Newspapers and Flags From Around the World
Mass media is important in almost every society in the world, and in the majority of countries almost everybody has access to news, via the television, Internet and newspapers. Some newspapers are iconic and known around the world, like the Wall Street Journal and the Times, and others are popular and known about only in the country they are written for. In this article, we look at some of the world's best loved newspapers, and some newspapers you may not have heard of before as we explore the printed press of some exotic places. Just for fun, these countries have been chosen based on their interesting flags.
Of course, everybody knows what the American flag looks like. The Star Spangled Banner has 13 horizontal red and white stripes, which represent the 13 original colonies, and the 50 stars on a blue background represent each of the 50 states that make up the USA.
Because the USA is such a large country, many people buy national papers like USA Today which cover general American and world news, and also more local papers specific to their state or nearest big city. In the top 100 newspapers by circulation, the majority are specific to a city. The Wall Street Journal has the largest circulation of all US newspapers, however although this is a New York paper it is read all over the world for financial information. Other popular papers include the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. The online versions of these newspapers are read by people in all different countries, and they are among the world's most famous newspapers.
The other country that produces especially well known papers that are read all over the world is the UK. The British flag, which is called the Union Flag, is made up of the crosses of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, St George, the patron saint of England, and St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The most famous newspapers, however, come from England, whose flag is the simple red cross of St George on a white background.
In England, newspapers come in two different formats -- broadsheet, and tabloid. Tabloid papers are smaller in size, and are regarded as the more lightweight, easy to read news with plenty of scandal and celebrity gossip. The broadsheets are regarded as the more credible press. Famous tabloids include the Sun and the Mirror, and until recently when it was closed down following the phone hacking scandal, the News of the World. Famous broadsheets include the Times and the Telegraph. The English equivalent of the Wall Street Journal is the Financial Times, which is recognizable as it is printed on pink paper.
The flag of Argentina is one of the prettier flags of the world. It consists of two light blue bands at the top and bottom, with a white band in the middle upon which there is an emblem of a sun with a human face. The sun is called the Sun of May.
One of the most popular papers in Argentina is the Buenos Aires Herald. They also have popular papers called La Razon, La Nacion, and La Capital. These papers are in Spanish, and have online versions which Argentinean people or others researching the news in Argentina can read from anywhere in the world.
The Chinese flag has a plain red background and features one large, and four small, gold stars. The red background is the traditional color associated with Communism, and historically, the largest star had the Communist hammer and sickle logo inside it. The stars are supposed to represent the five classes of people.
Because China is Communist, their newspapers are controlled largely by the government, and they do not have the kind of freedom of speech laws that countries like the USA have that allow journalists to write whatever they like. Their most popular papers include China Daily and People's Daily, and they also have one called the People's Liberation Army Daily.
The South African flag is one of the newest and most striking national flags. Adopted in 1994, and designed by Fred Brownell, the South African State Herald, it is a design made up of six colors, which is a lot more than the two or three seen on most flags. It consists of a green horizontal Y shape across the center, outlined in white, with a red band at the top and a blue band at the bottom. Where the Y shape diverges there is a black triangle, outlined in gold. The Y shape is designed to represent the merging of nationalities.
South African newspapers come in different languages. Some popular papers like the Daily Mail & Guardian and Business Day are written in English, others, like Die Volksblad and Die Burger are in Afrikaans. Many South African newspapers are available online, and the many South African ex pats around the world are therefore able to keep up on their home news.
The Greek flag is a two color flag, consisting of white and a bright sea blue. There is a white on blue cross in the upper left hand corner, symbolizing Greek Orthodoxy (the official religion of Greece) and nine white and blue stripes. The stripes represent each syllable of the Greek motto (when said in Greek), "freedom or death". The colors were said to have been chosen to represent the beautiful Mediterranean Sea which surrounds mainland Greece and the Greek islands.
Popular newspapers in Greece include Express, Athens News, Ethnos and Imerissia. These are published in the Greek language and available online.
As these examples show, despite the insurgence of the Internet as the main source of information for people around the world, printed newspapers are still extremely popular and all developed countries have their own local and national papers that people still buy millions of copies of in their paper format every day. Thanks to the Internet, people are now able to access their home country's top newspapers wherever they are in the world, and you can now look at the news in almost any country of your choosing via the web.