Comparing English and German papers


December 28
Dear Editor

I am reading the English Costa Blanca News for some weeks and would like to compare it a little bit to the German Costa Blanca Nachrichten. As very typical for all editions, I would like to compare both last editions of 2018.
The English versions centres always a lot around crime. So again with this last edition, where typically the headline on page 1 is ‘Most wanted arrested’. The German newspaper page 1 headline is about the results of the election in Andalucía and reports in its Spanish section on page 36: ‘Spain is considered a safe country.’ and ‘With a homicide rate of 0.6 percent per 100,000 inhabitants and a detection rate between 90 and 95 percent of cases, it does not need to shy away from international comparisons. (…) France and Finland (come) at 1.3 and 1.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.’
Apart from the very interesting reports on local events in the Costa towns and villages in both newspapers, I’d like to compare the Spanish section.
The German version encompasses three pages, the English version is one page only (page 19 ‘Spain News’) and what is one of the two main articles about? “British crime boss sentenced…”! It is the most emphasized article; the smaller one is about the results of the elections in Andalucia, saving words by blowing it up a little with a much bigger picture. Again, one of the three small articles on this same page is about a murder case.
This is all what is reported about what is going on, when we had a week of political turmoil in Spain. A meeting of the Spanish government with the Catalan government triggered again violent demonstrations in Barcelona and an attempt to start a general strike, which luckily failed. The government in Madrid is still in a state of flux due to the fact that they depend on votes from the separatists, when it comes to decisions about national importance.
Concessions that might affect us here in the Valencian community very much, as our regional government tries to ban Spanish, wherever possible and particularly in the public schools, where Spanish, English and all other nation’s kids are badly affected. British and Irish kids will become bilingual, Valenciano and English, that’s almost as good as remaining monolingual.
What I find very positive is the concentration on a lot of social events to build an English community that helps and supports each other. Germans could learn from that. But unfortunately it has a negative side, too. It isolates from, rather than integrates into Spanish life. I believe, a little more information about what is going on in the country, we are living in, could help.
May I under these circumstances give a recommendation to a blog that is called: Its focus is on the dangers, which are coming from the export of the conflict in Cataluña, which separatists try to introduce into the Valencian community and the Balearic Islands. Results of these separatists’ politics might be very damaging in the not too distant future, just as the Brexit might be. These separatists’ politics are much more dangerous than crime in Spain.
I am not giving any advice as to how to shape the Costa Blanca News, which basically is an interesting one and worth buying. I hope I have made some people consider things anew.
With best regards

Helmut Jutzi

Thank you Herr Jutzi for your analysis of our newspaper and pointing out aspects you believe are open to improvement. As always, we are open to constructive criticism and suggestions that may improve, what you yourself have described, as an interesting paper worth buying.
While we would love to have a very happy newspaper, we do find ourselves under the obligation to tell residents more about reality, and that includes current affairs such as crime and politics that have an effect on their lives here on the Costa Blanca. Having said that, the fact that a Most Wanted criminal has been arrested in Benidorm (on our doorstep) is in fact positive news -one up for Spain-UK police collaboration! We are also a LOCAL newspaper that focuses mainly on issues that affect residents of the Costa Blanca, so while we did include the Andalucia election results inside and the shocking rise of far-right-wing Vox on our inside pages, we feel readers are more interested in affairs happening in our own Valencia and Murcia regions first.
Clubs and charities helping expat and Spanish communities alike can never be considered ‘negative’ and the British community is proud of its capability of ‘joining-in’ and helping others.
As for our news on Cataluña, which I believe is your main focus of attention as your correspondence itself comes from, we can assure you, as our readers can confirm, that we have covered the issue at length in our newspaper and are well aware of the consequences it could have. Having said that, Brexit, especially in a no-deal scenario, will have a greater and more immediately effect (March) on British readers on the Costa Blanca.

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