It's a well know secret that I am an avid reader of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung - ever have been, ever will be, as far as I can see. To the unadulterated surprise of my housemates at Edinburgh University's Masson Hall, I had it even sent up to Scotland in those gray days before the advent of online editions. There's something soothingly agreeable about lying on the lawn in the scorching Scottish sun (sic!), reading the NZZ Auslandsausgabe while some fellow students are engaged in a game of cricket.

But what's NBaZ? It jokingly stands for Neue Basler Zeitung, an idea put forward by some 2500 people asking for a Basle edition of the NZZ because they were disgruntled with Basle's flagship press monopoly's paper, the Basler Zeitung, also behatedly known as BaZ. The up front reason for the long cultivated bad temper lies generally in the BaZ's recent new format, but more specifically in its tabloid treatment of hallowed Basle culture, and directly in the opening up of the events section for everyone against payment of a (modest) CHF 20 for an event ad. This got people going! And now they're asking rival town Zürich's NZZ for a Basle edition, or rather, an edition with the Zürich section replaced by a section on Basle. The NZZ's editor had nothing smarter to reply than that everything of consequence that happens in Basle is being noted in the NZZ already anyway ...

Being a long standing subscriber to both papers, I am certainly not opposed to actually getting a renowned quality paper to compete with our provincial one. But the project is being promoted for all the wrong reasons. I am supporting it anyway.

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