German Chancellor Says Only Print Media Can Teach You 'Real' Reading

from the smelly-logic dept

Angela Merkel may be Germany’s Chancellor, and therefore a busy woman, but since she trained as a chemist, you might expect her to have a more positive view about new technology than this statement from a recent interview (original video in German), reported by the Netzpolitik blog, would suggest:

I regard the print media as very important. Being able to read is quite another thing from being on the Internet — something that naturally will grow, and increase in importance. Nonetheless, the ability to read is something very, very important. And therefore I hope that, alongside the strong development of all the new media, all the well-known newspapers, the print media, the magazines, have a good future.

What’s strange here is that the vast majority of those newspapers and magazines publish all or most of their articles online as well as in printed versions. The words are identical, so what magic ingredient does Frau Merkel think is missing online? It can’t be the readability, since digital versions are arguably more legible, thanks to the ability to change the print size for those whose eyesight is not what it was.

The only real difference is that online versions are insubstantial, simply an image on a screen, while printed versions consist of ink on paper. Maybe her comment does, in fact, reflect her past as a chemist, and what she secretly misses is that characteristic odor of printing inks. Perhaps she just needs a iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer device or equivalent.

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Comments on “German Chancellor Says Only Print Media Can Teach You 'Real' Reading”

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62 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

alongside the strong development of all the new media, all the well-known newspapers, the print media, the magazines, have a good future.

wow masnick, this is a stretch even for you !!!!!

you’ve managed to convert ALONGSIDE to ONLY..

seems the Germans have a better command of english than you do !!!!..

FuzzyDuck says:

Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

Come on, can we have Techdirt articles based on something else than arguably misinterpretated words please?

“I hope that, alongside the strong development of all the new media, all the well-known newspapers, the print media, the magazines, have a good future.”

She’s not referring to print media only, she also mentions newspapers and magazines (she doesn’t exclude their online presence), print media is just one of the things she mentions.

Quite obviously she’s referring to written media in general and says that written media is important. Now you can quibble about her choice of words, but I’d agree that written media is important whether online or offline.

FuzzyDuck says:

Re: Re: Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

Glynn said that Merkel said ONLY PRINT media, but print media was just one of the items she listed. She never said ONLY PRINT. It might be wishful thinking that print media will survive, but that’s not the issue we are discussing.

There’s just no story in Merkel’s quote. She basically says nothing of substance. She hopes both the new and the old will thrive. Well that’s very nice of her. Next.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

I cherry picked the important statement, and pointed out that what Merkal said is the opposite to what Masnick is claiming she said.

HE LIED, and posted the proof of that lie !

and I did read it all, the first part was about reading in general, saying basically being able to read is more imporatant that being on the internet, and she is right.

The word ONLY is certainly not the same as ALONGSIDE, masnick did not only cherry pick that makes the statement that is a lie to what was actually said.

disgusting conduct Masnick.. even for you..

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

“HE LIED, and posted the proof of that lie !”

No, he didn’t. A guy named Glyn Moody expressed his *opinion*, which is based on words other than the ones you’re using to launch your attack. Masnick had nothing to do with it other than allowing Moody to write on his site, and had written exactly ZERO of the words you’re attacking.

“and I did read it all, the first part was about reading in general, saying basically being able to read is more imporatant that being on the internet, and she is right.”

So, it’s impossible to learn to read read via the internet and other electronic media? Or are you saying that traditional media is more important and the only valid way to read – you know, the interpretation of those words that Glyn was addressing and which you chose to ignore in your attack?

“disgusting conduct Masnick.. even for you..”

Still too stupid to read the byline, let alone the damn article, huh?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

who fucking cares, they are all little masnick clones, and it’s masnicks site, he posted it, even if he did not write it..

so he’s posted a comment third hand, and did not even have the balls to put his own name to it…

Masnick would not have allowed it to be posted, if he had any doubts about it’s accuracy..

twice as bad..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

Please stop highjacking the articles on this site with this nonsense. Do you stay awake and glued to the computer all day and night so that you can pounce and get your comment in before everyone else? Are there no soap operas or sitcoms you could watch and yell at instead?

I wish people would stop answering the troll who constantly haunts this column. And I say “the troll” instead of trolls, plural, because they do all seem to be the same individual, speaking of clones. His sole job in life seems to be driving people away from reading comments here by spewing nonsensical crap. I’m so tired of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 ALONGSIDE = "ONLY" !!!!

hey I got you upset didn’t I !!!! again, that means that what I am saying hits some nerves for you.. and as you refust or are unable to provide an argument to counter mine..

YOU LOSE… loser..

but thanks for confirming that fact here, as everyone knows when you have to resort to straight out lies, and personal attacks, you’ve lost.

not that winning here is that hard, when the morons who write for TD and so blatenly stupid, and willfully deceptive.

I think most people who have some intelligent slightly higher than a hand full of soil can see that ALONGSIDE does not mean the same thing as ONLY..

and “DOING JUST FINE” is not a call that something is doing badly.. again only a moron idiot would say that, and only others idiot morons would believes the shit that comes from this site..

Again, Masnick should hang his head in shame, for being responsible for this peice of shit of an ariticle, and for the overall accuracy and quality of this web site.

it’s ok to have a web site for ‘your cause’ but that is no excuse to lie and spin the shit out of everything to make your very weak argument..

you dont even have to do any research to see what a shit spin that is here…

you just have to read.. she said OTHERWISE, moody makes out she said ONLY..

again, you HAVE to be a fucking brain dead idiot to think those two works mean the some thing.. or that what moody claims she said, is not what moody posted that she said..

someone is lying, and we have proof it was not merkel,, and proof it is MOODY, assistend my the equally untruthfull Mansick.

Anonymous Coward says:

About chemistry Lamar Smith is being considered to be chair of the Science, Space and Technology house committee(holy c.! why so many double letters in a word?)

Quote:

“Mr_raccoon sez, “Remember Lamar Smith (the guy who tried to pass off SOPA as being good for the internet)? Well there is a lot of talk about his chairing the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The GOP is set to vote on this today. This is like making an arsonist the fire-chief.””

http://boingboing.net/2012/11/28/sopas-daddy-lamar-smith-to.html

About the fraulein though, I don’t know if she knows that on the internet almost everything is written, people have to read it. Personally I started reading a lot more since the internetz came along.

Maybe she is sad because the language used on the web is not the same language used in books, sometimes I believe the internet has created an entirely different dialect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

she is saying the exact opposite !!!..

what did she say..

ALONGSIDE the NEW MEDIA, the other media’s are going to do just fine..

how is that preparing the ground for a subsidization ??

she is saying the legacy industries are doing ok, and wont go away..

you’re like masnick and his trolls cannot seem to understand english !!! and it’s probably the only language you know !!!..

And therefore I hope that, alongside the strong development of all the new media, all the well-known newspapers, the print media, the magazines, have a good future.

so you dont understand ALONGSIDE and HAVE A GOOD FUTURE ??

what are they teaching you in schools these days ??

the cynic in me says you have massive problems where you are. sadly.

Yogi says:

Dinosaur

I am glad that Merkel appreciates the art of reading – I recommend that she read up on the concept of “dinosaur”. I also think that someone on her staff under the age of 60 should take her on a field trip to the INTERNETS so that she can see for herself the intricate setup of tubes that transmit information which no one can read because its not on paper…

Anonymous Coward says:

Lets break it down for the slower of you

“you might expect her to have a more positive view about new technology than this statement from a recent interview”

(that is the comment by the author on the statement)..
Lie no.1

TRUE STATEMENT:
the Internet — something that naturally will grow, and increase in importance.

So the above statement IS NOT A POSITIVE VIEW !!!! is it a negative view ?? is it a neutral view?
Sounds quite positive to me!

I regard the print media as very important

Good for her, she has a personal opinion, she did not say “the government regards the print media as very important”.

She said “(in my opinion) I regard the print…….important”

“I also regard being able to read is more important than being on the net”..

Good point, not much you can do on the net if you cannot read, and reading is more important than the net, than print media and most other things.. she said being able to read it really important..

True Statement indeed.

What’s strange here is that the vast majority of those newspapers and magazines publish all or most of their articles online as well as in printed versions.

What do you mean ALONGSIDE !!!!!!

oh no,, “AS WELL AS” that must not mean the same thing as ALONGSIDE !!! HAHAHAHA

“The words are identical”

NO THEY ARE NOT,

ALONGSIDE is not ONLY, but “as well as” is not ALONGSIDE

the words being identical would mean they are ALONGSIDE !! would it not ?

in fact would you be able to point out were in fact her claimed BIAS resides ? if the IS any bias it would be in the fact that she regards being able to read higher (personally) than being able to be on the internet.

she is positive able the new media’s and says they will grow, and she is positive about the legacy industries saying that they have a good future.

again, the author of this article has set out to show something that is not true, and to try to gain some points for your “cause”. But this is going TOO FAR even for TD.

again, it’s pretty bad, bordering on liableous

DannyB (profile) says:

Stone(d) Tablets

> I regard the print media as very important. Being able to read
> is quite another thing from being on the Internet — something
> that naturally will grow, and increase in importance. Nonetheless,
> the ability to read is something very, very important. And
> therefore I hope that, alongside the strong development of all
> the new media, all the well-known newspapers, the print media,
> the magazines, have a good future.

I regard the Stone Tablets media as very important. Being able to read
is quite another thing from reading from a printing press — something
that naturally will grow, and increase in importance. Nonetheless,
the ability to read is something very, very important. And
therefore I hope that, alongside the strong development of the
printing press, all the well-known stone tablets, papyrus rolls,
and laboriously hand-copied books, have a good future.

gorehound (profile) says:

I do not own one Digital Book or File and I fully Support owning physical products only.
Go ahead and call me a Dinosaur as I do not care.
For one thing I personally have a Library of close to 1500 Books and original pulp magazines.

A. My Son is my heir and will Inherit my Appraised Library worth over 16 Grand.If these were all Digital he would inherit NOTHING.And worth NOTHING

B.I own books that are worth between $5 all the way to $1200.
Many True Hardcover 1ST Editions and very Rare old Paperbacks like Avons,Pocket Books, Ace Doubles, Beacon,Pyramid, ETC.

I refuse to buy Digital Files and would always want to Own My Stuff.I am not paying for valueless DRM Files.
EVER !!!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Your opinion and it’s as valid as anybody else’s, but I would point out 2 things:

1. Your library represents an investment to you and that’s great. However, most people who read will largely own mass produced paperbacks, which will be read once and discarded/resold when finished. For those people, digital books are equally valid and perhaps more valuable (I don’t have to pay extra for my hold luggage if I pack a few more books in my Kindle, for example).

While you’re clearly a book lover and collector, pretending that most others will share your opinion is something else entirely. For many people, cheap, portable and easy access to a wide range of titles is more important than having a pretty hardback that may increase in value over time.

2. Many eBooks exist that don’t involve any kind of DRM, and the value of such files can be measured in other ways than their financial worth.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’ll add something else.

Your collection sounds great. I hope you are keeping it in a climate-controlled environment that is keeping these precious physical books from degrading. It would be nice if you did not have the expense of keeping such an environment to house your huge collection. It is unfortunate that, some day, your vast collection of knowledge is going to end up a very large pile of useless dust.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A. My Son is my heir and will Inherit my Appraised Library worth over 16 Grand.If these were all Digital he would inherit NOTHING.And worth NOTHING

Actually you can pass a hard drive with books on it in your will. As long as they’re not DRM’d, it’s no problem. Even better, you don’t have to wait to die. You could give your son a copy of your 1500 books, and keep the copies you already have. Copyright infringement? Yeah maybe, but you could do it. Obviously those concerns don’t outweigh the benefit to you of having physical books, which is fine.

DannyB (profile) says:

It's not the medium that matters

It’s not the medium that matters. It’s the writing. What makes/made printed media worth reading was the writing not the fact that it was delivered in dead tree format. Whether delivered by pixels or even direct transfer into the brain, it is the writing that matters. It is a question of whether someone has something worthwhile to say, and whether it is worth reading. The medium of communication is unimportant.

BentFranklin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This.

Not everyone has always-on mobile broadband at their fingertips. Even those who can afford it all might benefit from a lesson in how fragile our electronic systems really are, just in terms of energy supply if nothing else.

Electronics will always be, and should always be, built upon and extending physical and biological systems, not replacing them entirely.

sniperdoc (profile) says:

Worthless techdirt article

Considering that the techdirt article actually listed no sources and was rather opinionated I’m thinking Merkel is pretty much dead on, if one refers to print media being more articulate and actual journalism.

The Techdirt article author mentions that print and digital media are identical. This is usually far from the truth as reputable publications such as Reuters, NBC or Times sometimes have drastically different digital articles than their print media and a lot of times the quality of work is drastically lower, i.e. grammatical and spelling errors, than the print media.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Worthless techdirt article

“if one refers to print media being more articulate and actual journalism.”

Maybe it’s because I grew up with British tabloids, but I can’t help but giggle at this particular assertion.

“This is usually far from the truth as reputable publications such as Reuters, NBC or Times sometimes have drastically different digital articles than their print media and a lot of times the quality of work is drastically lower, i.e. grammatical and spelling errors, than the print media.”

Perhaps, but is that a feature of the attitudes within the organisation (e.g. print is “worth more” so it gets the larger resources), the nature of the format (print errors are forever, digital errors can be corrected in a second) or because one format is more inherently valuable? I personally doubt it’s the latter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stone(d) Tablets

yea stone tablets and papyrus rolls are an example of “print medie” they have been around for thousands of years, it’s had a great past, and there is no reason for it not to have a great future..

what your saying is how good and reliable and valuable print media is !!! we’ll done.. 1 for the print industry..

do you think the crap written here will still be around in 2000 years or more..

stone plates and papyrus roll that are here today, will still be here in 2000 years from now.. TD WONT !!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

so if you arase the print from the screen, is it no longer being stored on some computer somewhere ??

a document on the net has to be powered 100% of the time, from the time it was created to the time it leaves the net (if ever)..

print a document, you use carbon neutral trees to make the paper, and it’s ONCE ONLY.. the paper does not require a constant source of power for it to exist.

oh and what if you have a power failure ?? you might have a document on your hard drive but with no electricity you cannot read it, it might as well not exist..

but if you have it in print form, you can read all you like, without any electricity, and without a computer and without the net.

paper locks carbon up, using electricity is not sustainable and uses fossel fuels (mostly).

You really dont want to go there with an energy and environmental analysis of with is better a printed sheet of paper of a document consuming energy 100% of the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

As a German: This is not about reading, it’s about power, politics, influence and money. And the symbiosis between
politics and newspaper corporations:

Most of the German newspaper and magazin market is controlled by three corporations, having their own economical and therefore political agendas. You could argue that Frau Merkel won the last elections (and presumbly the next) in large part due to the support by these corporations, so of course she would like see their influence continuing. The corporations in turn get nice things like the “Leistungsschutzrecht”, a law designed to make google et al pay up for every link on a German newspaper headline.

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