Posts Tagged ‘media’

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Eurovision predictions 2013 (Semi-Final 2)

In Eurovision,Linguistics,Media on May 16, 2013 by shaneheneghan Tagged: , ,

I got 8/10 on Tuesday so without further ado here are my predictions for tonight.

(oh and here’s a brief clip of each of the songs)

01. Latvia: A 90s rap with a Baltic twist. Yea, go ahead and pour yourself that drink.

02. San Marino: I like it. A lot better than her song last year and liked by other fans.

03. Macedonia: There is nothing about this song that stands out.

04. Azerbaijan: This song represents everything that is wrong with the contest today; a dull and formulaic American-style ballad with writers that may never have even visited Azerbaijan. Of course it will probably get through.

05. Finland: “I don’t think that I know ladies that would give you cuter babies” – Can’t help but love it. Hela Norden I Finalen jag tycker!

06 Malta: Go on then. God knows Malta want to win this more than most.

07. Bulgaria: I am possibly alone in liking this. It’s a maybe but I gotta draw the line somewhere.

08. Iceland. ICELANDIC!! FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1997. Ahem. Excuse me. This is a very sweet song sung in one of Europe’s most beautiful languages. I want it in.

09. Greece It’s this year’s novelty meets ethnicy entry. Should make it.

10. Israel: Unremarkable ballad.

11. Armenia: The whole Caucuses can’t go through and I think will be left wanting.

12. Hungary. Well I like it. I’m taking a risk here and saying it will go through.

13. Norway: Easily the most contemporary of tonight’s entries and it should get in on that alone.

14. Albania: No more ethno-rock. Thank you.

15. Georgia: See Azerbaijan

16. Switzerland: Sending a multi-generational chapter of the Salvation Army to sing a mid-tempo Eurovision entry- nice move – more Swiss exceptionalism.

17. Romania: Techno falsetto. So no.

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Reporting the euro

In EU,Euro,Media on February 21, 2012 by shaneheneghan Tagged: , , , , ,

This entry does not seek analyse the current crisis at the heart of the currency. Rather, it is a look at how the media are dealing with it.

The process of European integration, despite being decades old, has always been thought of as something ever so slightly mysterious by commentator and citizen alike. A knowledge of the workings of one’s system of government at a state level has always been a given but an understanding of how the European stage works is usually seen as expertise.  This obviously and very dangerously leaves room for some rather sloppy journalism. Combine it with your workaday hack’s inclination for hyperbole and ignorance shall always win.

In our current crisis, we are constantly being told that the euro currency area is both intellectually and financially bankrupt. This is not entirely accurate. Whilst it is true that the debt to GDP ratio of the eurogroup is 86%, a good 25% higher than it should be as stated in the Maastricht treaty, it is also notable that the same ratio for the US$ area is a whopping 101%. Whilst questions are occasionally raised about the US economy, one never encounters anything near the same level of scare mongering about the greenback. The problem even to the under initiated here is not the level of debt, per se but the structures in place to handle it.

Most shockingly of all in coverage is the near total lack of good news stories surrounding the euro. The fact that the Chinese are switching large amount of their investments from $ to € passed the Irish media by completely until the Chinese heir apparent visited in the past week. The currency’s continuing expansion continues to evade the press as well. Estonia had a very smooth transition from the Kroon earlier this year. Their neighbours Latvia and Lithuania remain committed to joining. Denmark’s new PM has said she is in favour of holding a referendum on membership whilst Iceland’s finance minister has said he is in favour of the Nordic isle joining soon after EU accession.

The current situation is unprecedented but should have been anticipated. The proposed solutions in the fiscal compact can go a long way towards finding stability but I must correct those that say it is a radical and new set of rules. Most of the provisions in the text are to do with the implementation of the existing rules in the Maastricht treaty, the currency’s founding document, signed and passed into law democratically 20 years ago this year.

“Doom porn” is popular in these tumultuous days. When I see headlines such as “10 days to save the euro” in reputable broadsheet newspapers, I fail to see how their assertions can either be accurate or helpful. Though I’m sure they sell papers. I find it interesting that a lot of the more balanced coverage I see comes from non-English language sources. The English language media, particularly in Britain and the United States may have an agenda here, particularly when the increasing lack of diversity in media ownership in these territories is taken into account.

To those that hold such an agenda, might I remind you that the overwhelming majority of economists see a lengthy future for the currency, even if Greece and other peripheral states are forced out. Propagating an idea that the whole thing shall go down the drain leaving 17 disparate economies all on their own all of a sudden for solely ideological reasons is ill informed and less than helpful.