EU news in regional newspapers

I am in Stuttgart at the moment and our local newspaper, the Stuttgarter Zeitung just relaunched and got a new layout and structure. It is a broadsheet with a circulation of around 150 000. It is one of the big regional newspapers in Germany. Yes, I know newspapers are so 20th century and it is not very fashionable to write about  printed stuff on a blog – but for the time being newspapers (and indeed their websites) are still important – and I think local and regional newspapers could survive longer than we think. So, let’s have a look at today’s structure of the Stuttgarter Zeitung:

stzlogo

  • First page (1 page)
  • Topic of the day (1 page)
  • 3rd page (1 page)
  • Domestic Politics (1 page)
  • “Landespolitik”  (politics on the state level – here: Baden Württemberg )
  • Foreign policy (1 page)
  • Glossy news from around the world (2 pages)
  • Letters (1 page)
  • Economy (7 pages)
  • Stuttgart (5 pages)
  • Stuttgart Region (1 page)
  • Baden Württemberg (2 pages)
  • Letters/Stuttgart (1 page)
  • Discoveries (1 page)
  • Reportage/ feature (1 page)
  • Culture (2 pages)
  • Film (1 page)
  • Media (1 page)
  • Agenda (1 page)
  • Sport (3 pages)

Hmm, ok it is a typical newspaper structure baring in mind the local/regional approach. So what happens with important EU news? If there is a EU summit – topic of the day or first page maybe, the rest of EU news can sometimes be found in the economy or foreign policy (which should be called “international”…) sections. The question I have is the following:

Why not include a daily EU politics page in the first part of the paper?

One page every day (or at least every other day)? It could be the perfect newspaper structure looking at local-regional-national-European-International dimensions! Considering how much is decided on a EU level I find it shocking that newspapers do not report regularly about the EU. And with ‘regularly’ I mean daily – not only during EU summits and EP plenary sessions! And only a change in the structure of the newspaper can introduce a constant reporting. Nowadays, the media happily neglects day to day EU politics. ( Did I hear “fourth power” somewhere?)

stz_epaper_thumbnailI know there is a whole issue whether regional newspapers can afford a journalist based in Brussels? Then again, most press conferences are streamed online, most documents can be found online,  EU institutions are responsive to phone calls and emails. And there are a lot of freelance journalists in Brussels that are desperate for jobs… And let’s not forget: EU funding, EU projects and EU policies have a regional dimension. Only if there is a constant flow of EU news, people become aware of what is going on in the EU institutions. An EU page would also “force” journalists to come up with stories more regularly. There would also be a forum for the local MEPs to be present in the public debate. If you (as a newspaper editor) want to change something and get EU news in the paper there are many different possibilities!

I have written about the EU ignorance of newspaper editors before and I will keep an eye on it.  But as long as regional newspapers like the Stuttgarter Zeitung refuse to include the EU in the structure of the paper nothing will change regarding knowledge and ignorance of citizens (and journalists). The relaunch of the StZ is therefore a missed opportunity to address this problem. (Well, the main problem is probably that this was not even an issue when they thought about the relaunch…)

I would be interested whether there are newspapers with a regular “EU page”? (not a ‘Europe page’ with random stories from different European countries!) Comments are open…

5 Comments

  1. I was so modest in my musing about the EU election to wish just for at least a page once a week. I discussed with people on the street EU politics, and clearly most knew little about it. Looking at the newspaper, that was H.A.Z, Hannoversche Allgemeine, in my hand one morn I thought, well, is it any wonder? Is there anything about EU parliament, its discussions and its decisions in there on regular base? Are there any regular reports? Or why isn’t there regularly a page about it, so to make it more obvious and easy to find? Who is spreading the word? People might be not as much interested, alright, but is any newspaper trying to give more information? And then they complain about EU being some intransparent bureaucracy.

  2. Frage, warum gibt es keine EU-Seite in Tageszeitungen? RT @kosmopolito http://is.gd/1IXZZ

  3. I see good developments in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and if I have time I will blog about this in the near future.

  4. EU news in regional newspapers – Kosmopolito http://bit.ly/GdC97

  5. EU news in regional newspapers – Kosmopolito The latest regional UK construction news, UK http://bit.ly/GdC97

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