Tuesday, 8 December 2009

National Paint Job

Thread request:
How about a new topic? The National has shown its true colours with its insipid and benign reporting of the Dubai debt story? It's just another PR lead pamphlet for the UAE gov and about as credible as Em Biz 24/7/... Discuss.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some shades of gray lacking here. The National has done a right whitewash on Dubai's debt, but it has a long way to go before it sinks to the level of 24/7, GN or KT. Just give it a little more time.

Anonymous said...

Yawn

Anonymous said...

Haven't we been here before? The National looks like a real newspaper. It has headlines, stories and pictures. Some of the sections - stuff the government doesn't care about, like the arts, travel and food - are respectable, even good. But other sections - 'home' news, much of foreign, business (of course), the op ed pages ( written by government lackeys) and sport (no criticsm here of Man City or the FI track in Abu Dhabi ) - are lessons in self censorship. The National was invented by the ruling family / government as part of their campaign to sell the place as forward thinking, enlightened and generally a good thing. It doesn't matter that only a few thousand copies of the National are printed. (And even fewer sold) It exists, kind of. Do the hacks who contribute to and read this site seriously think the National is going to criticise Dubai, and by implication Abu Dhabi, for its corruption, lack of transparency and general sleaziness? One visiting British hack described Dubai as a fascist theocracy, which is about right. Newland his cronies created the National in return for large amounts of tax free cash. That was the deal. I bet that most of Dubai Media Observer's regulars would have done the same.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why people start licking ar@es for money, many people do that, but at least dont pretend that you are a journalist or that national is a good newspaper, which they are always claiming.

just come out and admit that you earn your money by licking fat, smelly and oily ar@ses.

these guys are so incompetent and lazy that instead of bringing out their own design they just copied the Guardian.

although to be fair to them they only had the skills to copy the style and not the substance, after all creating your own style and putting in substance requires brains and hard work, two things these guys are not so fond of.

if you compare the number of people working at national, their long fancy resumes and their salaries with the situation at gulf news or khaleej times, where only a handful of people are working for 1/10th of the salalry, you would see there is not much of a difference in the depth of coverage, grammar apart, or the number of ads.

so from a business point of view, wasting a million dirhams on a turd is better than wasting 20 million dirhams on a fancy smelling turd.

Anonymous said...

swtirkes me a lot of the bitterness towards the national is being directed by people who tried but failed to get a job there.

hell hath no fury like a 3rd rate dubai hack who's been rejected by the national.

and attacking newspapers like the national or gulf news or KT for toadying to the rulers really misses the point about the total lack of transparency that has brought about this financial crisis along with mbr's psychotic desire to develop dubai at any cost, including environmentally.

10 years ago dubai was a far better place .

Anonymous said...

Can we start a thread about 7days and the fact they may lose their licence very shortly.
Their sponsor has demanded 1 million dhs a year or he will pull the trade licence. Should they refuse to pay him they will be in breach of their publishing licence held by the Sheikh in Abu Dhabi.

Anonymous said...

It's not a debt story, it's a "major new revamp": http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091126/BUSINESS/711259822/0/FRonTPAGE

@02:25 Who are the people with the fancy CVs? A couple of years at the Evening Standard doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a good reporter in the Middle East. Especially not if you don't speak Arabic.

Most of the talent has already left The National.

Anonymous said...

yeah, the national is proper rubbish isnt it, if only everyone was more like the gulf news we'd be proper respected we're much better up here waaa waaaa waaa wheres my dummy

Let's face it, The National is the best paper in the UAE. Of course it's not better than, say, the Grauniad as is mentioned in this thread - but what would you expect? Their staff may number more than the shit papers left in Dubai, but is still a fraction of what any of the British papers waste. They're not yet two years old. We're so bitter it is ridiculous. I'd rather keep my head down and try to get a job there.

Why should they kick Dubai? If they came out with 'DUBAI ON THE BRINK' headlines what do you think would happen? I know what I expect would happen: that paper wouldn't be hitting peoples' doors and a couple of hundred journalists would be looking for work.

The Western press, with a general ignorance of the situation, went overboard and is now having to realign their coverage as Dubai is not about to collapse into the sea. The emirate is shafted financially but, just for comparison, so is California (despite, you know, having a democratically-elected leader).

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how all these idiots can claim the local media presents some whitewashed view of the Dubai debt situation and its likely effects. The local media is full of it. Like this:

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091209/BUSINESS/712099900/1041

These stories have been running everywhere here, and international media reporting its more hysterical view has also been freely available here.

You all go on ad nauseam about the censorship and blind devotion to authority, one minute claiming AD hates Dubai and then that the National won't write about Dubai's debt. You're all only expressing your own prejudice against the UAE and the Arab world.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the talent has already left The National."

Who would that be? William Shrite?

Anonymous said...

i take the view that the best talent has yet to join the national !

and dubai may not have sunk into the sea but it is a busted flush and MBR can no longer gamble wildly with borrowed money to create some sort of never never land which michael jackson would have been proud of.

i would like some positives to emerge from this mess, chiefly a recognition that unbridled development/desecration has to be reined in and also an acceptance that most of the locals do not have the experience or education or mind-set to run billion dollar corporations, because they just pay lip service to MBR.

i worked for the dubai government in a senior capacity and it was like living in a kafka-esque version of the "emperors new clothes" as each new crazy idea and massive development scheme was dreamed up at the very top. no-one ever questioned the details but all just bowed their heads in subservence - literally and metaphorically. in no meeting did anyone ever stand up and say " this is not a good idea or this will not work" to do so would have led to accusations of being negative, and instant dismissal. and some of the senior locals cannot afford that to happen. they cannot disagree with the ruling family without facing permanent ostracision and isolation for them, their families and their heir. being out of favour is not an option in the court of the sand king.

MBR has been praised for his vision,but when vision
starts to err into delusion someone has to tell him.

the preservation of the "dubai brand" at all costs has to cease. and reality has to kick in along with more transparency across the board , including in the local press.

i remember when gergawi was running dubai media city and 9/11 happened and there was a lot of wild panic and rumour in dubai about terrorism threats and how exposed dubai was with so many western targets etc
the team of experts that had been told to draw up a consitutional framework for "freedom of expression" that would attract international companies to set up base in the media shangri-la that was DMC (ha-ha) were all summoned to a "very senior" meeting and were told that if anyone was caught talking about 9/11 and its aftermath and implications for the region, then they would be dismissed immediately.

this edict was issued without any sense of irony or hypocrisy and we just accepted it and went back to drawing up the charter for press freedom without commenting.

we all thought the emperor's new clothes were really quite splendid that day.

and this is why dubai has to change. and attitudes need to change at the very top if they want to preserve what integrity is left in their precious brand.

and boy do they need to do that.

Anonymous said...

saying National is the best newspaper in the country is like saying Joe the plumber has more brain cells than sarah palin!!! some freaking comparison and some achievement by the highly paid arse lickers.

Anonymous said...

Headline from today's Emirates Business 24/7

Nakheel posts Dh642.37m gross profit for first half

(second para)

However, impairment losses and contract termination costs weighed down on the financials of the company and pushed Nakheel into posting a Dh13.43bn loss for the period.

!!?

Er, Emperor Nero could I borrow your fiddle after you've finished with it please?

Anonymous said...

saying the national is the best newspaper in the country is like saying Joe the plumber has more brain cells than Sarah Palin!!! some freaking comparison and achievement by the highly paid arse lickers.

and, please, please, please dont compare british newspapers with the these rags, please.

Anonymous said...

to be fair to emirates business, they are forced to, yes forced to, write positive headlines even if the whole story is negative. dont ask me why?

Anonymous said...

To anon at 13.49 who wrote:

"to be fair to emirates business, they are forced to, yes forced to, write positive headlines even if the whole story is negative."

Seem to remember the same excuse being used at Nuremburg in 1945: "But we were only following orders..."

Anonymous said...

The paper is checked for political compliance by a Singaporean censor, hand picked from The Straits Times. The business editor is a failed wires hack from Reuters who never worked on a paper before the mugs in Abu Dhabi hired him. The actual editor is overpaid, overrated and frightened of his own shadow. Its lofty budget has already been slashed. Another classic Abu Dhabi case of "all the gear and know idea!"

Anonymous said...

dont compare the Nuremburg trial with a rag like emirates business, thats just ridiculous.

Mister Whippy said...

Pound for pound, 7DAYS is the best newspaper in the UAE and has been almost since launch.

It also (gasp!) makes money.

Anonymous said...

"and, please, please, please dont compare british newspapers with the these rags, please."

Yes, the most read British newspapers with their page 3 girls and obsession with TV shows and looking up celebrities' dresses and readers polls on something that happened in a football game somewhere. They really set a standard that UAE papers could never reach.

Anonymous said...

The National was not allowed to use the word "default" in any of its coverage of the Dubai World default. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote: "dont compare the Nuremburg trial with a rag like emirates business, thats just ridiculous."

Er, can you actually read?

Anonymous said...

@10:05, keep on living in Cloud-cuckoo-land

Anonymous said...

and presumably also not allowed to use the word "shakey " in any connection with dubai's debt problems.

boom boom

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading all about the Sheikh Issa trial in The National....yeah right. The fact of the matter is, if you want to know whats going on in the UAE, read the FT.

(how does it feel National boys? Still think you work for the best paper??)

Anonymous said...

Didnt take gavin dickenson long to fuck it up.. again !

Anonymous said...

@14.19

The National is not allowed to use the word "default" in its coverage of Dubai?

This from today's National:

"The reason was made stunningly clear last month when Dubai sought a moratorium on debt repayments, raising the spectre of default on about US$60 billion (Dh220.4bn) of loans that financed the emirate’s building boom."

Just do a search on the word "default" and dozens of articles discussing Dubai's debt crisis and Abu Dhabi's exposure come up. Most of them are fairly cut and dried about the amounts and implications.

Your constant screaming about whitewashing simply aren't supported by the facts. You hate Dubai, you hate the Emirates, you hate the National and you maake statements to suit your own views. You're must be a journalist.

Anonymous said...

The exalted British media: fighting for its right to publish pictures of Tiger's cock. May God bless them in their noble quest.

Anonymous said...

7 Days is really, really bad.

Anonymous said...

I know nwe usually fly under the radar here, but could somebody please arrange to have us paid our salaries?
CPI staff.

Anonymous said...

Here's what the Associated Press had to say about The National:

"The National newspaper — which is bankrolled by Abu Dhabi and closely reflects the opinions of its rulers"

Maybe they just misunderstood articles like this one:
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091209/BUSINESS/712099940/1058&template=columnists

Anonymous said...

@19:31 The story of Sheikh Issa's court case was in today's National.

Anonymous said...

How exactly is this, from today's National, whitewashing?

Tom Arnold

* Last Updated: December 12. 2009 6:37PM UAE / December 12. 2009 2:37PM GMT

Three of Dubai’s major banks were downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services as the fallout from the emirate’s debt troubles continues to destabilise the economy.

Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank and Dubai Islamic Bank had their ratings cut in response to deteriorating economic conditions exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding the US$26 billion (Dh95bn) debt restructuring of Dubai World, Moody’s said.

The National does a lot of good, honest folks. Not perfect, but good.

Anonymous said...

"Looking forward to reading all about the Sheikh Issa trial in The National....yeah right. The fact of the matter is, if you want to know whats going on in the UAE, read the FT."

You can read about it on page two of today's (Sat) National.

Anonymous said...

I suppose if the article doesn't refer to Dubai being buried under the sand and disappearing and going bankrupt and the simmering tensions between it and Abu Dhabi and the dream becoming a nightmare it's just a whitewash.

We'll see you here next year and the year after and you can all keep hoping it happens, but it won't.

Anonymous said...

The National can now cover the Issa issue. But when the story broke big time in April, the ructions around the issue helped push the editor upstairs faster than most people had expected. Not surprising really.

Anonymous said...

@12 December, 2009 18:39, whats nwe?

Anonymous said...

"hurrah,we're saved ! now then lads who wants to build another palace."

mbr

Anonymous said...

@17,30

or another Metro line, or bridge or road or economic free zone or airport or hospital or park or sporting facility or any of the other dozens of infrastructure projects that make Dubai a decent place to live in.

Anonymous said...

The National's coverage has improved, but the day immediately after the story broke, its coverage was as insipid as the Gulf News. There really was no difference. Very depressing.

There is a difference in the quality of writing between GN and the National, and I would put that down to the subs desk in AD - they seems to be first class.

Reporters distinctly variable.

Online is clearly the way to go for your news.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said The National won't criticise Abu Dhabi? "ADIA has done its homework and history is on ADIA's side": http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091216/BUSINESS/712160891/1005

Anonymous said...

@16 December, 2009 19:39

I am guessing you are praising the subs at the National because you yourself are a sub there!!! way to go, mate.

Anonymous said...

On a separate topic, for all of us enjoying the rapid demise of one of Dubai's self proclaimed 'Big 3 Publishers' TMF, another senior body was axed recently.

It transpires that the Managing Editor of the business division was humiliated and demoted from his position within the company, with the directors fully aware that such a move would result in him resigning. In any other country this would constitute consrtuctive dismissal but at TMF its business as normal.
Good old TMF, looks like ANOTHER day in court for them with the number of ex employees now making claims against them rising rapidly.

With the loss of the Managing Editor TMF looks set to cull at least one of their business titles at the start of 2010, but which loss maker will go first?

Place your bets now!!!

Anonymous said...

I would read the FT but it's always about three days behind the news. And the "additional analysis" is rarely intelligent enough to justify the delay. UAE, regional coverage looks like an after thought - probably because it is.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic but anyone know what's happened to DVV Media? I always doubted their existence but sources tell me they've shut down.

Anonymous said...

You've read 'Rags to Riches the story of Abu Dhabi'?
There is a new book coming out in time for Christmas. 'Riches to rags, the story of Duabi'.

Anonymous said...

Aparently TMF are now involved in no less than 5 different legal actions brought about by disgruntled ex-employees, all of whom have been shafted on redundancy payments, notice periods etc. It makes you wonder what goes through the heads of the few staff that still remain.
How can anyone show loyalty to a company when their recent track record suggests they will screw you over?

Anonymous said...

The FT is written by a bunch of spooks. Work it out. Who benefits from a Gulf controlled by Western elites?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, is not FT's Simeon Kerr SIS's guy in DubaI?

Anonymous said...

no, I am SIS's man in dubai.
i am also Spartacus and Keyser Söze.

Anonymous said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704254604574613472656840520.html
hahaha

Anonymous said...

So I guess that means you are, Simeon... (re 17:46 22 Dec) and f***ing it for all the (very few) honest Western journalists out there. BTW Check out how many "respectable" UK publications Kim Philby worked for!

Anonymous said...

So, 07:42, does Kerr work for MI6 or KGB?

BuJ said...

Criticism is good, no newspaper is perfect.
The National is a breath of fresh air compared to Gulf News.

Anonymous said...

I think that its pretty obvious that Simeon Kerr is a Mossad agent, working to topple an Iranian transport hub.

I hear he can dismember PR people with nothing more than a paper clip.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how many subs have left The National recently? The deputy chief sub did a runner beginning January, and another is now awol.
Staff must put up with harrassment from their boss, the chief sub who is regarded as a bully. At the same time they are also expected to answer for mistakes, censorship slip-ups and other errors that go into the paper.
As a result, the revise desk, as they insist on calling it, has the highest turnover on the paper.

Anonymous said...

why is no-one talking about the enormous changes in the national? people being laid off all over the place..finally some good news and two incompetent northern brits have quit...morale at an all time low and people leaving in distress..talk of more job cuts..and a major announcement coming monday....newland's heydey sorely missed

Anonymous said...

Did the clarion call of positivity bathing today's announcements drown out the general groundswell of discontent? I think that's how the spindoctors intended to boost moreale.