Thursday, April 2, 2009

The dumbed-down Times

On page 38 of the print edition, The Times has a worthy story, by Sarah Delaney, on Berlusconi wanting to relax planning rules.

What does not accompany the on-line version is the illustration. It is credited to Johanna Huber, and is far more atmospheric than the image right. The Times captions its picture:
Conservationists fear for historic towns such as Porto Azzurro in Tuscany
See what Malcolm means about dumbing-down?

We can be reasonably assured that The Times will pay no regard to Malcolm's e-mail of protest. So, Malcolm makes his case here.

Admittedly, Porto Azzurro is in Tuscany (albeit a dozen miles off-shore). Tuscany extends to 8,880 square miles, which is 1.107 times the size of Wales. More specifically, Porto Azzurro is in the Province of Livorno, which directs us to just 470 square miles (or about three-quarters the size of Greater London).

All that apart, why not simply say Porto Azzurro is on the Island of Elba? Anyone capable of reading The Times should have a rough notion of that location.

Malcolm would also query the relevance of the link from relaxing planning laws to Porto Azzurro. Tuscany is one area of Italy where planning and building control is well-enforced. Even more relevant, all seven islands of the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano, the largest marine park in Europe, are particularly well-protected by a whole battery of regulations:
  • by law 394/91,
  • by the decree D.P.R. of 22th July 1996;
  • by the ministerial decree D.M. Ambiente of 19th December 1997.
It is tendentious in the extreme to imply this reserve is seriously threatened, even if the appalling Burlesconi has mouthed off. Sphere: Related Content

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