Thursday, 27 March 2008

How not to recall a press release

Poor Dubaiworld Media/World-View Communications/World View (make your mind up?). It was bad enough that they sent out yet another dull press release this afternoon with the covering message:

Please find attached a Press Release titled “Russian delegation meets Dubai World officials, discusses scope of co-operation” for use in your esteemed publication.

They then sent out an email a few hours later with what we believe to be a recall message (just for reference, 7.30pm is a bit too late to start trying to withdraw stories, if they were going to be printed in the first place and even if my publication is an esteemed one).

The subject line read:

KILL KILL KILL !!! Russian delegation meets Dubai World officials, discusses scope of co-operation

On further reading, we realised they meant for the release to be withdrawn, not the delegation to be "taken care of" ...

The body of the email reiterated the point with : KILL KILL KIIL PLESAE kill this media release (their typos not ours).

Friday, 7 March 2008

Banned on the run

A recent comment on DMO asked: "I'm about to leave a Dubai publishing company and move to another. I am presuming my company won't want me to go to a competitor (ie rival publisher, the titles aren't in direct conflict), but I'm reassured that DMC don't uphold bans on journos. Anyone had problems making a move?"

Forget about press freedom - are hacks able to move between companies without incurring a work ban? Do publishing houses use nefarious means to spoil a former employee's move? And, do they pay up on gratuities or force you to pay back huge sums of "relocation" fees? In pre-Dubai Media City days, it used to be far better for a journo to get themselves sacked if it was after less than three years at the company than it was to resign, which meant their gratuity was reduced by two-thirds.

What are the implications for a hack wishing to leave their job if they realise they've made a terrible mistake/been lured to Dubai under false pretences/hate everyone they work with/get offered more money from The Nation*? (* delete as applicable)

Monday, 3 March 2008

Actual journalists need not apply

There is lame, and then there is Dubai media lame, and then there is the execrable bloody human excrement dregs of lame that appears to be Martin Newland's new newspaper The Nation, as well as his journalistic courage.

The Press Gazette's Axegrinder dug up these nasty little nuggets. You can read the full excerpts here and here, but here is our favourite little piece of turd-dom:
"I can tell you now that every application from a journalist wanting to come and work here who has included in his or her portfolio an "investigative" piece about labourers' living standards has gone straight in the bin. Not because the theme is unworthy – it is and we will do it – but because we are looking for other, more nuanced and mature avenues into the national story."
So essentially if you are a journalist with the least miniscule microbe of talent, experience, news sense and ethics, no need to bother applying to Newland's Abu Dhabi government PR rag. Not unless you first sit UAE Media Course 101: How to prostitute every last shred of your integrity for the sheikh's oily dollar.