Sunday, 26 July 2009

Gulf News has to pay more than £1m in libel suit

Whoops. Gulf News has lost a libel case in the UK courts.

According to The Times website today, the damages and costs are more than £1 million.

AN EDINBURGH property developer has been awarded more than £1m in damages and costs against a Dubai newspaper after it wrongly said that he had deceived Middle East investors.

Mark Emlick, chairman and founder of Dunedin Independent, one of Scotland’s largest privately-owned independent financial advice businesses, won his case against the Gulf News in the High Court in London this week.

He brought the case for defamation of character after Gulf News reported in April last year that he and a partner were being sought in Dubai and in the UK by investors who claimed he had absconded with their money after a property deal that involved his company Strategic Property Investment group (SPI) went sour.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Are you using more PR material than ever before?

Apparently media are using more press releases than last year: could it be related to number of job cuts?

Journalists in the region are using press releases more often than they did in 2007, although many reporters still feel they receive a disproportionate number of irrelevant emails from public relations executives, according to the MediaSource/Insight Middle East Journalist Survey 2009.

In 2007, when MediaSource/Insight Middle East conducted its first survey, 58 percent of pollsters said they use none or less than 10 percent of the press releases emailed to them, compared with 45 percent in 2009.

“The ‘most irritating practice’ for both the Arabic and English media remains the sending of irrelevant press releases, just as it was in our 2007 survey,” said Ben Smalley, managing director of MediaSource.

“The survey reveals a pressing need for PR practitioners to become more targeted and develop a greater understanding of the subjects covered by the media outlets they are dealing with, rather than adopting a scattergun approach to distribution,” he adds.

The survey also found that while 63 percent of English-language journalists working in the Middle East say that the quality of journalism in the region is improving, only 22 percent believe the level of reporting is either ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’ , compared with 47 percent of Arabic journalists.

MediaSource/Insight Middle East surveyed 219 journalists working for Arabic and English-language print, broadcast and online media in 13 countries across the Middle East.

Are you using more PR material to fill space, or do you think the quality of press releases is worse than ever?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

20 days leave for Emarat Al Youm

Emarat Al Youm has been suspended for 20 days for defamation. While the Arabic paper was always edgier than its sister paper, Business 24-7 (the artist formerly known as Emirates Today), this is certainly something of a surprise for a Dubai government-owned publication.

UAE arabic daily Emarat Al-Youm has been suspended for 20 days and its editor-in-chief fined 20,000 dirhams ($5,448) for defamation relating to a 2006 story accusing a stable of giving steroids to horses.

The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's previous ruling on the case brought against the newspaper by the owners of Warsan Stables, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Thursday.

The UAE Journalists Association criticised the ban, which it said will damage to the UAE's reputation with international press freedom and human rights advocacy groups.
“Although we do not have the right to object a court ruling, but we reiterate our rejection of banning the newspaper or any other local newspaper from publishing, association Chairman Mohammad Yousuf was quoted as saying.

How do you feel about this? Fair treatment? And, if there are any AMG readers, can you tell us if there have been internal repurcussions?