Monday, 9 April 2007

Bring back the Business Channel ....

There's a sentence I thought I would never utter, but faced with the banal offerings from Emirates News and City 7, it has left me with no option. Dubai is a city with global aspirations, yet its programming (in particular the news and business) is shameful.

I can't even bring myself to watch Emirates News any more, but I'm informed it is getting no better, despite the presence of newscaster Ramia Farrage, who has reached No.93 on Arabian Business' top 100 most powerful Arabs (on the basis of this, I'm not sure how she rates higher than the Qatar Airways' CEO, or even CNN's Hala Gorani).

And as for City 7: just three examples needed. That Woman's Show, which plunges to new depths ("the German carmaker, Skoda"); the weekend repeats of the weekday news programmes (news? current affairs?); and the superb bit of scheduling that puts an aerobics show on after midnight on a Thursday, when any exercise taking place in Dubai is likely to be of the drinking or horizonal variety.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

you wonder how Ramia Farrage makes the power list??????

whos is she 'best friends' with?

Anonymous said...

Are you saying she is friends with someone influential?

Anonymous said...

Emirates evening news is just appalling!
I was watching it the other night (don't ask - I wanted to see if CSI was on after) and at the end of the bulletin the presenter starts giving a three-minute synopsis of what's happening in the episode of Gilmore Girls that's on next and then of the programme after! Can you imagine Trev Macdonald giving it "and on Emmerdale next famer so and so finds that one of his cows is missing and heads down the village to confront..."
The mind boggles...

Anonymous said...

i think that anon is referring to ramia being friends with the editor who is not the editor who might be influential when it comes to compiling the power list!

Anonymous said...

City 7 is amazing. It has Minder. "Go on, Tel, 'it 'im!"

Feel the love said...

Best friends is putting it mildly...there must have been some serious "gifts" handed over

Anonymous said...

Hey "Feel the Love":
Try adding something useful to the thread rather than 'going there' and implying stuff about her personal conduct. This is a public forum and its one thing to go on about someone's professional abilities (there's no shortage of face scratching on this site) but back off on the slanderous post.
Writing such an asinine comment (posted anonymously, of course) about a person you've clearly never met is pathetic.

How predictable that you took the thread down to that level.

secretdubai said...

I know her personally, and I think she's an incredibly nice person.

I also know people who have worked with her who say she is very hard working with zero ego. Which says a lot when you're talking about a TV presenter, given how vain and lazy most of them are.

Top 100 Arabs? Probably not yet, and almost certainly not on a local Dubai channel. But maybe one day.

anon_mediator said...

Well put, secretdubai. It was the quality of tv programming, both in terms of content and scheduling, that I was drawing attention to. Local talent cannot possibly flourish in circumstances such as provided by City 7 and Emirates News.

I wish the big networks would ramp up their bureau offices in Dubai so that promising talent on both sides of the camera could be exposed to better talent and a higher audience. Maybe Al Jazeera English will become the go-to station for all potential newscasters in the future.

(I do question Ramia's position on the top 100 list, but that is an issue with the criteria used by the magazine's editorial staff. I genuinely believe someone like Hala Gorani, who is a far more visible Arab face, would have been a better choice. But then I also can't understand why Arabian Business had a no-royalty rule but then included some. They say potato, I say potato, let's call the whole thing off.)

Anonymous said...

And amazing how the AB list didn't include the two biggest media players in the UAE (as in Al Tayer and the CEO of the year)

You'd think they might have the teeniest bit of influence.

Anonymous said...

Emirates News is CRAAAAAAAAP, city seven is like the Karama of television channels, it has some good flukes here and there but its content is mostly rubbish.

I would be happy if DTV save themselves the embarresmant and money by shutting down the over glorified emirates news.

dxb hack said...

I started watching Emirates News a week or so ago. It's not that bad, it just looks like its run by weak news editors and an EP without much experience.

The designers are excellent, their graphics, astons etc are top drawer.

Their choice of shot framing (especially with the presenter, a dog and nothing else in shot, and a wide shot at that) and the horrible cliched directing in studio is the worst part.

I don't expect them to ask difficult questions so their live two ways are still bearable.

But the worst part is just the news editing/chief subbing, how they let that standard of VO on their packages is beyond me. It doesn't take a genius to spot that 4 second long pauses in the middle of sentences is wrong. Simple...whoever is passing these packages should be sending them back and saying, do that bit again.

Likewise with the scripts...an upsot with someone saying 'i think the sky is blue' should never have a lead in saying 'Mr X thought the sky was blue' but I keep spotting this basic stuff time and time again.

Oh and they seem to have employed quite a few people with weak voices...which is strange.

These are things which can be changed. In short...give me a job. I'll sort them out :-)

Anonymous said...

You are all so right. It saddens me possibly more than most because I have tried to make a difference here. I was with BBC Tv for 12 years (and with a lot of other major networks for another 12-15 years)and when I came here a few years back I thought we could have a decent channel or two here but alas, no! It boils down to lack of investment, lack of knowledge, lack of enthusiasm and a strange attitude of 'its my channel and I say what we do with it" which is commonplace throughout the Middle East. City 7 could have been a great channel. I've got to be a little naughty here and say that if an English/US/European TV station came here, with English/US/European owners ONLY, then it would be a great channel. I'm sorry, but all the local people want is to be able to say to their friends, I own a TV channel. It doesn't matter if its crap, they wont be watching it. Scary stuff, eh...

Anonymous said...

I hear there have been some major changes over at City 7. Rumour has it new management has been quietly clearing out the deadwood and is bringing in some actual talent, prompting much ego-bruising and ‘don’t you know who I am!!?? hissy fits from its former stable of C-level talent...hilarious. Could this actually end up being a Dubai station worth watching??? Have to wait and see...

Anonymous said...

The appaling Ramia Farrage is only on that list because she was seeing Anil Bhoyrul. But how such a male looking female (maybe she's transexual?) is actually allowed on television is beyond me. Her whinning, squeaky voice is also a shocker. I know Bhoyrul has been with some bad 'uns in his time but she (or he) was an all time low...even for him.

Get her off the airwaves. NOW!

MAX P said...

WHO IS THIS Anonymous DOUCHE!!!???
YOU ARE CLEARLY JUST A JEALOUS IMMATURE HATER WITH NO BALLS OR OVARIES, who probably lost his or her job to someone clearly more talented than u!!
i know Ramia Farrage very well and she is a very intelligent, vibrant, confident, humble women who has a very modest and endearing, magnetic personality!

and for u to resort to B.S. about her looks?? shes Gorgeous and couldn't have a more feminine appeal! and is also a new mother of 2 you dunce!!!
Her damn good looks come from a Full family of attractive Lebanese siblings.
For a women who started from scratch, from humble beginnings, she is prospering and still growing in her success.
keep up the good work girl!