Sunday, June 24, 2012

A last hurrah?

It is often said that newspapers in Germany seem to be less acutely threatened than in other lands where circulations have tumbled, dailies have become weeklies and news concerns once thought invulnerable are is dire straits.

Today the German tabloid, Bild Zeitung, had a press run of 41 million copies, distributed free to households nationwide. This was to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of the paper created in 1952 by the controversial publisher Axel Springer.

In these digital days that's a lot of dead trees. If piled on on another the free copies would be a paper tower 150 kilometres tall, fifty thousand carriers were needed to make this morning's deliveries and their routes amounted to a total of 1.8 million kilometres.

Amazingly precise data, it seems to me, for a newspaper has never been seen as a paragon of truthy accuracy.

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