Thursday, 31 January 2008

And all that Jaz ........

A semi-government entity throws gajillions of dollars at creating a media empire that is intended to stand proud on the world stage amid lofty declarations of editorial independence and world-class journalism. Then reality (and censorship) sink in and the wheels fall off the apple cart. One by one, the start-up staff leave, to be replaced by either under-qualified locals, or inept expatriates.

Sound familiar? This particular storyline has been run countless times over the last decade. Al Jazeera English is the latest in a long line....

Can anything save the ailing channel?

Friday, 25 January 2008

The final countdown ...

So the new Abu Dhabi paper is set to launch in March: here's a little DMO call out for any moles in the capital - let us know what's cooking up there?

In staffing news, James Bennett, former Arabian Business helmer, is senior news editor at the new paper, while Alicia Buller (ex Gulf Marketing Review, then features editor at Arabian Business) is coming back from London to be managing editor for Arabian Business.

In fact while we're at it, anyone who'd like to be added to the roster of posters on DMO, just email dubaimediablog at gmail for an invite. And do it under an anonymous name - not from or - we don't need or want to know who you really are. We don't even know who we are.

Bush whack

You mean National Bush Day wasn't a genuine, real, we love America, public holiday? Apparently, size counts in Bush's case: the size of his helicopter, according to media in the free world .... Read more here.

Thanks Holy Moly!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Swings and roundabouts for Time Out team

Thanks to anon for tipping us off that ITP is opening up in Mumbai.

It's not so long ago that Time Out Sydney was launched - the licence was won by Print and Digital Publishing, whose founder and joint CEO is Justin Etheridge, formerly publisher of Time Out Dubai and ITP stalwart (he previously headed up Charged and the sadly departed Photography Middle East). Our moles tell us ITP had been considering Time Out for the Sydney market for some time, but Etheridge's team - which includes another familiar name, Nik Howe - won the franchise.

Rather sweetly, Justin's former colleague Tim Burrowes (late of Campaign) writes in the Australian marketing & media magazine B&T:

You may notice the review of TimeOut Sydney and observe that one of the proprietors is Justin Etheridge. We’ve got previous.
Back in the day, I used to edit a marketing mag in Dubai. He ran TimeOut Dubai, which was in the same publishing stable. We used to snipe at each other in our diary columns. Until TimeOut won the day.
One day, with deadline approaching, we lost a picture of the restaurant we were reviewing. Our sub-editor resourcefully (and illegally) searched Google for a picture of sushi, and stole it.
He failed to wonder why it was called sushimouse.jpg. Or to notice that it did indeed contain a picture of a plate of sushi with a mouse on it.
Unfortunately, after we published it, Mr Etheridge’s team was more observant and naturally shared it with their readers. The subsequent phone call I had to make to the restaurant was one of the most surreal conversations I’ve ever had.
So if you spot any cock-ups in TimeOut Sydney, you know who to call.
I’ll be very grateful.

Nice to see the old banter's still there....

In the most interesting turnaround of all, it seems like the whole world will now be reporting to Marcus Webb, the most recent former editor of Time Out Dubai, who is uber-guru for quality control for Time Out London, and used to work for Justin while at ITP. Funny how life works out.