Tuesday 4 August 2009

Dr. Nikolas Busse, the FAZ, and quality journalism on EU affairs

For years now, I am a regular and very satisfied reader of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (in the e-paper version), one of the two major German national daily quality newspapers (the other one is the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)).

Even during the times when I lived outside Germany I continued reading this newspaper, especially because of its international news which cover even minor events that other newspapers wouldn't even notice.

However, I've always thought that the FAZ wasn't covering EU affairs to the extend it should have been doing, in particular compared to its international and economic news.

A recent scientific publication on the Europeanisation of the national press (which included the FAZ over the years 1982, 1989, 1996 and 2003) supported this personal point of view. And when the newspaper suppressed their weekly page especially dedicated to EU matters some months ago, I was quite disappointed.

But now, in connection with a number of articles by its Brussels correspondent Dr. Nikolas Busse (starting from the one mentioned on Twitter some weeks ago), I have the feeling that there is an upwards trend in the reporting on European and in particular EU affairs.

The articles Busse writes are written from a Brussels perspective, covering EU-related news in the most natural way, quoting new German MEPs like Jan Philipp Albrecht without creating big personality stories, mentioning little details that go beyond the standard reporting on large summits, and discussing issues that are of current relevance both from a national and an EU perspective.

I also have the impression that Busse gets more space for his articles, and I hope this is not just because of the summer break (although seeing the German parliamentary elections approach, he might have harder times very soon), but that this will continue in the future.

To make a long story short: I wanted to write my first article after returning from blogging holidays about the fact that I didn't notice anything EU relevant over the last two weeks - but this wouldn't be true thanks to Dr. Busse.

Read also: Kosmopolit on EU news in regional newspapers