Monday, January 19, 2009

Podcast Review: Inside Europe

I like to stay informed -- which means I usually have to travel beyond the bounds of mainstream media. Fortunately, with podcasting this isn't hard to do.

One of my primary sources for European news is "Inside Europe" from Deutsche Welle (DW), the international broadcast service of Germany, tasked with providing news and information about Germany and Europe throughout the world.

Some public radio stations in this country carried some Deutsche Welle programs, but with NPR's plethora of news programming, it was often difficult to find room for any other news source in the schedule. Enter podcasting.

DW produces the one-hour "Inside Europe" program once a week, which makes it a perfect anthology of the top European news stories for American listeners. The format is very similar to "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered" -- long-form stories with background sounds, lots of actualities (interviewees), and well-reasoned, informative reporting.

And "Inside Europe" is just that -- a news program about Europe. German stories don't get prominence, and I have yet to hear any particular bias in the reporting. Germany isn't favorably pictured -- the bad gets reported with the good. And there isn't a pro- or anti- U.S. slant, either. American actions are reported, but only as they affect Europe.

Virtually every "breaking" news story from Europe breathlessly reported on MSNBC or CNN I already heard about the week, or sometimes several weeks, before on "Inside Europe."

That dust-up between Georgia and Russia? Not a surprise to anyone following the posturing that's been going on between the countries for some time. None of that made the news here -- but it certainly did in Europe. The French immigration riots, the Turkish political crises, the problem of English farmers competing against European imports, the events leading up to Kosovo's bid for independence, all of these stories (and more) have been brought to my attention thanks to "Inside Europe," and they're keeping me up to date on their developments.

"Inside Europe" is a remarkable news program, and one I find invaluable as a global citizen. (And if you don't think you're a global citizen, then you're just not living with reality.)

Remember, you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast. Just download to your computer and enjoy.

- Ralph

Day 208 of the WJMA Web Watch. (The relaunch of the WJMA website? Now that would be news!)

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