Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Big Unrest at The National

According to an anonymous commenter:
Big, big unrest at The National. I know we have a relatively healthy number of staff, and yes we have the backing of some very wealthy men, but the vibe around here isn't very good. Everyone around me is looking over their shoulder. I'm not privy to information at all (I'm a mere reporter) and I can't tell you anything for certain, but there is a feeling of impending doom around here. I suppose we wouldn't be the only ones to face cutbacks. But I'd be surprised if a few senior people, and quite a few others, are still here at the beginning of Feb. Horrible feeling.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Censorship? or more media freedom?

How do you feel about the new UAE media law? Do you feel it protects you and is a step away from censorship, or do you believe it increases your chances of being punished for ruining the country's reputation?

Jail is out (good news); fines are in for damaging the UAE's reputation or economy. Potentially, does this mean fines for any negative stories about the UAE? There has been plenty of coverage on the country's economy, as well as issues of transparency particularly in the real estate sector. A lot of this coverage in recent weeks has been negative. Will this change?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Return of the Jedi

Interesting goings on at Motivate - magazines closing down (Society Dubai, any others?) and former Motivator, Jason Leavy, back from UK to take up a new position as Publishing Director. Leavy used to edit What's On, before leaving to set up Society Dubai (which was sold to Society Dubai after Leavy moved to ITP as group editor of Ahlan - you following?)

anyone got the lowdown?

Monday, 5 January 2009

Rewriting history

Holy crap. Even by Gulf News standards, this editorial is a shocker. The opening para from Dr Mohammad Al Mutawa (professor of sociology at UAE University in Al Ain) says:

Today, the whole world stands as a witness to the fact that the Nazi holocaust was a mere lie, which was devised by the Zionists to blackmail humanity. The same Zionist entity swindled the world out of billions of dollars over the years to compensate the wrong and unjust which they claim to have been inflicted on their people.

Obviously, a qualification in history isn't a requirement to study sociology in Al Ain.

Update: The Guardian has picked up on the Gulf News column.

Getting his Bloomies in a twist

You could forgive Dubai's Bloomberg cubicle slaves for getting a little hot under their collars. Uber-boss Michael Bloomberg - 100% owner of the media corp - has gone on a well-publicised (naturally) tour of Israel to pledge his support.

Bloomberg (the man, not the newswire) issued some heart-felt quotes after he was "hustled" to a bomb shelter. "It gives you great comfort to know that the Israelis are doing everything they can to protect their people, but sadly there is no defense against a rocket if it hits you."

All in all, a worry for the large and growing bureau based in DIFC?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, and bah humbugs of the season. Any of you media types care to make predictions for 2009? Guess the date Business 24-7 closes down? What new publications will Abdullatif launch in its place? And do we care?

Any nominations for the DMO New Year's DisHonours List?

Obviously, we've been lazy over Christmas and New Year and haven't even been in the office to while away our time on DMO. Postings may/may not resume shortly. In the mean time, send in your titbits of media gossip!