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Monday, 9 April 2012

Different News

When I was a boy, I was never happy to accept the version of the news put out by the BBC or newspapers. I did what every self-respecting geek of the era did - ran a wire up a tree in the garden and plugged it in the aerial socket of a short-wave receiver.

It was amazing - I "travelled" the world.  I think the first station I heard was Radio Prague in what was then communist Czechoslovakia. As well as Radio Moscow, I listened many of the more obscure stations such as  Radio Pyongyang (North Korea) and learned useful insults such as "running dog of the imperialist paper tigers" . There were occasional slips in the English - I recall Radio Tirana (Albania) telling me about the poor treatment of the "Ab-Oranges" in Australia. "Western" broadcasters were around too such as the Voice Of America but they were less bizarre.

Nowadays, different slants on the news are still available via the ubiquitous World Wide Web, here's just a few interesting examples:

  • Aljazeera has a wide range of stories covering the world. As you might expect, it's got a more "eastern" view but not to the point of strain.
  • I first bought myself a copy of Pravda over 20 years ago on a trip to Moscow. Then it was a newspaper, in Russian and the joke was that "pravda" translated as "Truth". Now it's on-line and in English too.
  • For those interested in the Greek view of what's happening in that troubled country, try Athens News
  • North Korea is now on-line but in many ways, it hasn't changed it's tone at all - see here (There are a number of fake North Korea sites around but this one seems genuine - it has a .kp domain)
  • For what seems to be a wide-ranging and fairly balanced news service, try Wikipedia's coyly named "Current events" portal.
  • Finally, for news in English from one of our smaller European partners, try the Times of Malta

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