between French and Swiss News

As I struggled to find a neutral topic to write about I noticed the distinct difference between how the French and the Swiss media are speaking about the fifth wave. The swiss say that it is “pre-occupying” and that it “has won the French speaking part of Switzerland” and “no long term impact on Swiss finances.” Switzerland is not taking the pandemic seriously anymore and reminds me of England. It is denying that there is a problem and taking reactive rather than pro-active measures.

France in contrast, with just 100 cases per 100,000 people are discussing booster shots for the entire population now. There is mention of “a preparation of a strategy to stop the rebound in the number of cases and about how Macron may prepare safety measures, to stop the increase in the number of cases.

I find Switzerland’s approach to the pandemic to be disheartening. I have been reading a book about a Submariner who went from pro-active submarine life to reactive, business life, and he talked about how he tried to change things around, where he could. It’s about anticipating problems, rather than letting them fester until they are impossible to ignore. That is what Switzerland, under the current government is doing.

France has a pro-active approach. We see that a problem is growing and we know that hospitals are going to be overloaded, but we want to get ready to take measures to limit the consequences, and the damage. They are speaking of elaborating strategies that will mitigate the risk, and they are not speaking of just vaccines and boosters. The approach takes a global approach.

Having said all of this, we know that this pandemic, once it gains critical mass, provokes big “waves” of infection. I expect France to go into lock down within a week or two. If this does occur then curfews may come back into play, and driving from one side of France to the other will be complicated. That is why I should leave this weekend, if I want to spend Christmas in Spain. Last year I made excuses for too long, and France, and Spain went into lockdown, and I had no certainty of getting from A to B. This year I want to avoid that. I know that returning to Switzerland will be easier, than going on a “trip”.

At least I will escape crowds and Christmas carols. I will also probably see more sun, and not be as cold. I will also be in a place where people do sometimes wear masks outdoors. You can’t imagine how good it feels to see people being cautious, rather than careless.

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The Daily Show – Trevor Reacts to the Orlando Shooting

I have been watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for a while now and I like the insight and analysis that his shows provide to current affairs programs. I like his shows because he provides a different perspective than other news. He is a South African who moved to the US and work on the Daily show.

In this show he explores cause and effect. He speaks about his childhood and tying shoelaces. He speaks about running and falling “a lot” and then about how his mother told him to tie his shoe laces. What I like about his show is that it is calm, factual and logical. He makes the occasional joke but it helps strengthen the point he has just made and provides a transition to the next point.

What is interesting about this comedy/current affairs show is that it also pokes fun at mainstream news shows and the way in which they try to deflect the conversation away from the key issues. News and current affairs should provide insight and analysis without worrying about what shareholders, lobbyists and other groups want the message to be. They should provide people with facts and context.

We are in the age of On Demand videos and it takes the average web user seconds to find the content that will provide them with the message or conclusions that they want to justify. Search for Orlando as a key word on youtube and you will find emotional video content.

Emotional content

In a healthy news environment you should have two main sources of information. Mainstream media should provide you with the facts and the context of what happened without prejudice or assumptions being made. Once these sources of information have been exhausted then we can shift towards the emotional talk shows, opinions and columns. What I see at the moment is emotion taking centre stage and obscuring reality.


Current Affairs in Podcast Form

There is an increasing number of professional outfits now offering their content in podcast form, from Euronews to the BBC, from Reuters to The Guardian and others. As a result there are a number of great resources for news content.

The Media guardian was one of the earlier outputs and concentrated mainly on media news but since then The Guardian have diversified their content output to include a number of news programs. These include The Guardian Weekly Podcast, MediaTalk, Newsdesk, and one or two others I have yet to listen to. These programs are good for two reasons; firstly they provide world news when it’s convenient for you and secondly because professionals are creating this content therefore the content should be more reliable. They provide in-depth analysis, getting interviews, and discussions that help the listener understand the topics that are being discussed. In effect they are creating broadcast-quality programs as radio stations have done in the past.

Euronews provides their No Comment video feeds and these are more of a curiosity than factual. They show one to two minutes of edited footage without a voice over. it’s up to the viewer to, via the information previously gathered to understand what the footage is about.

Reuters create their own output in the form of a two to three-minute news summary for the day’s events.

The BBC has a great variety of content available and one of my current favourites is The BBC World Service Global News report that you get twice a day with a summary of the day’s news. It provides around 20 minutes of world news from a variety of countries. They have a number of other productions that cover a range of needs from global news to From Our Own Correspondent and others.

We then have NBC and their Meet the Press Program which is distributed both in podcast and video form. The interviews are interesting and the ability to take them wherever you go means that whilst the program is relatively long it’s available at your convenience.

The point at the moment is that there are a number of resources from which to get the latest news as a result of which some of the more classic, and badly managed more traditional (relatively) media (television) are replaced by newer on-demand content.

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Jamaican Gang Culture And South African Drug Culture – Unreported World

As I write this I am happy that I have been to watch quite a few interesting documentaries at the Frontline Club. The two most recent were made for Channel 4’s Unreported World. This is channel four’s “acclaimed foreign affairs series” and covers a number of topics. The two documentaries I watched were South Africa: Children of the Lost Generation and  Jamaica: Guns votes and money.

Both are investigative observational documentaries showing the progress made by the journalists as they try to uncover the stories that other documentary channels cover. The South African documentary gave an insight into the drug Tik and how, although it is mainly affecting those in the slums is also coming to the wealthier white areas as well. It is well shot and there are a few interesting interviews that give us a good insight into the problem.

When it comes to the Jamaican documentary it is interesting because of the way it has covered the gang and gun culture found in certain areas. The documentary maker and his crew were fortunate to find people that would allow them to come into this gang culture and learn more about the daily lives of these people.

During the Questions and answers session we learned more about the process, how they did some forms of pre-production before arriving, how they had difficulties speaking with Police but how the gang members welcomed them in. When asked how they were allowed to film the gangs they couldn’t really explain it. They did express disappointment, especially for the Jamaica story, on how they had been unable to cover the police point of view, and how the documentary would have gone in another direction.

Watching documentaries is a passion of mine so getting to listen to and meet the people who create these documentaries is great. Hearing the questions that people ask is also interesting because of the little details you learn through the in-depth knowledge certain of these individuals have.


On Trendio My Portfolio Is Doing Well

 current portfolio

If you love reading the news and seeing what’s going on around the world then Trendio is an interesting site for you.

I looked at the events that are going to take place and whether Trendio already has them listed. If it does then I decided to buy some stock for those words and as their quantity increases so it means I will get some income.

Knowing that the French elections would take place I bought stock in two of the key elements to see by how much they would increase. As you see the increase isn’t that bad.

I also saw some other events in the news so bought those.

Overall it’s about understanding the news cycle, what stories have a long life, which ones are going to be short lived and which ones will generate the most hype. If you buy words before a key event when they’re low and wait for the event then you can make a lot of trendilions within a short amount of time.

It’s an interesting distraction and I’d recommend people take a look at it.


Too Much Academia Has Disconnected Me From World News

Too much academic research and concentrating on dissertations has cut me off from world news to such an extent that apart from tech goings on I had no clue. I hardly followed the French elections, hardly noticed the death of Yeltsin, hardly noticed the regional elections.

There are three reasons for this. England is a hard news vacuum with it’s slightly islandish mentality (don’t yell at me for this view, I’ve been here a fifth of my life), online news resources, (finding the news I want) and thirdly researching and writing my dissertation.

It’s been a break from the world and it’s coming to an end and I need to resynchronise with the Hard News world once more. It’s going to take a few days of reading news once the disso and work experience folders are handed but I’ll do it.

I also need to decide what to do, whether I stay in London, whether I go travelling and scuba diving to become an underwater cameraman or whether I go back to the beautiful landscapes of Switzerland where my social life is lived through a computer because I am so tired of the motorway to and from Geneva these days.

Another option is getting a motorbike license, getting the scooter and driving as far as I feel like on a daily basis and seeing place after place.

Time will decide of course.


Progression of satellite broadcasting

Satellite broadcasting has progressed since I was last able to watch a lot of television. The spacing of channels and the programs have progressed. I’ve watched France 24, Al Jazeera English and a few more channels.

As time is progressing so the channels are re-indexing themselves within the sky digital world. They are no longer organised by the discovery channel. Instead, we find that some of the documentary programs are included within specific interests. In particular, I’m thinking of travel documentaries. They are now cataloged within the travel section of the life and culture channels. It’s good because the travelogue documentaries are organised together. It allows for those dreaming of travel to visit these pages.

I watched Al Jazeera English and one thing that’s marked me is how many short features they have on a number of subjects. They have the everywoman program, the witness, and others. It’s a different take than that by BBC World. It’s interesting.

I want to travel. I don’t want to be stuck in uni anymore. I want to go to various locations and do some of these travel documentaries, see different parts of the world.

Maybe I will get to Australia in May.

All that remains from this day

Today a friend of mine was in the news, after being arrested and released in China. He’s a photographer.

At the same time, I’m in England and I am no longer welcome to a place where I have spent many hours.

I have three documents loaded within the browser to continue work on the dissertation proposal I am going to continue on within the next few minutes or within the next day or two.

I’m going home in about 28 days or so, that’s four weeks.

I have a documentary meeting, a tutor meeting, and a  multicamera meeting, all for around the same time. There is also a globalisation meeting. After that, I may go home and edit what should have been edited already. This depends on what’s decided during one of the meetings.
It’s the daily life of a student.


I’m so happy not to need to fly in the next few days

There’s some great news and some bad news. The great news is that the English government says it managed to prevent a series of terrorist attacks within the last twenty four hours. What’s not so great is that many people end up stranded at various airports around the world. Apparently over 200 flights and 200,000 people are affected in the UK alone with repercussions around the world.

For those who are already on the spot this was good news since it means they’re forced to extend their holidays by a day or two. For those who were stranded at the airport it’s the nightmare scenario we’d all hate to experience. We’ve all known delays but in this circumstance we’re talking about hours of delay.

I hope that the idea of preventing people taking laptops and other devices on planes is not realised as I’d hate to be forced to put my electronics in the luggage hold as I know how battered it would be.