Short guide to lazy EU journalism

The unofficial rulebook for lazy EU journalism. 20 invaluable tips for your career in EU journalism.

1. Not sure how the EU works or what institutions are involved? –> Just write “Brussels”.

2. Germany is generally seen as important in EU politics and journalists know how to frame it: If Germany is active in a certain policy domain just write something about  “German dominance” and if you work for British newspaper add  some subtle references to the war. If  Germany is passive in a given policy area just write that Germany abandons the EU and it clearly adopted a unilateral strategy, if you work for a British newspaper you could add something about the war.

3. Found a short reference in a paper which talks about your country? –> Is is an evil plan to undermine democracy

4. General rule: No need to distinguish between different European institutions and organisations. Who cares whether it is the Council of Europe, the European Council, the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union or the European Court of Human Rights . –> Just write something about eurocrats and unelected foreign European judges interfering with your beloved country. [thanks Andrew!]

5. You are in Brussels and there are several events happening at the same time?  –> Well, this is a clear sign that the EU does not address the important issues! (Important issue = event you attend)

6. Unsure what is happening in the EU? –> Don’t bother ringing someone in Brussels. Just make something up about bananas or recycle a story you read half a year ago. If you are ambitious call the press department of one of the parties in your capital or use a recent party pamphlet.

7. Did you come across a controversial statement or an opinion of an MEP or any national MP? –> Start your article with “EU plans to…” or “Country X wants to…” Any MEP or committee must be prefaced by “senior,” “influential” or “key” as long as he/she/it says something confrontational. [thanks Tim Jones]

8. Facts are overrated. Don’t bother checking the original EU policy documents. There is no need to understand differences between white or green papers, a report or a regulation or a directive. It is much easier to write about ‘crazy ideas of EU bureaucrats’.  If you have an idea for a good EU story don’t let facts ruin it. Plus, nobody will check if a EU story is true. Everyone knows that the EU is boring and evil. Moreover, the single aim of the EU is to produce unnessary regulation (generally known as ‘red tape”).

9. Use “EU bureaucrats” or “Brussels bureaucrats” as often as possible. A more experienced lazy journalist would simply refer to ‘Eurocrats‘. (Thanks Gawain) Useful adjectives in this context include “unelected”, “unaccountable”, “corrupt”, “highly-paid”, “highly-pensioned”, “lazy”. This list is not exhaustive and can be adapted to your journalistic needs. You may also use “EU official” or “EU representative” especially if you follow rule 4.

10. Don’t mention that ministers might have a veto over EU policy –> Just write about how the EU destroys national sovereignty.

11. You think that the EU is a bit too complex and everything takes a bit too long? –> Well just focus on zero sum games especially during summits.  One country wins, one country looses. That is life. That’s the EU. Simples.

12. A good headline is key. So always go for the pun or the the odd ‘eurocrats’, ‘empire’ reference. And the fight is always between europhiles and eurosceptics. Keep that in mind.

13. Symbols are more important than substance. Stories about what people had for breakfast or dinner, something about flags or anthems are great examples. Always mix personal stories about EU leaders with national stereotypes and prejudices. You will be surprised: it always works.

14. EU funding is always a great story. There is corruption, waste and funny projects. However, do not mention that projects need co-financing. Also do not try to look at the positive examples, it would just spoil the story. Anyway, EU money is by definition a bad thing. So, don’t try to explain why EU funding exists in the first place.

15. The EU budget as well as the budget negotiations provide many interesting options for lazy journalists. You could write that the EU books have not been signed off for years – without mentioning the auditing rules. Or you could write something about how much money your country pays to be in the EU -  without mentioning that it may get something back. Don’t make the mistake to link to any official cost-benefit calculation. Because if they exist they are must be wrong, if they don’t exist it is generally a conspiracy.  Rather use a statement from another newspaper or dodgy think tank. Just don’t ask any questions. Never think about what the EU could do with the money, just assume that “Brussels wastes all the money it gets”.  Budget negotiations are zero sum games, so rule 11 applies. There is no such thing as the “European interest”.

16. The single market means competition which might include foreign companies winning tenders in your country. If that happens just focus on the foreign element of that company. Make some claims about corruption.  Write about how many jobs will be lost. No need to mention that new jobs will be created. If you are an ambitious lazy journalist write about how EU competition laws are made to destroy your local economy.

17. Don’t bother learning a foreign language. It is not useful in EU journalism. You can always rely on international news agencies.

18. Subscribe to all ‘think tanks’ and ‘business associations’ which are highly regarded among your collegues. From time to time, just ‘write’ (copy/paste) short articles. Don’t include links to your sources.

19. Context is overrated. Headlines are more important. Just go for the best quotes – no context needed. If you have a great quote from last week, you can still use it. No need to check whether current events have moved on.

20. A beginners mistake is to engage with the opposite side or with critics of your work. So, just don’t do it.

The second part of the ‘short guide to lazy EU journalism’ will be published in the coming weeks on this blog and might focus on the recent “Eurocrisis”. Use the comments below to share your tips how to become a lazy EU journalist or how to cover the eurocrisis as lazy journalist.  This would give me the opportunity to plagiarise your ideas in the next blog post. ;-)

Update 20/11/2011 – 25/11/2011: Well, it seems that ‘#lazyEUjournalism’ is indeed a pan-European issue.  Consequently the ‘short guide’ was translated into several European languages! Thanks to all bloggers and translators!

DE: Ein kurzer Leitfaden zu faulem EU-Journalismus – Vielen Dank, opalkatze!

FR: Comment faire du journalisme européen paresseux, en 20 points – Merci beaucoup, Fabrize! 

IT: Short guide to lazy EU journalism ovvero come fare del giornalismo europeo di pessima qualita – Grazie, Francesca!

RO: Cum să scrii despre UE când ai o maximă lene …   - Mulțumesc, Roxana!

ES: Kosmopolito denuncia el periodismo basura europe |europa451.es

NL: Korte handleiding voor luie EU-journalisten | Presseurop

HR: Kratki vodič za komotno novinarstvo o EU - Hvala, Srdjan!

IS:  Stutti leiðarvísirinn fyrir lata Evrópublaðamanninn – Takk, Hilmar!

Inspired by this post there are several adaptations which discuss in how far the guide applies to different national public spheres:

NO: EU for late journalister | europabloggen

CZ: Příručka pro líné EU novináře | respekt.cz 

PL: Jak pisać o UE | Kadmos

83 Comments

  1. I have nothing to add but appreciation.

  2. In the second half your article almost reads like a guide for lazy British journalists…. :-)
    Generally.agree, though

  3. You left out how utterly economically illiterate most journalists are.

  4. –> Just write something about eurocrats and foreign European judges interfering with your beloved country.

    You forgot the obligatory “unelected”. We all know that good old national (i.e. British) civil servants and judges regularly face the public vote, whereas their dodgy European counterparts answer to no-one…

  5. I just love this, as I see those points so often in French media. May I translate this article and republish it on the site of the association of european journalists ? (www.ajefrance.com)

  6. What a scam, this Kosmopolit. Doesn’t blog for months and then comes back mocking the quality press all across Europe.

    This is how these europhile bloggers are – you can’t trust them.

  7. European Citizen

    November 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Don’t mention that EU laws are passed by the European Parliament, directly elected, and the Council of the EU, composed of national ministers. This may dangerously undermine your argument that your country is being ruled by unelected foreign bureaucrats. It might also expose the fact that – shock and horror – your own government has voted in favor of the directive you’ve just described as “crazy”.

    On some rare occasions, you may have to report on a story which, despite all your efforts to twist the facts, shows that the EU has done something good for your country. Write a very short piece, neglecting the role of the EU as much as possible, and end with: “oh well, we pay so much money into this scam so it was about time we got something (small) out of still being in it”.

  8. Hilarious, painful and very, very true at the same time! Having lived in the UK for some time as well, the parts related to the British press made me nod even more strongly. My compliments!

  9. 1. Effective shorthand, it isn’t the Press that designed the thicket of institutions designed to obscure responsibility.
    2. Point a)
    Yes, but the simple fact is that there is German dominance, though of course this isn’t (entirely their fault – just a matter of fact)
    Point b)
    Fair point – Though to be fair it was Ms Merkel who recently mentioned the war.
    3. ?
    4. I refer to answer to point 1. As to the unelected aspect. There is a point, but I would contend that the impact of organisations like the Commission, ECJ etc have a greater impact than the British Courts on a wider range of subjects. And they are, by and large not sympathetic to the Common Law and the way we do things in the UK.
    5 .Bang on the button
    6. To be fair the most egregious aspect of this is the regurgitation of Commission press releases as copy. Mostly by underpaid continental hacks.
    7. Fair point
    8. Again that works both ways.
    9. Eurocrats dummy. Far more effective in this sense.
    10. Well given the amount of vetos have been replaced by QMV this is an ever decreasing problem. In most areas of policy vetos no longer exist.
    11. See point 2
    12. True of all journalism. That is why headline writers often get paid better than journalists. Fights make copy. Compromises …. zzzzzzzzz
    13. Yup. Symbols are indeed important. Because people relate to symbols. People elate to the personal. That is just the way it is. Would you replace the people with some form of Commitology loving robots?
    14. The EU doesn’t have any money. Its own resources are not its own. All the money it has is taken under duress from people. So of course that is how people think. And so there are successful examples of EU funding. But frankly do we need the EU to do it?
    15. Category mistake. Because there is no European demos, there is no real European media. Euronews is a classic case in point – unwatchable. Journalists write for national, not international audiences. They need to sell into a market. Otherwise how do they get to eat? Again a fact of life.
    16. Fair comment
    17. So what is the Lingua Franca?
    18. As with point 6.
    19. Absolutely
    20. Ah right, so I shouldn’t have bothered with this then.

    • European Citizen

      November 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      14. All the money it has is taken under duress from people.

      I don’t remember paying into the EU budget while an unelected Brussels bureaucrat was pointing a gun at my head…BTW the EU has its own resources as well, though they comprise a small part of its budget.

      4. but I would contend that the impact of organisations like the Commission, ECJ etc have a greater impact than the British Courts on a wider range of subjects.

      Have you ever heard of subsidiarity?
      In any case, the EU is only involved in subjects covered in the treaties which do not cover all policies that a national government is responsible for and which are subject to judicial scrutiny. Therefore, it is impossible for the EU institutions to wield power over a wider range of subjects than British Courts.

      1. Effective shorthand, it isn’t the Press that designed the thicket of institutions designed to obscure responsibility.

      Isn’t it also the responsibility of the press to try to clarify or at least not to deliberately mislead readers? EU institutions are complex but there are a number of EU websites which explain the functioning of the EU. Unless of course you avoid them because you think they are brainwashing you…

    • Cheers Gawain. It must have taken you longer to write this comment than me writing the whole post (How could I not include ‘eurocrats’…tsss) Quite satiesfied that we actually found some common ground here – although I don’t agree with everything you write. However, the bottom line seems to me that the distinction between ‘commentary’ and ‘factual news reporting’ is blurring. This may be a general trend in journalism but it tends to make things worse in areas in which readers are not overly familiar with the topic. The EU is a case in point here.

  10. Such a fine article :) I just translated the text for my blog, hope, it will be okay?
    [http://opalkatze.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/ein-kurzer-leitfaden-zu-faulem-eu-journalismus/]

  11. Fabulous Brilliant Will be cherished and added to over the coming months/years. If we can’t get the UK to report/discuss the EU in an adult way, then let’s turn good old fashioned British irony, sarcasm and wit against the ‘euro sceptics’ (which is also a perncicious reframing description- these are not in the main sceptics but nihilists- they hate the EU and have not a generous word to say about it) I will rename them euro septics.

  12. AMAZING! LOVE THIS! Just to start my weekend ;-) Thanks!

  13. You can add: if you are a French journalist, don’t forget to mention that Sarkozy save the EU twice a month.

  14. love it! wish I could translate it into some more languages but all of mine have already been done..

  15. What do you mean? Is it already translated into French?

  16. Add to Point 7 – any MEP or committee must be prefaced by “senior,” “influential” or “key” as long as he/she/it says something confrontational.

  17. Experience from dealing with Brussels based journalists as well as those covering EU from MS: they very often understand EU much better than their produce suggests. Usual excuse: the readers (or worse – and more usual – editors) wouldn’t understand the complexity, the length, the language. Thus we need to produce articles simple – and often false or misleading, otherwise we would be sacked or replaced.

    • I agree, the problem is not so much with journalists in Brussels but with journalists that are not in Brussels. However, very interesting point regarding the editors. Any idea how to address this?

      • No. And did I try to find one! The editors usually hide behind excuse of bringing to the readers what do they want/expect, not what the truth/accuracy is. And behind the editor stands a guy from the advertising department, nodding.
        However, another point – at least concerning my country (Czech Rep.) – in the recent “financial crisis” years the media savagely cut down on foreign correspondents. From Brussels based 9-10 Czech journalists there are only 3 now, TV, Radio and news agency. All the print media take coverage only from second hand. Or during the summits, if they got invitation on government plane. Which they get only if…

  18. Just great.love the first rule.

  19. Is this a flash look at how paranoid the pro Europe response is to genuine criticism. It is the job of the media to question everything Brussels does. As is done in London, Washington, Paris, Rome and the rest where it is permitted.

    May I point out that The European Union is meant to represent its citizens and that message is failing to get across. Whose fault is that. There are no good guys or bad guys in this battle. Only winners and losers. The EU is losing because negative perceptions about its engines are based on truths or half truths. Its dismissal of direct confrontation to correct these perceptions by using defences such as the patronising and condescending use of words such as Populism does a dis-service to those fighting the pro-superstate argument.

    With best regards

    martin nangle photojournalist…

    http://martinnangle.blogspot.com/
    martin.nangle@rocketmail.com

  20. For the anglophone press, it helps to throw in some cliche French expressions (all the better if not actually used by the French), things like plus ça change.

  21. 21. When discussing salaries, always include the director-general pay level as an example of what a random civil servant will get towards the end of her career.

  22. Sad but true. Unfortunately people believe the crap, they read in the newspapers. And if you tell them, that’s their own government, who i.e. voted for/against something in the Council of the EU, they tell you: “You don’t understand this” or if you are young “Start working and paying taxes…”

  23. Loved it…up to point 14, where you seemed to take a bitter turn. I’m not in Brussels, but I imagine the fault may lie a little with both sides….?

  24. The laziest do not bother to follow the 20 points, they just find an article that does (e.g. in Daily Telegraph, Bild, Kronenzeitung) and translate it into their own language. Preferably with the EU banning something as title.

  25. At Kosmopolit’s request, I repost here from my Twitter feed (@vb2b) a few additional “tips” highlighting the flipside of lazy anti-EU journalism, namely pro-EU journalism.

    21. Whenever possible, use “Europe” or “European” as shorthand for the European Union and its institutions and policies. Say that those supporting the Brussels point of view are “for Europe” or “pro-European” whereas doubters and opponents are “against Europe” or “anti-European”. This automatically puts the good guys in a positive light. Who cares that Europe is a continent, not an administrative jurisdiction?

    22. The EU must never be judged in terms of right or wrong, good or bad. Such brusque value judgments lack the necessary subtlety to measure the progress of “Europe” towards an ever more perfect union. The appropriate prism is whether something or someone “sends a positive signal” (or a negative signal) for Europe. Positive signals or steps count as concrete results as far as the EU is concerned.

    23. Use meaningless metaphors such as the proverbial train “leaving the station” to dismiss opposing arguments and keep the debate on the level of common sense versus folly, future vs. past, positive vs. negative, rational vs. cranky.

    24. When all else fails, point out that the EU has kept Europe at peace for 60 years and make ominous noises about what might happen if bad signals and steps backward win the day. Some people may think that major European countries were always very unlikely to go at war again considering the horrors of the previous conflicts, the common threat of Communism, nuclear deterrence and greater prosperity, but they are clearly deluded.

  26. ShamelessDeParis

    November 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Maybe it will be useful to contrast the actual amounts of ‘bureaucratic’ spend: Total EU operating budget vs individual and aggregate EU national budgets etc. Also proportion of total (gross) national EU contribution to total national budget, contributions to other agencies such as UN etc… and of course, net contribution etc
    The total EU budget of some €120m …almost half of which goes to CAP… is not that massive when put into perspective.

  27. A few more easy rules to follow:

    21. The best EU stories are ‘EU madness’ ones along the lines of “EU says 2+2=5″, “EU bans breathing”, “EU dictates that it can only rain on a Tuesday”, etc. Just take any press release from the EU and distort it mercilessly until it becomes a credible/incredible madness story.

    22. Repeat any claim that involves a country ‘being better off outside the EU’, don’t provide any counterclaim, it will be too boring.

    23. Describe absolutely all EU legislation as Red Tape, which strangles business and destroys jobs. Gloss over that fact that many EU rules are actually supported by business because they often replace 27 different sets or rules with 1.

    Also refer to as red tape any EU rules on basic protection of environment, workers rights, etc. which many readers would agree with, and which other non-EU countries jealous of.

    24. Have a nice lunch with a business lobbyist, and then write (or copy-paste from lobbyist’s press release) an article about how the new EU rule would result in many jobs being lost. To choose a number for how many, follow the methodology of the lobbyist by making a reasonable estimate and multiplying it by at least ten.

    Be sure to mention that companies will move outside the EU where this silly new rule doesn’t apply, (even if in reality companies very rarely do just because of a change to one law). You could even provide an example of one a company who has moved outside the EU, (it doesn’t matter if the move was nothing to do with new EU laws).

    25. Never mention that some Eurocrats are actually British or from other Eurosceptic countries, that lessens the impact of their evilness. If possible try and associate any EU madness story, with people from the most federalist pro-European countries, (France, Belgium and Luxembourg are the best for this), try not to mention anyone from more ‘sensible’ countries who might be involved.

    26. All Eurocrats are horrendously overpaid, distort the numbers to reflect this. Describe all Eurocrat salaries as tax-free. Do not refer to the Kinnock reforms which slashed 25% from starting salaries for any Eurocrats careless enough to wait until after 2004 to board the Gravytrain.

    27. Refer to pretty much anything involving the EU as a Gravytrain. This word should appear at least once in all EU articles.

    28. To hammer home the point, mention the even more ridiculous excess of senior EU bureaucrats. Made-up examples are fine. Helipads on top of their offices is a popular true false fact to include.

    29. All Eurocrats are probably corrupt. Mention a couple of MEPs who actually were and got caught out, and imply it refers to anyone involved in the EU.

  28. Very nice article, but let’s be honest. A lot of those reports on the EU are fundamentally correct. Attacking the style in which the message is being brought shouldn’t releave us from taking justified criticism to heart.

    One can be forgiven for using “Brussels” as a generic term when in the EU game and in the eurozone crisis, power clearly trumps institutions and the rule of law. Or doesn’t it? No bailout rule, anyone?

  29. Another one: the European Union and the EuroZone are one and the same thing and can be interchanged at will. Do this as often as possible in your articles.

    Don’t mention or explain economical terms, if you don’t know what a fiscal or monetary union is, don’t mention it, but write something about Eurobonds and how they threaten the very existence of the EU.

    Ignore positive signals. Just keep an eye out for vitriolic posts proclaiming that a wet dream from a Eurosceptic has come true. Negate everything positive: people only want to read how they’re being plucked, not how EU-wide regulations can actually improve their lives.

  30. This is hilarious and fantastic at the same time. Rarely have i seen something good as this on EU journalism. Good work!

  31. Next time leave something about european newspeak, for people from east europe is very familiar

  32. But you have to admit, they are not completely without fault.

    I mean “the Council of Europe, the European Council, the Council of the EU”.

    That sounds an awful lot like the “Judean People’s Front” vs “People’s Front of Judea”, don’t you think?

  33. I like the bit about the war, makes me think of John Cleese “Don’t mention the war!!”

    There are some good points made, however point 4: “Who cares whether it is the Council of Europe, the European Council, the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union or the European Court of Human Rights . ”

    You have to admit that the first 3 options have the word council in them and unless you’ve studied the EU closely it may be hard to distinguish. Of course, laziness can be blamed as can ignorance but I would grant them a point that there are so many institutions it can be hard not to get confused once in a while.

    Point 8: green papers and white papers. Same thing, unless you’ve studied the EU closely how are you going to know what the difference is? You could argue that as journalists it’s their job to know what the difference is and that’s true. But you also have to admit that the EU is full of jargon and lingo and many things that to the less well versed person are very difficult to grasp.

    I mostly agree with what you say, but you also can’t forget that just because some people know a lot about the EU and in much detail, not everyone else does.

  34. I think journalism is a profession. And similar to other professions there are certain things you need to know. As a journalist you need to learn how to write stories, how to use certain journalistic tools etc. Being a good journalist you need to have attention detail and basic research skills. I may be naive but I expect journalists to know details about the things they write about. So if you are a journalist and your job is to write about politics, well get yourself a book on EU decision making – or at least use google and wikipedia.

    The EU is complex but is it too much to ask to get the terminology right? Journalists covering national politics would never mix up “House of Commons” with “House of Lords” or “Bundestag” with “Bundesrat”.

    Another question in this context is whether certain people actually mix up terms deliberately to mislead readers…

    • Great article. But surely it’s a myth that journalists are a profession? No requires training, no professional exams, no mechanism to correct mistakes… Just a belief in one’s righteousness and judgement?

  35. That’s true I suppose, they wouldn’t mix up House of Commons with the House of Lords, so it’s a fair point. :-)
    As for the deliberate mix up, that would be evil! And we also mustn’t forget the ignorance of the readers who consequently interpret articles as they see fit too!

    Thanks

  36. In the alternative, subscribe to “The Economist”. And no, I do not get a comission…

  37. A few EuroCrisis rules:

    Gloss over any difference between the Bundesbank, the ECB and Berlin. They are all essentially the same and everything is a plot for German domination.

    Refer at all times to all bankrupt Eurozone-countries as ‘Club Med’, don’t worry about the fact that neither Portugal or Ireland are technically in the Mediterranean.

    Mention lots of stories about Germans working into their mid-sixties to pay for Greeks to retire at 50. It’s quite funny – clever Greeks!

    All stories should ask who is next in line, and generate so much smoke that the markets panic and the fire is thereby created as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Repeat ad-infinitum.

    Any politician who actually can add up, doesn’t resort to cheap populism, (or have bunga bunga parties), and has a clue how to resolve the mess should be referred to as a technocrat. Even better an unelected technocrat, whether they were elected or not.

  38. Superb!
    As a German/European living in the UK, I am really shocked about the press coverage. Judging from most newspaper reports, one could believe that the EU has occupied the UK in a hostile takeover.

  39. OMG this is absolutely brilliant, there should be an addenda for us TV reporters that directs us to do our stand ups in front of the flags at the Parliament in Brussels no matter which institution you are talking about. As for the Eurocrisis rules, one ‘must’ is to be be sure you stipulate in your article that all the Europarliament is doing about it has to do with not letting you board a plane with liquids. Evil.

    Btw if you are interested nin an spanish translation for the rules, I wouldnt mind

    • A Spanish version would be brilliant! Thanks a lot for the offier. Just go ahead if you find the time… :)

      A TV edition is also a good idea. Reminds me of the BBC series ‘Taking the Flak’ …

  40. never forget a “superstate” issue – when you are stupid enough to forget that only one state can make 26 others look/act like idiots, with an example of enlargement, macedonia blocked by greece ( because of the NAME, for god’s sake!) and croatia by slovenia (because of sticking to the international law, UNCLOS, law of the sea )

  41. Next time, don’t forget to mention the german trade surplus, as cause of imbalance among Euro members, you lazy journo!

  42. I am so glad to have found this article and blog. Very funny (in a bitter way for the European citizen that I am). Thanks for the laughs and the debunking.

  43. I can’t believe you missed the necessity to use the word ‘plot’ when describing almost any EU plans or ideas that might or might not be in the pipeline. And that using the word ‘secret’ is usually obligatory.

    You might enjoy this too:
    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/04/daily-express-indulges-its-eu-madness-again/

  44. Well done, quite funny… Sorry I haven’t read all your posts, but is there a article about EU officials and insiders elite, who do not let anybody else get any jobs there and live in their own bubble? Not mentioning the facism of French language necessity, while the main language spoken on the streets of EU quarter in Brussels is English? Could give you more frustrating topics, if you with the “European perspective” are interested…

  45. For the follow up piece, include the following, especially directed at Daily Telegraph hacks:

    “When writing about human rights, always mix up EU Institutions with the Council Of Europe. Simplify by blaming Brussels even if the offending decision comes from the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights. Complete ignorance of all these institutions is an advantage.”

  46. Excellent. The challenge will be to hit all 20 points in the same article (and then to cut, paste and file it).

  47. mentioning the war. That is used by supporters of the EU just as much as it is used by British newspapers. Barroso has been very keen about employing it lately.

  48. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8897662/EU-bans-claim-that-water-can-prevent-dehydration.html

    You will find almost ALL points in this article : “bureaucrats” “Brussels” “stupid decision” reference to “bananas”, and so on.

  49. now you can add the Croatian version to the list (no adaptation, just a translation):

    http://www.zamirzine.net/spip.php?article11132

    sr

  50. And will Kosmopolit award a “Lazy Journalist” prize to the worst (or best) offending hack?

  51. You forgot charts and spurious statistics. They add gravitas, not to mention taking up space: less actual writing to do. Don’t waste time looking up source data (no-one will check them, anyway). Avoid specific amounts. Far better to use charts to illustrate, e.g. “CAP absorbs 79.46% of total EU budget”, etc., then add everything up to equal 100%. Or, for additional veracity, 100.01% — to account for “rounding”.

  52. When covering decisions made by NATO never describe them as being made in Brussels, let alone saying “Brussels today decreed…”

    Consistently apply double standards to reporting NATO and EU decision making.

  53. Only found this piece this morning. Loved it! Translated it into Icelandic and posted on my blog with reference to your blog. Hope it’s ok. It’s just too good.

    http://blogg.smugan.is/hilmar/2012/04/22/stutti-leidarvisirinn-fyrir-lata-evropubladamanninn/

    • Great – thanks a lot! Every translation is very much appreciated!

      It still amazes me that this post resonates so well with people. I know I promised a second part – and I haven’t forgotten. But in the meantime I moved to a new city and started a new job – not the best circumstances for more blogging (hence the sporadic blogging in the past two months)

  54. Om alla länder tar sitt ansvar för krisen i världen och all förstörelse , så skulle det vara mycket bettre , men så är det inte . Om man låter företag som utnyttjar situationen i länder som skiter i mäniskor och djur och utsläpp (kina )indien , Att betala för utsläpp och för människor som utnyttjar för att jobba under betalda . vi i europa kan inte konkurera och det är därför värden blir som den blir , Grekland – vem är nästa .Företag blir bara rikare och rikare , men folket blir fattigare

    , If all countries take responsibility for the crisis in the world and destruction, it would be much bettre, but it’s not. The involvement of business which uses the situation in countries that do not care injury to persons or animals and emissions (China), India, to pay for emissions and for people who use to work underpaid. we in Europe can not compete and that is why values ​​are as it gets, Greece – who is next. Companies are getting richer and richer, but poorer people blif,

  55. Congrats for Kosmopolito! And thank you for inspiration. Here you can find the Polish adaptation of the guide to lazy EU journalism : http://kadmos-europa.blogspot.be/p/jak-pisac-o-ue.html

  56. Eurocrisis stories-

    Report any demonstration against Eurozone austerity as ‘turning their back on the EU.’

    Write a story on “Is the Eurozone on the brink of breakup?” despite no country electing a government that wishes to leave the Euro.

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