Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Newspapers that aren't News Papers

We get the Philippine Daily Inquirer, well, daily. More precisely, we bought a 6 month subscription, and thankfully in October our time runs out.

There are several sections to the paper but the first is the only part that holds anything resembling news as the back sections are often 2-3 different sets of "Lifestyle."
One Lifestyle is usually the success story of a rich person who continued gaining wealth. There are some that started poor or moderatly poor, but the page is always a grand success story of the currently wealthy. Another Lifestyle is geared toward the late-teen/early-20s age group (cool new fads, new texting options, what to do when you only have P50 until payday). There's often a wedding Lifestyle, chatting all about the recent wedding/reception of a, you guessed it, wealthy couple. And another Lifestyle often focuses on a resturant (often one of a chain), a menu, a chef, or a cooking school. You see the pattern there. All in all, interesting to read through the first week, deathly boring by month 4.
The first page of the paper has huge headlines of "very important stuff", the only problem being that they use nicknames for every person and throw in Tagalog words seemingly at random. Inside, there is a section for world news, and a section for Metro Manila. Opinions get 2 pages and 6 opinion writers. There's usually one railing against the United States, and there's a long side column entitled "Young Blood" written by a different young person struggling through the tribulations of running out of texting minutes or picking on a kid at school.
All this is well and good, but wha't missing? A weather page. There's no forecast either in the paper or on TV. I take that back. There is a dedicated weather channel, but when it isn't on the logo, it shows the weather from today. Yes the weather that has already occurred, and no predictions for tomorrow or the rest of the week. Oh sure I could assume it'll be hot and muggy, and we carry umbrellas all the time anyway, but still! So if there's a storm brewing we use internet web sites (Yahoo! weather isn't too bad http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/RPXX0017.html) and on-line satellite images.
The other part that I desperately miss is a culture/arts section. There are festivals, bazaars, concerts, ballets, live entertainment in restaurants, visiting entertainers, and a myriad of other things to do in easy driving distance, but if we're lucky we hear about them after they've occurred. The cultural center is on the way to the Embassy but its sign doesn't offer much information other than the day of a performance. We rely on books we bought back in the States and word of mouth from other expats about zoos, islands, beaches, day trips, water/amusement parks, World War II monuments and a variety of tourist traps. How much are we missing because the newspaper doesn't bring these places of interest to our table?
UPDATE: It seems there is in fact an Entertainment section in the paper at least once a week. It's on the reverse side of the Sports section which I obviously don't read. A full page for movie theaters and new releases, a few box ads for some entertainment around town (Jim Brickman is playing in our mall on September 11), and little else.
In October we're going to try the Star.
And for real news, we have the International Herald Tribune. Definitely worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment