Valuable EuroSavant Supplement Now On-Line

If you are at all any regular reader of this weblog, then you presumably are interested in what is going on with and what is being written about in the European press. And, as of Tuesday of last week, you’re in luck! For no less than the European Commission (working together with a “media consortium” which I assume is called “Courrier International”) has since that point had on-line a new European press site called

You can read presseurop’s somewhat bureaucratic editorial charter here, but the basic idea seems to be to pick out a selection of interesting articles from a wide spectrum of the European press and – rather than commenting on them and printing translated extracts as needed (if any) – instead actually translating them in full into a wide range of other European languages and then making them available on the website, on separate pages for the separate languages. For the record, those languages, beside English, are Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, and all you need to do to adjust the language with which you view the website is go to the drop-down box in the upper right, underneath the “RSS feeds” link.

Pretty handy for anyone who reads in one or more of those languages with an interest in the European press. But what is the appeal for those English-language readers who already – it must be pointed out – have this EuroSavant weblog at their disposal? Keep in mind that presseurop, no more than does EuroSavant, makes no claim to present any sort of exhaustive European press coverage, but rather also picks out what its editors and other staffers find interesting for their translation-treatment.

A Comparative Assessment – Completely Unbiased, Of Course

Well, for starters, the presseurop coverage is broader in terms of languages/countries, but not by much: EuroSavant has discussed articles from the Italian and Spanish presses in the past, but does not do so regularly, and the same holds true for Hungary, which presseurop so far does not cover at all. They also do not cover the Danish press, as EuroSavant most certainly does, although they offset this with their coverage of the Romanian and Portuguese presses. But there is also the issue of breadth of coverage within individual countries (you can see their “sources” list here), where presseurop is usually rather thin on the ground. There are many more interesting newspapers in Belgium, or in France, or in The Netherlands, etc., to survey than those that are listed there. For example, long-time and discerning EuroSavant readers will recall the interesting material often to be found on the two Netherlands-based Christian newspapers (namely the Nederlands Dagblad and the Reformatorisch Dagblad), but these two are nowhere to be seen here.

presseurop also seems at first glance to offer a broader range of topical treatment – the menu-headings at the top (“Politics,” “Society,” “Economy,” etc.) even have sub-headings to choose from. But it is clear that these function simply as “bins” into which to categorize the translated articles that have already made their appearance on the site’s homepage; as such, they’re all rather empty at this early point, and will in the future simply function as a file-by-topic system for the site’s article archive. (Compare this with the alphabetical tag cloud EuroSavant makes available for clicking directly to articles with a tag that interests you – probably just as effective.) Likewise, a link at the upper right of the presseurop site promises “Briefings,” but there are none there yet. On the other hand, the “Blog” (two links over from “Briefings”) is now up-and-running, with two entries so far. Strangely, though, that weblog seems to arrange its entries with the earliest at the top – that’s not the way a weblog works! – and with as yet no RSS feed. These minor defects will presumably be corrected soon.

Oh, but presseurop does have its own dedicated staff and so already an impressive week-long record of constant posting to the site, day after day, which we have to assume will continue on long into the future. No unexplained week-long (or more!) gaps in posting anything here, no sir! Of course, we have to assume that all those on that dedicated staff are paid – quite a crucial distinction – and, due at least to their sheer numbers, better able to handle such distractions as crucial, time-consuming projects for other paid work or the demands of rare visits by close relatives over to the European continent.

Still, I will try to do better here – and, all in all, I do indeed recommend that you pay your own visit to the presseurop site (it’s your EU tax dollars at work, after all, if you happen to pay any), bookmark it, and visit it regularly. I’ll certainly be doing the same, among other reasons to make sure I avoid any (unintentional) overlap in the articles we cover.

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