One of the things I look forward to when I travel, is obtaining a more global view on news. Many establishments have access to a number of world news channels I don’t normally see or hear. There is a certain ease in becoming myopic, focussing on ones own British navel, when home. This time, I was really disappointed with the subscriptions that were available.

Fox News. Listening to one political analysis which was undisguised extreme right wing bilge, it struck me that the ‘senior reporter’ would not have passed a tertiary college exam with it. Then I hear that Mrs Palin, ex- vice presidential candidate in the last U.S. elections, is being employed by Fox…………right, that puts the thinking and knowledge levels in perspective.

CBBC International – fine if you want repeats of the Teletubbies.

NBC news or discussion programmes not available – no longer being subscribed to, however, there was;
BNBC – a business arm which did give some global enlightenment. It was presented quite well but when it came to specific smaller business successes for 2009, I began to wonder who had what financial payback from whom.

BBC International News. There was more of an international flavour to the the headlines and discussion, such as it was. I soon longed for the World Service where, it was, and still is possible to read through the lines.

Sky News. Okay for keeping up- to- date with UK news. A reporter at the Blair Atholl garage, not that far from Perth in Scotland, spoke of the A9 trunk road being difficult to negotiate. It would be, as would the B roads and the usual little side roads that remained little attended to. A woman was interviewed who said she could not get out and no-one could get to her, yet, the intrepid TV crew managed to ‘get to her’ and interview her outside. Of course, the general point was not lost, that is, there were people who were virtually housebound by the Arctic conditions.

Then, to cap it all we were asked to watch how slowly the dial on the fuel pumps functioned at the garage, because of the low temperatures. Did they perform for the camera, did they hell………the dials revolved sweetly and at a speed you would usually expect them to work at. And still the camera focussed on the dials!

The Sky TV sports analysis…”Two teams are playing; it is certain that there will be a winner today, without a doubt by the end of the day, there will be a winner”.




  1. Looks like you had quite an experience…..I tend to switch off from news when I’m on hols…Headlines suffice! I find that not much has changed when I rejoin the ‘hurly-burly’.

  2. I switched off the variety and standard of reporting that was available first thing in the morning and when having a half hour in the early evening.

    It is not that I seek news per se when I travel, what I seek is a global perspective, and that was sorely missing. Sad.

    The other sad thing was the pathetic standards that were being aired as discussion and analysis. The frightening thing with Fox News, I hear that the station is popular in the States. Eeeeek!

  3. Even the Simpsons are rude about Fox news!

    I felt as if my brains were dribbling out of my ears watching cable TV in a US hotel a few years ago: the most exciting issue was a piece telling you how to pot up plants – basically, stuff them in a pot full of soil. And these are the titans of the developed world!

    Oh, and welcome back to blogland…

  4. Thanks for the welcome back Lois. How are things with you down in the other Winter wonderland?

    The Simpsons are probably the most intelligent commentators to come out of the USA. They should be used more frequently and in place of the total tosh that spews out elsewhere. I guess though, the theory is, that if you use brilliance sparingly, it stays brilliant.

  5. I suppose the lack of global perspective may also be exacerbated by the UK’s decreasing level of influence in world affairs. Welcome back – hope it was a good trip, news apart.

  6. The trip was fascinating, worthwhile,though tiring.

    I think the lack of the availability of global perspectives is due more to the preferences of the subscribers. The hoteliers etc pay for the links. In one area we had an abundance of Russian-speaking stations, a German one, Sky, CBBC, National Geographic (all places)and Fox…heaven forfend. The area was populated with masses of Russian- speakers and they were provided for. In another, it was more general but excluded stations we’d tuned to on previous occasions. Though a shame, in itself, was an interesting development to consider.

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