All The Secret Code That’s Fit To Print

Forget about the lying press. Now some German media have taken it to a new level and publish their news reports using a secret code. Everybody here knows the code, however, so it’s not much of a secret. But still.

250

Here’s an example: 250 “people” obstruct a police operation in Duisburg. The cops in Duisburg wanted to check the papers of some guy involved in a traffic violation. The situation escalated, however, ending up with a gang of 250 “people” assembling and interfering with this police action.

Let me decode that for you: Germans don’t assemble in groups like that to interfere with cops investigating some traffic violation. Ergo, other people who now live in Germany do. Not one word can be found in that article indicating that, of course, but your everyday Germans on the street have become such experienced code breakers that they know the deal as soon as they read the headline. Nobody’s lying though, see?

Etwa 250 Menschen haben der Polizei zufolge eine Verkehrskontrolle gestört.

German Of The Day: Verpufft

That means fizzled out.

Schulz

Scientists recently hired to find traces of the mythical “Schulz Effect” in Germany are said to be busy preparing their resumes for new employment opportunities as the search for the mysterious, ethereal force has proven to be much more difficult than originally expected.

Meanwhile, German newspapers (ARD-Deutschlandtrend) are reporting that Martin Schulz’ popularity has dropped significantly behind that of his opponent Angela Merkel and even behind that of German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the previous SPD loser candidate he was brought here from Brussels to replace.

Verpufft or not, let us continue to wish these scientists all the best for the future because, after all, science marches on. Or in the words of Max Planck: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Is Bild Without Bild Still Bild?

Germany’s best-selling newspaper has removed all pictures from its print edition and website in response to complaints about its decision to publish images of the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned trying to reach Greece.

Bild

The decision to remove pictures in print and online comes less than a week after the newspaper dedicated its whole back page to the distressing image of Alan lying face down on the beach in Bodrum, surrounded by a black background and a plea for action from Europe.

Berlin Is Already Over And Nobody Here Had The Decency To Tell Me

Or at least that’s what one New York Times journalist had to report – after clearly having run into way too many Americans here. And how could that not spell trouble?

Berlin

The Berlin backlash had to happen sooner or later. No city could be so consistently lauded to the skies for its creative edge, elegant shabbiness, and 24-hour nightlife without eventually coming down with a hard bump. And the bump does seem to have arrived.

…On the international front, the city’s social scene is also getting increasingly Anglophone.

Erschwerend kam hinzu, dass der offenbar aus New York stammende New-York-Times-Autor im Berghain wie auch überall sonst in Berlin ausschließlich auf andere aus New York stammende Menschen gestoßen ist, was die Bedeutung der einstigen Hipsterhochburg für ihn abschließend ruiniert hat; getreu der von dem ebenfalls aus New York stammenden Gegenwartsanalytiker Groucho Marx aufgestellten Maxime, dass er kein Mitglied in einem Club sein möchte, der ihn aufnehmen würde.

An Anti-Semitic Caricature?

In Germany? Today? No way.

Zuckerberg

Or way?

Octo

Hard to say.

Uh. German anti-Facebook technophobia is one thing, but like what on earth were they thinking (or drinking?) over there at the Süddeutsche Zeitung when they put out this one?

“If anyone has any doubts about the anti-Semitic dimension of the cartoon, we can point to Mark Zuckerberg’s very prominent nose, which is not the case in real life.”

I Think It Should Have Been Superpenner

Sozialtourismus has just been selected by the Brain Police as Germany’s Unwort des Jahres (non-word of the year). It means “social tourism” and is terribly cynical and politically incorrect as it refers to “unwanted immigrants from eastern Europe” who come to Germany to presumably milk all the wonderful social benefits here, something of course social tourists from eastern Europe or elsewhere would never, ever do.

Word

Non-word of the year? The year has just begun, hasn’t it? And there are way more cool non-words out there that are much more deserving, if you ask me (I know you didn’t, but I’m telling you anyway). How about Superpenner (Super Bum), for instance? Bum is totally politically incorrect, too (that is what they used to call the homeless) and super is, well, super. So there.

Anyway, in case you didn’t know, Superpenner is a new comic action hero who has now arrived to save Berlin. And it’s about freakin’ time, too. To save it from all of those Straßenfeger (street sweeper) newspaper salesmen who accost us with their sales pitches in the U-Bahn all day long. I can hear it already: “Now with the Supperpenner comic book!”

Berlins Straßen haben einen neuen Helden: Den Superpenner – wenn auch nur auf dem Papier. Der Comic-Actionhero soll den Absatz der Berliner Obdachlosenzeitung Straßenfeger steigern.

Three Bad Reasons Why German Newspaper Publishers Simply Won’t Trust Google News…

And vigorously push for any and all legislation aimed at making life for Google & Co. as difficult as newsworthyly possible. They seem to have three main bad reasons, as far as I can tell, like I said, but if you can come up with any others, please don’t hesitate to let me know:

Google

1) The Google News aggregate makes money off said German newspaper publishers by displaying snippets of said German newspaper publishers’ stories, only… Google doesn’t make any money with Google News by virtue of the simple fact that Google doesn’t place any advertising on Google News pages so, well, there is no German newspaper publisher money here to be made off with.

2) Google shamefully steals readers away from said newspaper publishers’ publications because, uh… Google News is actually one of the major sources of traffic to these German newspaper sites so, well, it’s the publishers who are getting the readers and making the money off of Google.

3) Google needs to be controlled ever more closely with ever stricter regulation and be restricted from including any of these said news articles without a publisher’s expressed written permission to “opt in” because, well… These newspapers can already “opt out” any old time they like simply by having their webmasters do so (a simple change to the robots.txt file will suffice).

And now that all of these outraged German publishers have decided to opt in to Google News anyway – now that they have been given the choice to do so – well, that makes all of this yet another typically complex German news story all in its own write and one which of course nobody else who is not German will be able to understand just right yet.

German Newspaper Publishers Seem Not To Understand Google News

Dropping Like Flies?

Or Totgesagte leben länger (there’s life in the old dog yet)?

Last week, the Frankfurter Rundschau filed for bankruptcy. The DAPD press agency had already gone down a few weeks earlier.

Now the German business daily Financial Times Deutschland has become “the latest casualty of the chill winds sweeping the global newspaper industry.”

What was that I read while surfing the other day again? Stuff printed on dead trees? What’s that?

“Ich werde Eure kurzweilige Art zu schreiben wahnsinnig vermissen! Die FTD ist eine tolle Zeitung und ich hoffe, dass ihr wenigstens online weitermachen könnt!”

The German Sommerloch

It’s here (the German “summer hole“). So get used to it. And remember: If it wasn’t for slow news (see yesterday’s post), we wouldn’t have no news at all.

Or as one paper here put it: “Exotic Animals in a Summer Loch Ness.”

Hey, news is a product, folks. And production is down.

In the United States the period is referred to prosaically as the slow news season.