Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The latest copy rules at Emirates Today

From an anonymous submission:

Please avoid using sex and its related words like gay, homosexual, rape and prostitution in headlines.

Do not also use words like trafficking in headlines.

Avoid labourer in headline and body copy. Use words like workers or employees or staff.

Do not use pictures of construction workers.


Superb, challenging journalism indeed.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Tut tut

This was a comment in an earlier post, but is worth its own mention:

"A cheeky PR lady has just helped her hack fiancé win the laptop which was a competition prize in a press conference this week, so either guess which brand it was, or guess who the hack and the lady were?"

Note from DMO Ed: let's hope he isn't a journo from ITP, as we all know he would have to hand it in if it was worth more than $30, wouldn't he?

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Standard Slips

According to 7days, ITP's chances of getting a licence for its daily business paper are "virtually non-existent". Surely a company like ITP wouldn't make the mistake of boasting about a newspaper launch, bragging about "Western standards of journalism", hiring the staff, producing dummies, spending bucket loads of cash etc without making sure they'd got the licence first? Would they? Oh, hold on, they've done it once before. Oops.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

A fairytale love story for Dubai's most glamorous couple

Glowing with happpiness and pre-marital dewy delight, ITP sales supremo and frequent Ahlan Top 100er Neil Petch, and his beautiful model girlfriend Olga, are delighted to announce their wedding website, at www.neilandolga.com

Guests will enter to the beautiful strains of Ella Fitzgerald singing Dream A Little Dream in a stunning Flash presentation designed by one of Dubai's hottest web designers.

On the front page the bride-to-be wears a stunning yellow Cavalli cocktail dress, showing off the elegant curves that Neil so admires. The model's long blonde tresses flow free about her shoulders, and the look is finished off with simple diamond stud earrings and a deep red rose. Neil is resplendent in a dapper Armani jacket and crisp white linen shirt.

The couple have decorated their website in a theme of floral pink with Copperplate font details, designed to add a touch of romance and elegance to every page. As they invite us into their beautiful cyber-home, Neil reveals what first made him fall in love with his beautiful model girlfriend.

"My lovely fiancée Olga is a luminous beacon of joy," the proud groom-to-be confesses. "Kind, sexy, funny, wise, Olga has it all. Beats me how one can be modest with all that, but she’s that too, in spades."

As the couple recline in a photographed beach, Olga models a daring Gucci bikini and jaunty sunhat. Neil, after enjoying a Cuban cigar with the many VIP media and celebrity friends that will join him for his stag night, shows off his bronzed pecs as he frolics in the surf of a pristine golden beach.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Close encounter - but for who?

Confirmation of what we had hoped was a vicious rumour has come in the form of The Secret, Secret Dubai's newsletter, which arrived in the DMO in-boxes today. The typically veiled snippet referred to a "notorious H.A.C.K" who was in the UAE on a false passport.

Yes pop pickers, could Mr X be back in town? Dubai media veterans may recall his former aliases, which include: ITP journo, 7Days, freelance "PR" consultant, accompanier of ladies of negotiable affection. Oh, and in case we forget, convicted felon.

Mr X has had a couple of stays in a Dubai jail already, for alcohol-abetted auto scrapes and japes. How on earth could he get back in the country, we hear you ask?

Our second source confirms: "He's in town on a false passport and already got picked up by the Jebel Ali cops. They suspected who he was, but couldn't be bothered to pursue it, and let him go."

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Who needs an audit?

After loudly proclaiming that Emirates Today would be audited within months of its launch, it seems media guru Abdul Latif has now decided that even internationally-respected BPA is not up to the task (Communicate, June 2007).

"I'm the first to encourage auditing," he tells the magazine, apparently with a straight face.
But, despite being audited, many publications still inflate their circulations, he goes on to claim.
He then, again without a hint of irony, goes on to call for greater "transparency".

Is this just the latest hint that all is not well at the white-hot spearhead of the media revolution? Rumour has it Matthew Johnson has quit Dubai Eye, AMG seem to have been snubbed by Vogue, and Emirates Today consistently plumbs new depths. Could it be that, having damaged but failed to destroy 7days, Latif is now trying to discredit anyone with an audit?

Or does he have a point. Do audited titles manage to cheat the system?

Sunday, 3 June 2007

GN should be ashamed

The headline:
Marriage between close relatives 'does not pose health risk'

is nowhere near a fair summary of:

DUBAI — Marrying close relatives within the limits of religious sanctions may not necessarily pose health risks for offspring

"May not"=/="Does not"

Up next:
Shooting people in the head 'does not kill them'
Jumping off the Burj 'does not result in death'
Writing for Gulf News 'does not make you a journalist'

Friday, 1 June 2007

Hot off the cattywalk?

The editorial staff at Emirates Today seems to have really got its Agent Provocateur knickers in a twist over the comments of Conde Nast chairman Jonathan Newhouse, who rejected requests to licence its title Vogue to an unnamed "Middle East media company", which proposed an Arabic version.

The horror and revulsion positively drips off the page.. but on closer examination, does Newhouse have a point? After all, he claims that there was an element in the Middle East that rejects freedom of expression, equality for women and expression of sexuality, and that he didn't want to risk provoking a negative, even violent reaction.

The comments are spot on, and factually correct. All of those points do exist in the Middle East, whether we like it or not. Emirates Today's inflammatory headline ("VOGUE CHAIRMAN SAYS "NO" TO MUSLIMS") is misrepresentative and over the top.

Could it be a case of sour grapes and that the paper's owner, AMG, was the unsuccessful applicant for the franchise? Somehow, I can't see any of the other publishing houses leaking Newhouse's emails to ET.