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By Compiled from wire reports by staff / January 15, 2004



It's too obvious to ignore

Perhaps you've heard that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld turned down the opportunity to be named 2003's Person of the Year by Time magazine. But you may not know that his famous dismissal of France and Germany as "old Europe" for their dogged opposition to war in Iraq was chosen as expression of the year by a prestigious panel of language experts. The Society for the German Language, in announcing the decision, said Rumsfeld's phrase originally was intended "as a provocation" but "underwent a transformation" and now stands as a new symbol of "positive self-confidence among Europeans." Among the nominees it edged out for the honor: "embedded journalists" and "SARS," the virus formally known as severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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TV Networks, papers decline as campaign news sources

The two main political parties begin the formal process of choosing their 2004 presidential candidates at the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary later this month. And when it comes to campaign coverage, the Internet is playing a larger role than ever, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. While TV remained the top source for the more than 1,500 adults surveyed, 13 percent said they regularly went online for election news. That's up from 9 percent in 2000. Network news and newspapers both declined, by 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Where respondents said they turned for candidate and campaign news, by percentage:

Local TV newscasts 42%
Cable news channels (Fox, CNN) 38%
TV network newscasts 35%
Daily newspapers 31%
TV newsmagazines 25%
Talk radio 17%
National Public Radio 14%
Sunday TV talk shows (tie) Internet 13%
TV comedy shows ("The Daily Show," "Saturday Night Live") 8% - Reuters, Associated Press

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