A critical view of the media industry in the UAE
It is really, really bad. Not just 'Dubai' bad, but bad in every sense of the word: layout, picture choices, 'news' stories, content farm articles, and terrible production. What a waste.
I haven't actually seen it yet, and I fear very little of the (evidently) celebrity content will interest me...but, I say good on 'em. This place has got to have more choice than it currently offers...and any start, however small, is exactly that: a start.
Odd choice to produce a weekly on a commuter system. I guess it is competing with GNs Express but that brings in next to nothing revenue-wise so guess it will be another failure.
The above comment sums up everything that is wrong with Dubai. Simply putting a product out to market is not an accomplishment. The 'it's a start' argument is not an argument at all. Publishers need to raise the bar, and Read is a travesty.
anyone thought of launching a no holds barred free satirical magazine for the metro?
I think they already have - it's called Read.
Read just shows how little effort people are willing to put into such a great opportunity. This could have been an amazing publication that informs people about whats actually going on in the city. Instead it's just another rag. We launched quint magazine over a year ago online and just went to print. We would have loved to provide it on the metro considering it's free, and completely different from any other publication in the UAE (and Im confident in that)It would be great to inject some culture and art into the usual drivel of media we see every day, but unfortunately the red tape surrounding getting the publication in the metro was too much to deal with. Besides, we dont have a wasta.And for some shameless self promotion, check it out and let me know what you think. Print copies are available in Virgin and a bunch of other locations around the city or you can view it online at www.quintmagazine.com :)
I had no idea there was such a magazine as Quint. I took a look at the online copy and thought it looked pretty cool. However, I can partly understand the reaction by RTA bosses though, not least because there's the word 'bullshit' in the headline on p6. It's fringe, it's edgy, but for a word nerd like me the absence of text is frustrating. There are pages and pages of (albeit cool) images and barely any reportage. Keep it up though. This magazine could be what Brownbook should have been.
I was invited to pitch for the metro mag circa two years ago. at first glance, it sounded like a licence to print money (what advertiser could argue with such a - in dubai terms - huge print run and captive audience?) however, before we even got to the pitch stage, i was told what it would have to contain, and the rules governing content. in my mind, it was an accident waiting to happen in terms of credibility. i haven't seen 'read' but - if my original conversations are anything to go by - it will make the national look like the rise of the free press.
Give the metro contract to gulf news and just re-brand xpress. It's not a half-bad read. Read is just a collection of crap press releases and they don't make any effort to hide the fact. Not that I have looked that closely, as the design is so bland and unattractive and full of cheap stock photos that I've only flicked through a couple of issues.
Express is awful.The obvious choice would have been to let 7DAYS distribute on the metro - but then they couldn't have controlled the content and 7DAYS wouldn't have paid to be there. I doubt they will be able to give enough backhanders to the agency heads to get the level of advertising they need to survive.It will just be another failure like all the other attempts to take revenue from GN, KT & 7D.
I can't really see how Read can be a money-maker. It doesn't matter if it has a large print-run as you're solely distributing it to metro customers. If you can't afford a taxi or your own car, you're certainly not going to have any spare change to buy the latest designer clothes or a 50" TV. So who does that leave? KFC? McDonalds??
Regarding the Quint magazine - it's pretty good, but one suggestion; get yourself a good editorial designer with experience in laying out magazines. You've got some great contributions from various artists and illustrators, but they're often let down by the layout. For example, the contents page in the latest issue is criminal. It's barely legible and I can't believe that you couldn't come up with a better solution. It's finding the right balance between editorial and images that makes a good designer.
Above: Xpress, not Express. Since you're a journo working here, I doubt accuracy matters much to you, but it's worth knowing the proper name of the brand you're insulting. And it's awful why? Because it's target demographic is middle class Indians and not white, privileged arseholes like yourself? Prick.
One of the many reasons Xpress is awful can be found in the current front page story - a mixture of faux outrage, bad writing and threadbare research. If someone can point to research that shows 'Middle Class Indians' like poorly written regurgitated press releases, non stories and first person navel gazing crap, then please post it here. The target market could be Burmese labourers, but if the content is crap, its crap.
Anonymous 23:53, if you're going to criticise someone else's inaccuracies, it's best not to make a classic bloomer yourself, writing "Because it's target demographic" when you mean "Because its target demographic".
@23:53 - Apologies...Xpress is awful.The National & 7DAYS are read by middle class Indians and also white, privileged arseholes like myself. We read these because we enjoy well written newspapers and that is why we don't read the arse-gravy that is 'Xpress'.
The Gulf News has, in recent months, championed the cause of democracy in many countries in the region (although notably silent on some places nearer home).It was therefore refreshing to read an article today by the Editor in Chief (his first in a year, he tells us) in which he says how glad he is that he has not been given a vote in the forthcoming "elections" for the Federal National Council:http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/learning-true-democracy-1.837059
Not sure how it works here - you get put on a list to be eligible to vote? Whatever is being described in that article, it isn't democracy.The writer seems a bit unmotivated - haven't written anything in a year, don't really feel like writing now, let the kids deal with it, this annoying voting thing gets in the way of my holidays.
Give them a break... Read. seems to have done something that the likes of other 'established' Dubaicentric publications could not do...
"Read. seems to have done something that the likes of other 'established' Dubaicentric publications could not do..."Erm... Like what, exactly? That's not a very compelling argument. 'Get away with lowering the standards even further' would be my evaluation.
Wish The Emirates Evening Post had not been unceremoniously relieved of its licence. A daily afternoon tabloid would do gr8... doubt if GN and KT would allow it...
What did you guys expect? a mini Guardian to read before you reach Business Bay? Grow up. while I dont like the format or the paper, people pick it up, Read it and throw it.. that is what they do with everything else you write too.. or will..somewhere we journos have to stop wanting to see papers and mags that will meet our unrealistic expectations... The common man does not care or want print from ivory towers..
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