Thursday, June 15, 2006

Deutsche Welle World Cup Penalty

So it is World Cup time. All the world's attention is well and truly focussed on Germany from June 9 through to July 10.

What better place to go to find out about radio and TV coverage of Deutschland's biggest event in 2006 than to visit the offcial web site of the country's international broadcaster and government funded, Deutsche Welle Radio and TV?

Wrong!

Except for two minuscule lines of mention in the middle of DW's home page on the days 'key' games in extra small typeface, I used Yahoo to search and Internet Explorer as the browser.

All I wanted was to find the schedules for DW World Cup radio transmissions to India.

But I guess I misunderstand what the Deutsche Welle site is all about, after all the site's headline is "Your Link to Germany". I mean to say, the whole world except the great United States of America is eating, drinking and sleeping World Cup. And even more so in Germany the host nation. Err except, it would appear those who control the content of the DW web site.

A good barometer as to whether a web site is meaningful and useful to a visitor or not is to check how effective the 'Press' related area is in promoting the organisation.

The result: my reaction was a big, impatient yawn. The latest press release was dated May 12 and referred to a classical music project. Eminent in its own right, I am sure. But what about World Cup and more importantly for my enquiry, the special coverage of World Cup by DW for India?

After several fruitless site searches I gave up and resorted to the BBC.

Now, bearing in mind the BBC is not the host broadcaster, their web site is a joy to behold with extensive, detailed coverage, easy to navigate and to find their schedules to India.

What a pity Deutsche Welle organisation lacks the basic understanding of where the radio and TV industry is going. Being viewer, listener driven, you would think a web site would be an added-value extension to the main broadcast schedules.

Perhaps in a couple of generations the penny will drop on the Germans to see that the French and Italian TV industries are way ahead in creative flair and promotional aggressiveness. Or expressed another way, are in step with the expectations of the average citizen.

Now the technical excellence of the World Cup International Broadcast Centre is something else and perhaps to be covered another day.

But if I am a regular listener/viewer wanting basic information of how to know where and when to listen to Deutsche Welle output, the broadcaster's web site is not it.

If Internet is now entering its second decade of mass acceptance I place the Deutsche Welle web site as having been left at the starting post. Its is lifeless, boring and a big thumbs down.

If you dare to visit the site and offer your comments to this blog, here is the address: http://www.dw-world.de

The only caveat to my comments is that I reviewed the Deutsche Welle web site in English.

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