Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: The World According to Tabloids

analysis

The case of the mysterious disappearing Hillary Clinton Zimmer Frame and secret maps of Europe's future according to Russian experts allows J. BROOKS SPECTOR to consider the impact of supermarket tabloids in both domestic politics and international relations. The result is... frightening.

Sometimes writing about international affairs (and especially American or America-related issues) can be a challenge from our vantage point in South Africa. Of course, the Internet gives quick access to thousands of newspapers, radio stations and online video feeds. Similarly, it is easy to subscribe to dozens of online newsletters and the output from armies of think tanks and public advocacy groups, and a commentator quickly develops a cadre of people around the world who can point one to crucial developments that are not always visible to a non-trained eye. But the one thing that sometimes seems missing in all this is a routine scanning of the wild world of supermarket checkout counter newspapers and magazines - beyond the editions or publications available regularly in South Africa. They may not provide serious news, but they assuredly offer a real window into what some people think about some things - or at least what editors think those people are...

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