Monday, October 09, 2006

Emirates Toady

When Emirates Today (ET) was first published a year ago, I used to enjoy (and even look forward to) reading it. I enjoyed the format: short and straight to the point, more features, and more news written by locally-based reporters, rather than just syndicated columns from American and British papers.

I also used to enjoy the blog bytes column that used to be published every Friday.

Then, something happened around 6 months ago, and now, ET gets on my nerves. The articles have become uninteresting (case in point: this article), the format changed, the business section appears out of nowhere smack in the middle of the newspaper, and they no longer publish blog bytes (kudos to Gulf News for having started to publish blog bytes every Tuesday!). Their website sucked a year ago and it still sucks now.

An article in this month's edition of Communicate (I really enjoy Communicate by the way...you should all read it) sheds some light as to why ET is going down the drain (they don't present it under such a pessimistic light by the way....that's just my take on the future of ET):

"One former Emirates Today editorial staffer says as many as 20 of the initial 45 newsroom employees have quit the paper since its launch one year ago. [...] Launch editor Jason leavy left in April due to a well-publicised clash with management over issues of censorship. Staffers there currently say things are considerably different under his successor, Heyam Abdul Hamid.

A few months after Abdul Hamid took over, a senior journalist inquired as to why a particular story was being canned. "She replied: 'it makes Dubai look bad'" says one person present at the meeting. [...]

Staffers have become complacent, says one current senior employee. "Why work on writing, subbing and designing a page three when you know that it will probably end up spiked? [...]

Claims of self-sensorship relate to a number of stories that received widespread coverage in other publications over the past year, including a piece on a taxi driver strike, the arrest of American rap producer Dallas Austin (despite an Emirates Today reporter allegedly having secured a jailhouse interview with the prisoner) and a story on an Egyptian property developer who left investors in the lurch with a failed property in Dubai Marina."

It makes Dubai look bad??? Are they publishing a tourist guide or a daily newspaper that's supposed to be presenting a balanced view of what's happening in the UAE? How will Dubai ever improve if no one reports about its mediocre side? What credibiliy do they expect to have if they keep writing about "fluffy" subjects, and ignore the ones that could really make a difference in our lives?

What a shame...It really started out as a promising publication...and now, it's promising to be just another boring, uninteresting, unreadable piece of poo poo.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms Sweet Sunshine,

Anything that begins with E lies.

Bluey (with an E). x

samuraisam said...

Yeah I've noticed much of the same stuff.

Kind of sad /:

Anonymous said...

where do i get communicate? is it a magazine or an online watchdog?

Dubai Sunshine said...

Anon, you can e-mail Elizabeth, who works at Communicate, and she can get you on their mailing list:

elizabeth@communicate.vg

nzm said...

I can't even get their website to work anymore - I get the broken image link icon where the page used to display.

Anonymous said...

Having worked on the paper I can honestly say it is a complete shambles. Senior managers have come from magazines with no newspaper experience, the majority of the original team have left in disgust at the cluelessness of those in charge, some of the reporters cannot write more than a sentence in English without making mistakes, there is very little ad revenue and the paper is still being given away - a complete disaster and getting worse every week

Dubai Sunshine said...

The only reason I still read it once in a while is because we get it for free at work, and I like to read something when I have my morning coffee!

Keefieboy said...

I second that emotion - it'll started off really well but is now a complete waste of rainforest.

Anonymous said...

ET website iw working fine. please check www.emiratestoday.net or www.emiratestodayonline.com

anonymous seeking communicate said...

thanks dubai sunshine

Dubai Property said...

Why is property investment so powerful?
In Australia & elsewhere over the past 50 years property has averaged 10% growth per annum.
The time that it will take for a property to double in value can be calculated using the Rule of 72.
This rule says that 72 divided by the compounding growth rate equals the number of years it will take to double in value.
This means that as a property increases at a rate of 10% that every 7.2 years the property doubles in value.
Therefore if you purchase a $250,000 investment property and hold it for 21.6 years, it will then be worth $2,000,000 (increase of $1,750,000) so you will have averaged $83,333.33 per annum profit!
Well researched properties can give even greater returns.
This example has not taken into account the effect of inflation, however it is easy to see that hardly any other investment could match the power that gearing into property can have.
If you purchased a $250,000 property using a 10% deposit and allowed 5% of the property value for purchasing and legal expenses, then you would be investing $37500.
Had you invested this same amount of money in another investment, without using the power of gearing (that can fairly safely be used with property, but is risky with many other investments like shares, due to the volatility of the share market, and the possibility of loosing all invested funds should a company you invest in go bankrupt) then in 21.6 years your investment would have grown to $300,000, an increase of $262,500, giving you an average annual profit of $12,500.
This means that you would have lost out on $70,833 per annum in profit.

Christoph Hügli said...

Hello Heyam, it is about 30 years that I met someone with your name in Denver where I attended a language class . My name is Christoph Huegli.