Saturday, 6 October 2007

It's Toady Time

By popular demand, a discussion about the movings and shakings at Dubai's favourite government newspaper, Emirates Today. And the rest of AMG to boot.

Word has it there are BIG shake up plans afoot (Kane) at ET business.

and:
Speaking of so called "freedom of speech", can anyone enlighten us to the where-abouts of Vix and Nannette from Dubai Eye? The Dubai rumor mill is rife with whispers of letters from high up to pull the show and presenters due to certain remarks said on-air.

But before we start, here's a little video that came our way some time back that explains why AMG is the most successful media company in the United Arab Emirates:

Go wild.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

our way or the highway, it seems ......

Anonymous said...

The scariest thing is that Abdulatif actually seems to believe his own hype.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that out of this whole drivel from comments on the earlier post the only thing worth saving was a personal comment on someone no one knows or cares about.

Popular demand is to talk about racism. Not AMG.

If you are not brave enough to talk about racism even now (and anonymously!) for Pete's sake do not ever talk about any other kind of censorship. In this country or any other.

Happy mudslinging, Dubai's upholders of Western standards.

Anonymous said...

Lets play two questions, and three guesses.

1. Who does the racism in Dubai benefit?

2. Who are the oft-identified posters/members of this blot...er, ooops, blog?

blogger said...

Moderators of this blog are coming under fire for not highlighting the racism claim on one of the earlier threads. Racism (and positive discrimination) is present across the board in Dubai. It's part of life here. Pay scales are pegged to nationality not experience. Media is no different.

The bigger problem is positive discrimination towards nationals. But that takes us back to AMG which gets complaints from commenters.

best of british said...

fraid i have to side with the "bloody" indians on this one. i was in the meeting and simpson did say something about "indian subs" while their boss cackled in glee. strange she did not stand up for her team.
what say, queen vic?
or primrose? (hello, miss skel-tonne!)

mason levy said...

question. what does a man who steals copy from wires and puts his own name to it know of news editing?

answer. he's british.

Anonymous said...

anon @22.52... its clear as england's skies when the sun comes out every fifth day... frequent posters all: miss witherington, miss skeltonne, missus brittle

Anonymous said...

Blogger,

By the same token, positive discrimination in favour of nationals is a part of life here... so why track it to AMG?

Fact is, it does not affect your promotion, if you are white.

Fact is, there are very, very few national journalists in English language media. Those few that are there are prized because they understand the country better than anyone else can. In no other country can you get off a plane and become a news editor. You need to belong. And knowing your territory is a bigger qualification than knowing where to put a bloody comma!

If racism is a problem here and you will not speak against it because you are white and benefit from it, or because you indulge in racial bullying, learn to live with the jeers.

The alternate is to call your blog Brits in Dubai media or any other race, which it represents.

Now, of course, lets act like grown ups. Where is that bucket of mud?

Anonymous said...

vix and nanette. more incompetents. one of them recorded a piece of news about the uae army in iraq. the other read it out on air.
so far, no problem. except that their news editor told them to wait till he had a confirmation on tape from a uae name and designation.
they didn't.
any wonder why they faced the door, like mark evans?

Anonymous said...

yes please, fling some more mud at us. it will turn us brown, save us from getting skin cancer

Anonymous said...

what's the dope on the secret reshuffle at Toady? where's the ed? who's really in charge?

Anonymous said...

everyone's having a party
at luvverly et.
the ceo's too busy
with new launches -- eight.
the ed's away.
the mice at play.
no emirati eye
to keep the expats in place

Anonymous said...

the top guys have screwed the newspaper in two years and none of them have been fired and now what they want to do in the name of change is fire junior people!! in any company senior heads roll first but in ET its juniors who are blamed!! thats ET for you.

suspicious said...

Reading this run of comments you'd think there'd been a huge flurry of people to the site. But if you look at the timings of the postings they're suspiciously close together. One or two people multiple-posting to make it look like a bigger issue than it is?

Anonymous said...

Of course, all these little people... They want to pretend that racism is a big issue, when all we grown ups know it does not happen at all.

Anonymous said...

Ano at 00:55 wrote.....
vix and nanette. more incompetents. one of them recorded a piece of news about the uae army in iraq. the other read it out on air.
so far, no problem. except that their news editor told them to wait till he had a confirmation on tape from a uae name and designation.
they didn't.
any wonder why they faced the door, like mark evans?

Vix and Nannette are (were) show presenters on "Speak Easy", not news readers. They don't record news updates nor do they read out news stories. They used to hold open discussions with listeners, themselves and interviewees on topical matters; local, regional and international. It appears that this amount of 'open discussion' on Dubai's airwaves rocked one too many abbras.

Anonymous said...

anon at 09:01: racism doesn't happen in the uae.
true. neither does prostitution or money laundering or homosexuality or unislamic matters

Anonymous said...

"vix and nanette. more incompetents. one of them recorded a piece of news about the uae army in iraq. the other read it out on air.
so far, no problem. except that their news editor told them to wait till he had a confirmation on tape from a uae name and designation.
they didn't.
any wonder why they faced the door, like mark evans?"

Either total lies or ignorance I am afraid. I expect the later. You should also learn to spell and use capital letters in a correct grammatical manner (are you from AMG?)

It was not Vix and Nanette it was unfortunately two of the most talented (and qualified) news readers the station has probably ever had and ever will.

Second the News Editor was a ‘she’ at the time not a ‘He’. The ‘he’ you are referring to is a manager (cannot remember his title and their website is down at the moment). Anyway he did not tell them to hold it, he told them to not worry about it for now and he would look at it later. He being a very experienced man in Radio (worked as a Baker before coming to Dubai Eye) was acknowledged and listened to. It was then left on a desk (Dubai Eyes file storage system) and picked up by another Journo on a later shift after the other girl had already left to go home. Normally a news ‘editor’ will be in place to insure this kind of mishap does not happen and even take the rap for their team. Unfortunately for them the said News Editor did not spend much time doing any editing and I hasten to add also did not hold much experience, much less loyalty to her team.

What makes the situation even more farcical is the fact Dubai Eye were having problems with the antennas that day so all of about 50 people probably heard the reading. Even more diabolical is the fact that reading was true and of interest to the general populi of Dubai (but that is a whole new topic).

It also runs a lot deeper as these things invariably do. One of the girls was becoming increasing frustrated with the work environment. She had been flown over from the UK and was promised the world working for a ‘dynamic radio station’ in the land of dreams. We are not talking about your usual pass off for a Dubai Journalist; she holds an MA in Broadcast Journalism and has a Law degree to add. She had also worked for several London FM stations under some of the countries best news editors.

In the clear light of the poor output from the news desk, she took it upon herself (despite a pitiful wage and no incentives) to shake things up and start covering local news rather then copying direct from the BBC news website. She got herself out on the ground covering the local elections, Salik, fires, accidents and whole host of other local stories and got the whole news desk ‘fired’ up again.

In the meantime a vendetta started to form as the so called 'news editor' started to dislike the fact that everyone was commenting on how good the news had been and the comments were not coming her way. A clash formed between them and the dysfunctional work place loyalties cemented within management with the incentive to get her kicked out.

So it was only a matter of time before it was going to happen. Both were sacked immediately as soon as the opportune moment arouse. Still as is normally the case it proved a blessing in hindsight as both Journalists have now moved onto to better things.

Please if you are a journalist with a passion for your work, do yourself a very big favor and stay clear of the farcical joke that is Dubai’s Media, especially AMG.

Anonymous said...

That's an epic tale. Some of the characters need fleshing out and it would benefit from a car chase but on the whole it's a winner. Does she marry the baker in the end? That would be very Catherine Cookson.

Anonymous said...

I would like those who run Dubai Media Observer to immediately remove all references to me from the website.

The claims made against me are untrue and defamatory - they contravene the UAE Publication Law. Recent events have shown that the penalties for libel in the UAE can be severe. Sheikh Mohammed’s order banning jail sentences applies only to journalists who commit offences while carrying out their duties; it is unlikely to protect those who post defamatory material on websites or run such sites.

I believe the way the site operates should be reviewed. It is clearly not fair or just that such a serious libel can be made against me by name yet those making it remain anonymous. Other blogs carry an email link on every posting which enables the presence of offensive items to be reported to the site organisers. Such an arrangement would obviously benefit the Dubai Media Observer team as the swift removal of actionable material would serve as a mitigating factor in the event of a conviction for libel. I suggest that the site is taken down while this improvement is made.

Some contributors complain about censorship, yet a case such as this makes the censors’ case for them. If journalists, when given the freedom of expression afforded by this website, abuse it by posting malicious lies then they can hardly complain if they are deemed not sufficiently responsible to have such freedoms in their working lives.

I require from Dubai Media Observer - as well as the immediate removal of the offending material - an apology, an acknowledgement that the claims made are untrue and an undertaking that they will not be repeated.

And I want those who posted these false claims to make themselves known to me so that we can discuss the matter face-to-face.

Colin Simpson

Anonymous said...

Well Observer guys/gals,

Looks like this specific blog warrents six new topics.

1) The original "censorship" issue
2) Racism in Dubai's Media Industry
3) What's the word on the 'shakeup'
4) Will Dubai's radio news ever be anything more than copy/paste/read
5) Liability laws pertaining to web based slander
6) Where are Vix and Nannette, presenters of Dubai Eye's "Speak Easy" show.

OK...who wants to light the fuse???

Martin Hayes said...

I'm not going to hide behind a pseudonym or plumb for anonymity. My name is Martin Hayes and I worked at ET briefly a year or so ago. After more than a decade of working in newspapers I'm going to be wildly optimistic and give Colin the benefit of the doubt: one, that he's not dissembling when he says he didn't blurt out something unfortunate, because in the stress-a-thon that is work on a daily, a rash comment or two is the least that can go wrong; and, two, that he's actually a sufficiently good chief sub that he knows who on his team can sub and who can't. If so, he's streets ahead of most the chief subs I've worked under. I'm not saying that chief subs never know, only that they're usually not paying attention. Just remember: ET doesn't (or didn't when I worked there) have a revise sub who always does know who can sub and who can't.

At my interview, Jason Leavy let on that they didn't discriminate pay-wise between nationalities. I agreed that this was a fine principle. Of course, I didn't have the presence of mind, or cheek, to ask if this meant we would all be paid peanuts.

But if there was racism going on there it was definitely concealed from view.

Anonymous said...

Colin Simpson is a knob.

Anonymous said...

sorry just read simmo's diatribe again....come on silly bollox..using shk Mohamed as a threat, next you'll be telling us how big your dad is and your uncle is heavyweight boxing champ...you utter cock !!!

Anonymous said...

Are blogs considered the same as other media for the purposes of litigation? What is the law on this? People are claiming they heard racist statements made in a meeting. If they did there's no libel in reporting what they heard. Not sure about the claims of alcoholism - most journos wear that like a badge of courage anyway.

Anonymous said...

Now I know why it's almost impossible to find a byline in ET. All the journalists are far to busy venting on DMO. Very amusing it is too - but surely you have a job to do - or is 100% Wire copy now acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Every story in the news section from page 1 to 6 today was from a press release - impressive

Anonymous said...

Before anyone threatens DMO, lets get couple of things out in the open.
I dont approve of the bitching that is going on here, I think it is hurting both sides of the party...but thats just my opinion.
Now to the main point: DMO, in simple terms, is just a website that hosts messages, it doesnt claims anywhere that it is responsible for the content or even approves of them.
But if moderators do find any content that they consider offensive they can remove it, but it is solely upto them. So what might be offensive to you could be simple gossip to the moderators.
And DMO isnt the only website that carries gossip and bitching of newsrooms, check out New York City's famous Gawker website and you will know what I am talking about.
About the possibility of suing DMO, well these days anybody can sue anybody so you are more than welcome to try your luck in the court.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Dubai 10 years and worked in media in Dubai until very recently. When I came to Dubai I already had six years of training and experience behind me in the UK.

The reason I stopped working in media in Dubai is because I find the unprofessionalism, lack of training and freebie-grabbing attitude among the new, very young 'journalists' in town too depressing.

I know I'm not alone.

The postings on this blog confirm my feeling: too many of these inexperienced journalists are on power trips, in jobs they wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting in England. They come across as immature and inexperienced and have an over-developed sense of self importance. What's more, they have no management skills and no idea how to run their teams.

It's a sad time for journalism when all Dubai's journos want to do is slag off their own employers and colleagues.

Anonymous said...

This blog is full of digs at the lack of professionalism among journalists in Dubai - and then comes out with some of the most repulsive, libelous crap I've read for a long time. Can anyone say "hypocrisy"?

To anon at 19:07 - you're wrong. The website hosts / moderators have responsibility for what is posted, and will be liable if Colin decides to go to the police or sue - both options in a town where libel IS still a criminal offence. The original post - and many of those repeating the accusations - have obviously come from inside the ET newsroom, and it should be fairly simple for the cops to a) Find the IP adress of the poster, and b) Match that to ET's records of who sits where. At the very least that person should face some kind of internal discipline. I'm also - weirdly, for someone who hates the censorship in this country - coming round to the idea that this site should be taken down or blocked.

I should maybe point out that I know Colin, and like him - but that really isn't the point. The point is that so-called professional journalists should know better than to sling libellous accusations at colleagues, presumably with the aim of damaging their career. It's moved well beyond bitching. Saying Eudore's 'tash is ridiculous is bitching, accusing someone of racism and alcoholism is libel. To do it from behind a screen of anonymity is just rank cowardice.

So, I'm done with this crap. I'm going to live quietly, work hard, enjoy myself while I'm out here, and ignore the slime that passes for insightful comment on this blog. Game over.

Anonymous said...

09:13 makes good points, with one flaw. What if it's not libel, but true. In which case these are all quite relevant, interesting posts that reveal a lot about Dubai - and the people working in it.

Separately I think I am one of those 'whiteys' that 'brownys' complain about. I am, relatively, handsomely paid. I don't think however I am receiving this remuneration because of my colour, but because it was the minimum I would accept.

It was my asking price in the UK, and that's what the company I am working for needed to pay if it was to secure my services.

There may well be someone from the subcontinent doing something similar to me for less. Is that racism - or market forces? After all if they could have got me for less, they would have done.

I don't think every European is paid the same.

Really I don't think there is racism at all. I just think the equations Europeans have to work with are very different from Indians.

We are all working towards the same things.

I am saving to buy a house in the UK. I am sure my doppleganger wants to do the same thing in India - which he will buy at 1/10th the price.

In many, many ways he has a much easier thing of it that I do.

The headline figures make it look unfair for Europeans. But scratch the surface a little and the boot may be on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

"The headline figures make it look unfair for Europeans. But scratch the surface a little and the boot may be on the other foot."

Brilliant! We can see why they hired you and your metaphor MagiMix.

Anonymous said...

"vix and nanette. more incompetents. one of them recorded a piece of news about the uae army in iraq. the other read it out on air.
so far, no problem. except that their news editor told them to wait till he had a confirmation on tape from a uae name and designation.
they didn't.
any wonder why they faced the door, like mark evans?"

Evans was informed – via email, at the same time as everyone else at the paper – that he was being ‘promoted’ from the Ents Desk to the Subs Desk. He never ‘faced the door’ – he bolted out of his own accord.

Martin Hayes said...

I'm going to live quietly, work hard, enjoy myself while I'm out here, and ignore the slime that passes for insightful comment on this blog. Game over.

And if you do all that you shall have your reward? If only!

EDWARD: Lavinia, we must make the best of a bad job.
That is what he means.
REILLY: When you find, Mr Chamberlayne
That the best of a bad job is all any of us make of it
Except of course, the saints – such as those who go
To the sanatorium …

Anonymous said...

Martin Hayes is mental. He tried to steal Eudore's moustache and Adam Jankiewicz's tan. Eventually he stole Danny Hick's inflatable hand. Danny has not been seen since.

Anonymous said...

At ET, it's not about racism at all. It's about professionalism. Some guys who work there will be unemployed or are unemployable if they dare to return to their country of origin.
So they cover up the lack of professionalism via a tendency to lapse into racism.

Ref Simpson's World: The option.. join the world of Picketts and Slatters, who cook-up stories, look-down upon all others and compete to recruit their girlfriends and slobs.

Ref Subs: The team is better than the leader. The Queen Bee is on her way out and negotiating a deal with Pickket, who incidently mouthed abuses at Dubai's big boss, but managed to cling on to his job because of Jason. I wonder where he will be in 6 months.

Good luck to all

Anonymous said...

What does the J stand for in Keith J Fernandez?

Anonymous said...

Javelin

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the J is but Keith is an absolute fucking douche bag

Anonymous said...

I’m surprised nobody has picked up on the Toady’s latest gem. All the other papers are laying into the Dubai-based firm accused of killing civilians in Iraq. Not wanting to make Dubai look bad, the Toady has identified it as being Australian in the headline, despite the fact the article clearly states it’s based in Deira. The reason? The guy that founded it is from Australia. Wall Street Journal, look out.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the racism at ET is only symptomatic of a greater ill. It's rather a bit too complex too sum it up in one word but the end result looks like all those things it's accused of - racism, nepotism, unprofessionalism, and downright moron-ism. I think it's just the result of when you give people too much power and no accountability. If they're unequal for the job - as 90% of ET's staff are - then you get abuse of that power - the browns being offered less for the same jobs as the whites, plagiarism, rampant censorship, etc.

Ah well. Makes for interesting times back in the office. And on bitter blogs.

(invisible nobody at ET)

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. It always makes me laugh when Europeans justify the racial salary hierarchy by saying 'our starting points back home are different'.

There's me thinking we all live in the same city and pay the same high cost of living.

Unless those who came from London now have to pay London prices for everything in Dubai and those from Delhi pay prices - I think you'll find that a nonsense argument.

If you really want to save money for a house back home Mr and Mrs Brit, then how about living three to a room in Deira and not spending all your money in restaurants and pubs.

The question is - do any of the Europeans here try to do anything about it? Or do they 'not want to rock the boat' by daring to ask for pay rises for their brown colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I worked at a place where there was o disrimination .. whites, browns and all in between were all paid shit. That's univeral values for you.

Anonymous said...

Everyone paid shit regardless of race? Motivate?

Anonymous said...

"The question is - do any of the Europeans here try to do anything about it? Or do they 'not want to rock the boat' by daring to ask for pay rises for their brown colleagues."

12 October, 2007 09:47

Tell you what mate, when my colleagues, from wherever in the world they happen to be, start banding together to DEMAND that I get a pay rise, out of the goodness of their hearts, I'll return the favour.

Back home we called that a UNION, but that's a bit of a dirty word out here...

Anonymous said...

The Picketts who started this, and moved away to a fat job and recruited story-cooker-in-chief Slatters who assume News of the World is his big brand, and trying to recuirt Witheringtons and Sorrowful Sarrhhaaas and Skeltons, will soon turn the new newspaper into a you-know-what! WARNING NEW NEWSPAPER EDITOR: with these people, ET will smell like roses! if you have doubts, make some calls!

Anonymous said...

I know Colin very well from the UK. Please don't ask me to comment on him!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the calls make more sense than your writing skills, Anon @ 23.38...

Anonymous said...

I heard that ET is being made to be a more focused financial newspaper. Any truth in that? Would it still be as crap as it is now - or is something beautiful blossoming from the fertiliser? Insiders, please let us know...

Anonymous said...

Bitter 09:47. Your price is what someone is willing to pay. That price reflects the value you can bring to an organisation. Might I suggest if you are poorly paid, that's because you are not perceived to bring much value. Less time writing these posts and whining may make your employees think more highly of your skills. If you have any.

Anonymous said...

Is 30k per month enough to live on in Dubai? Does Motivate provide employees with a housing allowance?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 23.38..

Dear me Keith, your spelling gets worse by the day. I take it you have applied to the AD paper and got nowhere. Pity as I am sure they could do with a crap, big-headed journalist with a wonderful ponytail. Keep up the good work on the almighty ET entertainment desk.

Anonymous said...

Motivate offered you 30K a month?

Anonymous said...

This thread ran out of steam several days ago. Any chance of an interesting new topic, mods?

Anonymous said...

Yeah - how about a topic that doesn't involve AMG or ITP. I don't think there's been one of those before.

Anonymous said...

At least this thread was blatantly about AMG. This, as opposed to every other thread that ends up being hijacked into some anti-AMG/ITP rant.

Might as well keep this one going, save us all the inevitable.

Anonymous said...

The inevitable YAAAWWWWWWWNNNN.....

Anonymous said...

Motivate offered you 30K to do what????? Yes, a component of your Motivate salary is a housing allowance which can be advanced to you every six months. How much this is depends on your salary. For most, it's not enough to live alone in a studio in Deira.

Anonymous said...

Yeak - wakey, wakey. New topic please.

Anonymous said...

One proper posting this month. Fair to say that the dullard hacks behind DMO have run out of ideas - and targets for their bile.

Anonymous said...

So why not a new posting about what changes Emirates Today would need to make in order to become a credible newspaper - worth buying, and the direction that the new Abu Dhabi government paper needs to take in order to show it is not an official organ writing happy clappy nonsense? Plus - what's the point of newspapers at all with the Internet - how can they make themselves relevant?

Dead Parrot said...

This blog is deceased. It died from lack of interesting topics several weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

come now. ET is such fun to talk about!! so high and mighty they are with their pretend professionalism. lets poke some more!!! who do you think is the biggest tosser at ET? and who've you dealt with at ET that was surprisingly good?

Anonymous said...

In all your bickering you missed thid pearler in the Times Gulf Power 25...coming in at 25...

25 Abdul Latif al-Sayegh, the chief executive of Arab Media Group, which owns three newspapers, nine radio stations and two television stations. He is at the forefront of media freedoms with a special interest in promoting the development of a more questioning journalism.