Sunday, 11 March 2007

Can anyone hack it?

There's been a lot of criticism in the 7days post of the quality (or lack thereof) of journalists/columnists in the region. So is anyone actually any good? Who's your favourite columnist? If nothing else, this post should give those people "close to" Mark Johnson and Jason Leavy an opportunity to sing their praises...

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

This should be interesting - a load of thinly veiled Anon postings, extolling the virtues of themselves, oops other journalists.

Anonymous said...

Shweta Jain at ET is good.

Anonymous said...

William Boot at Communicate is fairly decent with the Media Ho column...not sure if he's a regular, as I miss issues quite often.

The one's who really piss me off:
- Zarina Whats-her-name (Toady)
- Mustafa Al Rawi (ex-6Days and Toady)
- Bikram Vohra (ex-everything and current Bahrain Tribune and guest columnist with Campaign)

Anonymous said...

Good:
Nicholas Coates at GN when he writes about labour issues (not a columnist but an opinion writer)

Zarina Khan at ET for her relentless, 300kmh, don't pause to think about anything writing style

Tamara something at the now defunct etc magazine, for being utterly honest and utterly off message

I also used to like reading Greg Hunt's column in 6days

Bad:
Eudore Chand (when he wrote at ET) for managing to mention how great Dubai is in almost every single column.

Mustafa Al Rawi, simply awful on every level. Even his attempts at blatent baiting are woeful.

Moona at ET...worse than awful

Anonymous said...

It's a tough one; most of the opinion columns at ET and GN are blatant rip-offs of whatever happens to be on the BBC website that day...
Did used to like the Spin so interested to see that make a return.

Anonymous said...

Sorry just have to address the Nicolas Coates being placed under the 'good' column - I have rarely seen such bad writing; he manages to convey a sense of holier-than-thou high handedness without ever actually saying anything other than "the labour situation is bad".... Can't completely blame him though, he never even worked in the media until GN hired him (just goes to show, he used to be a copper and a furniture salesman!

Anonymous said...

to defend Nicholas Coates - has any other columnist ever said 'things are bad and must change?'

I'm not a fan of his style, but the topics he chooses. You need to make your judgements relative to what is out there as competition.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Nicholas Coates is very good as a rule, but I thought the piece he did criticising the road tolls was great. However, I think that's more because it was suprprising to see something so critical in the Snooze than any great writing on his part. And yes, lots of people have said things are bad and must change. That's one of the reasons 7days got into trouble.

Anonymous said...

I love how the original post was about "who's good" and immediately, out come the hatchets ... Media eh - always looking for the negative! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I don't know about good but I can tell you who wins the award for worst! - Asma Ali Zain for this gem that (unfortunately) stuck in my mind... Thanks SD!
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2007/January/theuae_January766.xml§ion=theuae&col

Anonymous said...

Balls, can't get the link to work, what was it?

Anonymous said...

Her article on the shopping festival with 'grandma' and 'the little one'....

Anonymous said...

That was the best article in the history of UAE press.

Genius.

Anonymous said...

I do like some of the columns on sport extra (am obviously not including RC's opening words of wisdom in that)

Anonymous said...

Greg Hunt at 6days is good. The other Hunt there is not bad but vindictive and in love with his prose.

Jack Ollerenshaw said...

I read Gulf News and Time Out. The best editorial content by far. Gulf News for breaking news and Time Out for news features, interviews and reviews. The rest are poor. Especially Emirates Today where the standards of journalism (from the very top to the very bottom) are laughable

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Time Out is essential reading. The only place to go if you want something a little off-message. Sometimes crusading, sometimes pointed, always entertaining and informative. It's had a huge impact - look how much What's On has had to improve in recent years to catch up. Not that What's On has managed to get anywhere near it.

Max said...

Andrew Chambers at Asteco has a column in Emirates Yesterday (aka Toady). It has got to be the most Dubai kiss ass piece of writing out there.

Anonymous said...

I agree Time Out has some good reviews and interviews etc, but it's all syndicated. As for local content, except for the listings, there's very little that stands out for me. It can be crusading, but only about "safe" topics like the state of the zoo. For all its faults, at least 7days used to take on some proper issues, like the driving schools and perverts on the public beaches.

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the world's worst food critic, Jessie Kirkness Parker. I swear she would sometimes write an entire essay about herself without ever once mentioning the restaurant she allegedly visited.

meeja tramp said...

The best journalists in Dubai have been the business journalists that uncovered a good scoop, and the ballsy titles that let them run it. The most recent example is the Shuaa Capital story in Arabies Trends. Also, Trends' sister title Communicate ran a gutsy story about a UAE business for non-payment of freelancers, which led to all sorts of legal beagles getting involved.

Sadly, these sorts of stories (solid, well researched, newsy, exclusive and factually correct) are rarely flashy enough to be appreciated by most people. For my money, there are only a handful of decent writers - largely business journos - in Dubai (past and present) that could hold their own in better markets.

Anonymous said...

Fair play to Time Out as they did the beach pervert story first and it was followed by 7days. I should know - I helped steal it

Anonymous said...

I liked the Trends article, but I asked friends in the biz at the time "is it illegal", they all said "no"

Is this true? (I genuinely don't know), if not, the story seems a bit pointless.

Company in UAE involved in morally dubious practice shocker.

secretdubai said...

I agree about Time Out - juiciest content around, well written, informative, amusing. (And no I don't work there).

Arabies Trends (just "Trends" now - why the hell did they do that? Christ what's next, renaming it "Trendy"?) is generally excellent. Alistair Crighton is a great writer.

Lucia Dore at KT has done some great stuff, as did Brandy Scott in her print days. Likewise former GN hack Diaa Hadid (even more impressive if you got to see the articles she wrote before they censored it/spiked it/hacked it to pieces).

The columnist I least enjoy is ET's Aida Al Busaidi - samuraisam took her on here.

That link for the person that mentioned it:
The little joys of DSF - by Asma Ali Zain

Did they announce who won the DSF "journalism" prize yet? Because Ali Zain won it then I am packing media/blogging/all basic human communication in and getting a respectable job flipping fries at McClownfood.

Talking of legendary columnists - do any old timers here remember Rebecca Ferrari and her "Thinking Aloud" atrocity that used to be in Friday magazine?

anon_mediator said...

Without a doubt, my favourite columnist was Abdul Salam from 7 Days (every other Friday for some of last year). Informative, relevant, and completely at one with his audience. I did actually write to 7Days when he left to beg them to bring him back, but to no avail.

Here are some links to old columns: http://www.7days.ae/category/columnists/abdul-salam/

Anonymous said...

Diaa Hadid was good actually; but even the best can only take so much of having their stuff cut/censored to pieces so she left to work for AP/AFP - Sad thing is the management at GN didn't even try and keep her.

Anonymous said...

A usual edition of Emirates Today:
World exclusive: our CEO eats cake after winning prize - see exclusive photos and write-up.
Our staff win prizes voted for by themselves - see pic of our CEO eating cake
We have sold 2 extra copies this week - see our CEO celebrating by eating cake
All our staff have diabetes - we eat too much cake

Anonymous said...

I reckon Eudore Chand's effort in today's Toady takes the biscuit - or the cake cake - where he bemoans the media's obsession with negativity. Not the Toady though. They can put a positive spin on anything. I just can't wait to see how they react when global warming finally swallows the Palm. "Gracious Nakheel grants grateful Palm residents free swimming pools" springs to mind.

Anonymous said...

I just can't wait for new luminaries to be added to the Dubai media scene with the launch of "Xpress" - supposedly on the 15th....

Dipal said...

One part of my job is to go look at newspapers and publications. Emirates Today is terrible and the anonymous comment about Eudore Chand's columns is true. I used to enjoy Matt Slater's reports but he left and now the business editor, who was good, has gone. It is in a very bad state.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, a little off thread - what happened to etc magazine then, and what was the fall out?

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Toady is about to get into trouble for lifting quotes from international magazines -should be an interesting test of DMC's willingness to punish its pals.
But the fact remains, Toady had a huge budget to launch with and that was what they came up with? Crikey!
PS Best not slate any Motivate journos or they'll have the thread removed... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware Motivate actually had any journalists.

Anonymous said...

Haven't Toady been doing that since forever though - all their 'exclusives' are from other mags or papers

Anonymous said...

etc magazine has been closed. Not sure of the fallout. The employer who picks up Tamara will be lucky. She would be an endless source of amusement in the office.

Anonymous said...

Funny.

www.myspace.com/emiratestoady

Anonymous said...

Good point, well made. Is it fair to say that Motivate have proved that you can turn to 'the dark side' of PR while actively employed as a journalist then?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 14.57: or is it the other way round? Dark siders writing for motivate on the side?

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't be the first company in Dubai to basically publish press releases, but paying PRs to 'freelance' press releases is another level!

Anonymous said...

SD, I remember Rebecca Ferrari...man was she awful! But so was Saleh Al Shibani at Weekend...wonder what happened to him?

But all the old timers who liked the good ole Weekend (b4 Galadari Godzilla took over and Patrick Michael was still in charge), he has been rehired by KT and is supposed to relaunch the magazine in a big way. Wonder where that takes us...

Anonymous said...

Sorry...for the above post 'he' means Patrick, NOT Galadari!

secretdubai said...

SD, I remember Rebecca Ferrari...man was she awful!

I heard a vaguely amusing account of how it was very difficult for GN to get rid of her and several other less-than-excellent columnists as they all had their feet very firmly under the table from the "old era". In the end they only managed to dispense with her services when Friday got a relaunch. Apparently the racy lady (and I use that term in the surname pun sense, because the column was about as upbeat as a lawnmower) was very much less than delighted.

Anonymous said...

Don't knock Eudore. Despite a lack any journalistic talent he has managed to play the 'positive news' card so astutely that he has been given positions of responsibility, without ever taking any responsibility for anything that goes wrong - it wss always someone else. He know where his bread's buttered! Others might call it brown-nosing, but I could not possibly comment.

Anonymous said...

The worst has to be Aida Al Busaidy. A clear winner.

The most banal column ever written (twice) must be her column during her birthday week.

For those of you who cannot remember (shame on you), it is where we get to read about the fact that it is her birthday and 56 other people in her family.

She has done it twice already, and what is the betting that we will get to read all about it, 'unveiled and uncut', again this year.

Anonymous said...

Eudore Chand has the finest moustache in living history.

Anonymous said...

Eudore Chand once achieved the amazing feat of shaking hands with over 2,000 people in less than thirty minutes. He raised over Dh60 for charity.

Anonymous said...

Eudore Chand can say the word 'chief' in over forty five thousand languages.

Anonymous said...

Getting off the subject of Eudore's moustache for a minute, it's easy to knock the standard of publications here, but how many of you have actually tried chasing down a hard news story in this part of the world? I've heard stories anecdotally that would be international headline news, but try to get a source to comment on the record, or a company or government official to comment, and all you get is denials. You might know the story is true, but you can't prove it in court - and believe me, you would have to. People are too scared of what will happen to them if they get found out talking to you. And before anyone thinks that's just an excuse, think back to DP World. Dubai was flooded with 'proper' journalists trying to get the Dubai angle. I had at least half a dozen from world-famous news outlets on the phone practically begging for help, because absolutely no one would speak to them. They all went home empty handed. We really should be applauding what little we are able to accomplish instead of knocking each other. Although Eudore's moustache is absolutely enormous.

anon_mediator said...

Anonymous, 09.39 - you are spot on. It is a nightmare trying to get confirmation of stories here. Even when you have written proof from 3 sources, they can still throw the book at you. And forget the legal system - it's only as effective as the person you're fighting. Didn't Tony Metcalf spend half of his time in the police station, arguing about stories in 7Days?

You have to get the story, get the sources who will go on record or give you off-record confirmation, persuade your editor / publisher to go out on a limb, prepare for the advertiser backlash, prepare for the threatening letters from the people in the story, and then hope you can hold it together.

A tough ask.

But if there were better reporters and braver publishers, would the balance start to tip in favour of the media? I'm not sure that it would.

"Commitment to free press" etc ... as long as you play by the rules.

Anonymous said...

Most of the big media players here are either government owned or run by people so close to the top the end result's the same. They are never going to print anything too controversial. When someone like 7days comes along and rocks the boat a little, instead of upping their game they join forces to cripple them - and that's despite the backing of Associated Newspapers. Throw in an opaque legal system and sketchy laws - as a defendant I've been asked by the interviewing police officer to tell him what the law is on defamation because he didn't know - and I don't see how it can change.

Anonymous said...

Well, a big start for change would be getting rid of some of the lap dogs that have found themselves in senior positions. Of course I know how hard it is to make a good story stand up here. But then, it's harder still when you have Editors who say we can't run that because 'it will make Dubai look bad' (and I was in that 'conference' when she said it).

Perhaps we should all just give up the ghost, ride our time here, whilst trying to make as much cash out of the saps as possible, before slipping back to the UK and attempting to resurrect our careers...

Anonymous said...

I worked for two media companies in Dubai over 2.5 years. They were extreme opposites. The most recent one was very courageous and absolutely did not tow the Dubai line. However, they were not as well-known as the first company I worked for, which was a hothouse of unethical and pathetic journalism standards. Yet this company was held up as the biggest, best media company in the region. So...the problem is not only archaic and backward press laws and UK-born publishers who like to lick Arab ass...the problem is also with the public in Dubai, which is generally not educated enough to understand the benefits of TRULY free and responsible press. How did I deal with this issue? I left, of course, for fear that my career would eventually suffer from the taint of Dubai.

ET escapee said...

Eudore's day. 9am - comb moustache.
11am office - shake hands and exchange small talk for three hours. 2pm - comb moustache and lunch. 3pm - late shift arrives, three more hours of handshaking, nodding and calling everyone chief.
6pm - Late conference. Agree with everything said by editor in chief. More nodding. Find some hands to shake on way out.
7pm - cake in office to celebrate CEO's birthday/latest world award/Nobel prize.
Pen a column on how labourers in Dubai have never had it so good and that, inshallah, the birds will sing tomorrow to show how clean and wonderful Dubai is.
10pm - call CEO to explain how you've saved paper single-handedly after a hack tried to print some news that wasn't positive about Dubai. Immediate pay rise awarded by CEO of the year.
11pm home saying Ciao! to anyone left in office on way out.

Anonymous said...

Fair point about getting rid of the lap dogs for stronger editors, but then every strong editor I can think of has either swallowed their pride and toned it down or been forced out - you're only as strong as the owners allow you to be. The only way I can see things changing is if the big media players push for it. At the moment there's no incentive for them to do so. Gulf News is tame, but absolutely stuffed with ads. Why as an owner/editor in chief would you rock the boat for no reason?

Anonymous said...

Most people listed here have the journalistic skills of a beetroot. Come on people, has the Dubai sun made you forget what real writing is like?!

Eudore Chand, on the other hand, is too good for the place.

Anonymous said...

Eudore Chand once overted the onset of World War Three simply by faxing a picture of his moustache to all angry sides concerned. The fax took 568457235 pages of fax paper.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. But I think you mean 'averted'

Anonymous said...

As a journalist who was employed with a newspaper in the city I was continously told to go easy. I had met prostitutes who were sponsored by senior guys in the armed forces. I met a girl was was drugged in a bar and was almost kidnapped by a bunch of guys , I was told to go easy. Met prostitutes who had their teeth knocked in and heard stories of girls who just dissapeared. It was heartbreaking. Today I have left the city and am thankful that i did.

Eudore Chand well guys leave him alone. I suppose he like everybody else is trying to make a buck in that town. Patrick Michael well that guy is a special one. Will fit right in Dubai. A snake if there ever was one. The media business in Dubai is in a funk. 7 days is in decline. Khaleej times well. less said the better Gulf news ... is turgid and Emirates Today ......hmmmmm . Guys you have to agree with me on that one.

I am writing this comment watching the telecast of the first world cup cricket match between the hosts and Pakistan. intersperesed with advertisements of housing projects. What is funny is you would think they were advertising for projects based in Europe.

Where are the locals and the other Asian expatriates. Oh sorry i forgot Dubai's obsession with attracting " quality" expatriates. ie white expatriates. gawd somethings never change do they .


regards

quasimodo

localexpat said...

Having lived here all my life, I still remember a time when you only had GN and KT. While growing up I, only having access to GN/KT( no internet or satellite back then) I used to think that GN was the international benchmark in journalistic excellence!

And then I went abroad to study and realised how hilarious previous statement sounds ....:-)

To answer the question, I really don't think anyone is actually any good. Some are mediocre, but must are abysmal.

I think SecrectDubai's blog combined with mine would be a much more interesting column to read :-)

Anonymous said...

Quasimodo,

Why would you say that about Patrick Michael? I'm curious...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wondered the same thing. I like patrick.

Anonymous said...

Emirates Today's front page exclusive: Man loses luggage.
Give me strength. Funnily enough the same has happenend to me a couple of times while flying. Never made it into my local paper in the UK though, let alone the front page of a "national" newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I see the new Emirates Today system of senior staff making sure the front page is first rate is working well. That is a hummdinger of a splash. I'm sure ET are hoping he does not get his bag back - this one could run and run..

Anonymous said...

You have to admire their cheek - A World Exclusive no less!

anon_mediator said...

Emirates Today has really tried to ramp up the story with the use of tabloidese adjectives - "runway drama" and "flight fiasco". I expect nothing less from a paper that is small in size, heavy in content. Mind you, they stopped short of name & shaming the airline that the businessman said offered no assistance: what's the betting it's Emirates or Etihad?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

Can't help but think you guys wouldn't know a story if Scheherazade shared your villa in Mirdiff.

Obviously, the fact that over 100,000 bags are still in the transit station of a major airport - three days after a burst tire - could be considered to be of public interest.

Coupled with the stories coming out of the airport - which include fights, threats of passport confiscation, threating behaviour by uniformed staff - it would seem that Emirates Today is at least touching on the issues.

Anonymous said...

You do know that this goes on (apart from the passport confiscation threats) at every airport in the world. You should pitch up to Heathrow a few days at a BA strike sometime.

Anonymous said...

Anon above. You are kidding right? That splash should, at the very best, one-sixth of a crappy vox pop buried on the last inside page of a spread on the crisis. That splash should really have covered: are unsafe airlines allowed to land and take-off DXB? Why is no system in place for such emergencies? What's happened to the 100k lost bags? And of course the threats, etc. "Touching on?" Bullshit, disguising a major systems failure as an inconvenience to a single businessman is chutzpah of staggering proportions. I really loathe that vile rag. It sums up everything hateful about Dubai.

Anonymous said...

You have hit the nail on the head. If Emirates Today had put all those details into a story they would have a decent tale. Instead, they leave us with the heartbreaking news of one man's case getting lost - as indicated in the headline. Maybe you should get a job at ET, although I suspect you are already employed there

Anonymous said...

Last time I flew to the US, they lost my case for 72 hours...hold the front page. UAE Today and Fox News want an interview.

It might amaze people to know that after an accident which resulted in people and bags being deposited in 7 different locations, it will take a while to get things back in order. That there was nothing like the aggro which is being painted in rumour circles (I was actually there for most of the time).

What is clear - which I guess no paper will print - is that Emirates showed a total disregard for its customers.

Anonymous said...

anon at 13.49: It wasn't just a 'burst ti(y)re' A plane went skidding nose down along a runway at 150mph, closing an international airport. Chaos will obviously ensue.

Anonymous said...

Do I work for Emirates Today? Christ no. If I did, I'd be testing my will to live by playing chicken, blindfold, drunk and naked, on Shiekh Zayed Road after every soul-sapping shift.

Anonymous said...

Come off it. If Monday's chaos had happened at Heathrow, there would have been front-page splashes in the Daily Mail and a run of human interest stories all week.

People stranded at the airport for over 24 hours, 100,000 cases still in transit on Wednesday, passengers abandoned by staff then threatened with jail and passport confiscation when they complained?

Instead, we've had editorials talking about the response being a model for the aviation world.

All the angles the other anon mentions are legitimate - but can you point me to a paper that's covering them?

Kick off on ET all you want, but it - and AMG's radio coverage - is at least close to what actually happened on Monday. What are you doing?

You should get a job with Emirates PR. Oh wait, maybe you already do...

Anonymous said...

Yeah - there would have been human interest stories galore. And there are.

But they wouldn't have been splashing on 'man loses case for a few days and was too stupid to carry his computer with him so he missed a presentation...oh and he spent 80 quid on clothes'

I think you'll find most of the media have been hinting at what happened, but they can't be explicit.

Anonymous said...

Leaving GN's woeful ass-kissing editorial aside. They pretty much had it covered. Extensive interviews with the passengers of the biman plane, cost to the airlines, stories of panic, interviews with those who were delayed.

How was ET's coverage better? man loses case after crisis? If he still doesn't have his case in a week then its a story. After less than 3 days...no. It takes airlines that long to get cases that got missed off one flight by accident.

I can't comment on the radio coverage because I didn't hear it...what did they say??

harking back to the ass-kissing edit. To be fair DCA press office were amazingly efficient, very un-Dubai.

dances said...

there is a function on the comment facility that allows posters to choose an identity, other than 'anonymous'. Posters don't need to write their full name and address; they can choose a nom de plume. anonymity will be protected and it will help posters reply to individual comments.
new to this blogging lark, are we? or just shit scared of using an alias?
if you're criticising Dubai columnists (and I agree they're mostly garbage) at least ackowledge they have the guts/stupidity to put their name (and picture) alongside their copy

Anonymous said...

Dubai Eye:

Monday night had live coverage phoned in from a delayed flight to Rome, where passengers broke out into angry chanting, and the police waded in.

Maybe the anon above who thinks that the rumours are exaggerated should have listened in...

Rob in Dubai said...

Funny how the uncensored media based here didn't pick up on the scores of violent acts, punch-ups, 1 and a half million suitcases lost...could it be because it wasn't really that bad?

The real story is...what actually happened. All of the press are doing their best to hint at it.

Anonymous said...

Define waded in? While I have no doubt things got a bit heated, it's a bit of a loose definition. And as I said. I didn't hear the radio so I can't comment.

Was it as bad as say, someone mouthing off at a spanish cop eg - head cracked in by five policemen in public and arrested for the hell of it? Or did they just get a bit intimidating?

DXB accountant said...

There were 100,000 cases still in transit?

With 31 flights cancelled or diverted, that works out at 3,225 cases per plane.

No wonder the biman plane couldn't get off the ground!!! :) :) :)

Where's my luggage? said...

Emirates Luggage Services (04 213 3233) currently claim over 100,000 pieces of luggage are still in their transit bay, which they give as the cause of the delay.

Dial the number, give the number of a cancelled flight, see for yourself.

You forgot to factor in delayed flights, where people have checked out after waiting a day, as well as cargo and flights which have gone ahead but left luggage behind.

dxb accountant said...

lets see if any media pick up on that then :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

If a smallish bomb ever went off here I have my doubts it would get reported.

Anonymous said...

Why Patrick Michael

Ha ha

ask the people in KT

Regards

Quasimodo

Anonymous said...

Why Patrick Michael

Ha ha

ask the people in KT

Regards

Quasimodo

Stugots said...

Looking at the the way different newspapers handled the plane incident is pretty simple. Gulf News was by the far best news coverage - great pictures and words although from what I can gather internally they admit to dropping the ball regarding fights in the terminal. 7days - not bad for the resources. Emirates Today had a bad start the day after the incident - too many articles telling the same story, poor pictures, lazy headlines, sloppy copy etc. Day two for ET could have been great with the story of the mountain of lost luggage but they once again self-censored. Very sad when all you want in a morning is a decent newspaper to read

Anonymous said...

Instructions have been send to all newspapers in the country that no criticism of the country will be allowed. Anyone crossing the line will be deported. This happened last month.

The reporter, the editor will be deported .

so do u think anything interesting will happen

regards

quasimodo

Anonymous said...

nothing has been mentioned to any senior media person that I know.

Anonymous said...

Hang on...for 100,000 cases to be delayed that would mean no luggage was on the next 33,000 flights leaving dubai (assuming 3 pieces per person)

Anonymous said...

And one person per flight.

Maths - harder than it looks...

dxb accountant said...

LOL...I guess that's why journos are writers!!! And it explains some of the dodgy figures that get bandied about in circulation terms!!

Anonymous said...

quasimodo...I have seen Patrick Michael at his best and worst at KT, but honestly he is probably one of the lesser evils compared to some of the shit we still find in the local media world today

doubting thomas said...

Which comment is in no way related to 7Days' Sawyer ... I thought the comments on the 7days post on this blog were wildly exaggerated, and just an excuse to bitch.

That was until I spoke to one of his former colleagues in the UK. Even with a heavy lacing of diplomacy, it was clear that the comments were widely felt. Ouch.

Anonymous said...

Xpress came out this morning.

That the Gulf News can produce something like that, with a straight face, and get away with it, tells you everything you need to know about the newspaper scene in Dubai.

Xpress thinks that because it's employed some whizz designer, the paper's going to cut the mustard.

It looks like the Beano and it's very much a lickspittle Gulf News product.

The Toady and the GN (and now it's freebie Xpress) only survive because of political clout.

When their incompetence is exposed by competition (vividly so in the case of Abdul Latif and the Toady), their response is not to improve, but to threaten.

Until that changes and until Dubai is prepared to allow proper, unfettered competition, we'll get more days when we're all subjected to such tripe as Xpress.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11.20 - indeed, the subject of X is the focus of another post - and has rightly raised much discussion!

Anonymous said...

what can one do when you have owners of newspapers who wonder why their sports reporter is not in office but at a football match watching it or for that matter that the reporter spend her time watching a play instead of sitting in office.

many of these guys are inarticulate , have no love for newspapers they look at it as yet another vehicle to make them important in their circle.


sad but true.


Owning a newspaper for these guys is like owning a new building. have license will bring out paper.

Anonymous said...

So, doubting thomas, you are well named...! The stuff on here about Sawyer is quite tame compared to some of the things I have heard about him.

'A swaggering, incompetent cock' was the Sawyer description of choice of one senior reporter at a UK national daily who, I'm told, "howled" when Sawyer's name was mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I wish Emirates Toady would use some of its wads of cash on making their website work better. There are loads of bits where the text is all over the shops, and the archives STILL don't search further back than 3 weeks ago.

Yes, I know - why would ANYONE want to read back issues of ET ...

Anonymous said...

Peter Cooper anybody. He came, he left, he came back and is now having his wings clipped at AME. A true Dubai hack.

a co-worker said...

Anonymous, 18.18 : even a "swaggering, incompetent cock" has its uses, so not convinced NS qualifies.

Death from above said...

Co-worker. I see your point. forgive me.

Anonymous said...

Peter Cooper? Well, his equity in AMEinfo means he now has to be the richest 'hack' in town.

Anonymous said...

I know I've missed the boat on this one, but gosh, what fun! This is like the most hilarious water-cooler bitch-fest I've ever read, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Columnists - I find it amazing how loosely the title and designation gets thrown around in the UAE - ET and its revolving door of sycophants being the best example of such. I really wonder if any of them could cut the mustard back home, wherever it is for them. And who among the lot actually had a column before their current showing?

And interesting to hear some of you praise some columnists who the others have shredded. So what's the final verdict - are Nicolas Coates, Diaa Hadid, Tamara from ETC and Zarina Khan good or bad? And did someone seriously suggest Eudore was 'too good for the place'? Elaborate please.

columns are regurgitated pap said...

yes let's get back to the columnists. whoever writes the rumour in time out is totally rubbish. it's almost always wrong. which, you could argue, is the point, but i think itp sees it as "path-breaking". like their ïnvestigative cover stories.

Anonymous said...

Noticed Zarina's gone from Toady. There goes their lone columnist of worth. Now the Voices page is a complete write-off, unless you want to read the letters that are veiledly written by Toady staff.