This it too funny! In the latest issue of Communicate, there's an article about how 3 daily newspapers and an online business news site were duped by a fake press release sent by the Communicate team to "test the theory that local journalists will print just about anything":
Four leading UAE publications published a fake press release about a non-existing company that makes non-melting ice in an effort by Communicate to establish just how gullible local newspapers are when it comes to swallowing corporate propaganda.
Yes, you read that correctly. It said non-melting ice.
One online business newsite and three daily newspapers published the dubious press release verbatim - in the case of the English copy, with our typo included. The takers were AME Info, Al Bayan, Al Khaleej and Gulf Today. Only one newspaper successfully sniffed out the hoax and called us out on it.
I wish I could find a copy of the full article online, because really, it's hilarious. These guys sent the press release to 24 publications, and just waited for calls from journalists. AME Info sent an e-mail asking if a logo could be provided. The answer was no. They still published the release. Al Bayan called to ask how much the company cost. The answer was "sorry, we can't provide any info at this time". They published the Arabic version of the press release the next day.
Which newspaper was the only one to call back and check some facts? Gulf News. And that's when Communicate came clean about the hoax.
Well done Gulf News. And while this really did put a smile on my face, it also made me shake my head in disbelief at the sad, sad state of journalism in this country.