media, web 2.0

Flexible Price Economy

Dirk Engelhardt und Goetz Hamann worry in Die Zeit that outsourcing is threatening the quality of the German press. I’d say yes and no.

Yes, replacing permanent contracts with temporary contracts on a massive scale (what outsourcing actually is) does reduce the journalists independence and is likely to increase the worlkload for many of them. There are areas in which this could possibly lead to weaker journalism.

But on the other hand, it could well turn out that the public is quite content with the cheaper version in many cases and that some people were having a cheap lunch before. I mean, there are quality newspapers in this country which seem to rely to large extent on unpaid interns for their local pages – without a significant reduction in quality, it seems.

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So what? The FT reports

So what? The FT reports that the US government \“knew\“ of the letter signed by eight prominent European politicians supporting US policy on Iraq and was even more involved in the copycat letter written by the \“Vilnius 10\“ a week later. OH my, I am shaken to the core. So the US was actually playing \“divide et impera\“ all along ;-). C’mon, guys – who did not expect that… I really don’t understand why the EUOberserver thinks this is a big deal.

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It’s the economy, stupid. USA

It’s the economy, stupid. USA today tells the world that respect for Clinton rebounds among Americans: \“As a candidate, Clinton was the Republican Party’s worst nightmare. He grabbed the political center, yet held on to most of his party’s liberal base. As president, he routinely outflanked Republicans‘ legislative efforts and frustrated the GOP’s attempts to make his moral failing an impeachable offense. Now Americans put him in the top ranks of great presidents. This has to make conservatives squirm.\“

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Trapped In Liquidity? Paul Krugman

Trapped In Liquidity? Paul Krugman seems to share the IMF’s assessment that Germany is on the brink of deflation. That is a scary thought. And there is probably something to it – although I don’t think the recently reported inflation numbers accurately reflect what’s happening to prices in Germany right now, just as they weren’t accurately reflecting the price jump that occurred in the beginning of 2002. But before being able to assess the damage being done, here’s Paul Krugman’s NY Times edition of his lecture on the liquidity trap.

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The Sun on the British

The Sun on the British Eurovision debacle. Insulted – yes, a little. How dare they, these bloody EU-lings … sulking, even more – claiming that the Eurovision song contest doesn’t produce real music anyway. They are quite right here, but we all knew *that* before. And it did not keep Britain from scoring quite well most of the times. But political explanations don’t quite cut it, as I mentioned on Saturday, and as Lillimarleen points out again. The Spanish government was even more enthusiastic (albeit far less important) than the British with respect to the Iraq question and Spain fare quite well last Saturday. I guess it may come down to bad luck…

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Welcome back, Lenin. Apparently, some

Welcome back, Lenin. Apparently, some people have started yet another discussion about West German colonialism in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 led to a reunification process that took less than a year and thoroughly abolished reminders of the former GDR. At the time, East Germans were not too hung up on reminders of the socialist regime they had just liberated themselves from, but as time went by, many seemed to develop a certain Nostalgia regarding all things labeled \“GDR\“ that was – as far as I know – rather unique in the former communist Eastern Europe. Now some people apparently want to reerect a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, aka Lenin. I think it is ok to have a statue of Marx in Berlin. He was wrong in many respects, but he was an important social thinker and not really responsible for the horrors others have read into his texts. Lenin was one, albeit not the worst, of them. It’s ok, even fun, to have GDR-motto parties – but not to reerect statues of the first communist dictator. It’s just as if there weren’t any other problems to deal with.

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Born Blogging? Some things are

Born Blogging? Some things are better left unsaid. What use is it to blog the birth of one’s child as this guy did? Is this – \“10 centimeters dialated, and SW’s water just broke\“ – something the wider public should be told about, even when being wildly optimistic about its interest? No. And certainly not at this point of time – \“I should probably call my parents at some point.\“ Oh my, I can already hear this guy’s `wife say. So, while I was in agony giving birth to our child you were more interested in telling the world about the state of my vagina than in supporting me. And if he told he about the blogging before and she did not say anything – this is probably what she thought. And rightly so. The link (from instapundit) reminds to read a book that has been sitting on my shelf for some time without being openend – \“Der Wert des Privaten\“ – the value of privacy – by Barbara Roessler.

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