Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why Youngstown Should Care About Strikes in Germany

Geography as a subject of study is more often than not misunderstood. Geographers are masters at seeing the links between things that no one else notices. In the future, I think all journalists should have a college degree in geography. That way the following makes the cut in various Mahoning Valley news outlets:

Industrial union IG Metall said workers at Opel's four German plants would halt work - so-called "warning strikes" - on Thursday. Other plants in Europe would follow on Friday, it said.

Perhaps this is the value add we bloggers provide. I don't expect the Vindicator to have foreign correspondents on the payroll. However, I do demand that local beat writers help us readers make the necessary connections. If you don't see stories about globalization in the paper or on the TV news, then where can you get this kind of information with that valuable parochial slant?You won't find it in the Financial Times or the Economist.

General Motors is an important employer in the Mahoning Valley. GM's reneging on the sale of Opel sent shock waves of anger through Germany and elation through the United Kingdom. How might it affect workers in Lordstown? It may be irrelevant, but I'd feel better if a reporter or two could track that down for me. I'd figure struggling newspapers would be scrambling to fill any available niche. No doubt I'm wrong about that.

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