Monday, September 29, 2008

The Economist comes to town

Print is dead. So goes the conventional wisdom, that print journalism is on a painfully slow Bataan Death March until it finally succumbs.

Maybe so. But then there's The Economist, for which print subscriptions are actually going up. Why the anomaly? It's not all that complicated, actually. They're one of the few outlets which looks seriously at international affairs, in depth and without condescension, and without falling into the usual journalistic obsession with scandals-du-jour.

To wit, their new piece on the (potential) return of Megawati, a rare spotlight by Western media on what should be a great political rematch. By tackling her perceived aloofness, and capitalizing on fuel-price anxieties and the public's general incumbent fatigue with Yudhoyono, she could be primed for a comeback.

Accompanying the article, a somewhat amazed account of how the anti-corruption commission is actually doing its job. It reports that in Transparency International's list of corrupt nations, Indonesia - helped by the commission's frequent rolling of heads - reduced graft and improved its rankings by 17 countries in one year alone. Hey, it's a start ...

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