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14 December, 2006

Positively imbecilic

A great surprise for many hacks throughout the sandlands who erroneously believed their profession to be about reporting the truth, providing information, and exposing injustice and wrongdoing.

Apparently their job is actually to "project a positive and true image of the country", according Youssef Al Hassan of the Emirates Institute of Diplomacy:

"Hassan said media and the ministry are responsible for projecting a positive image of the UAE and there should be some kind of cooperation between them to carry out the duty. The seminar also discussed weak points in the UAE media. “We need more transparency in our media and we should know what is the exact image we want to deliver to others about us,” Hassan said."

Hassan, journalists couldn't care less about the "exact image" you want to project. That's not their job. It's your job and the job of your PR companies and spin-men. It's the media's job to cut through your crap and find the dark rot behind the diamanté exterior. So if the media doesn't swallow your spin, bad luck. There's always Emirates Today.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, leave your ethics at passport control, trade in being broke and honest at home to spouting government nonsense here... It's a beautiful feeling, knowing you've sold your soul for a nice flat and some sunshine, and have no way to leave. Means I get to wake up each day with that sordid, dirty guilt you can otherwise only get in a crackhouse.

14 December, 2006 15:14  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

UAE calling planet earth...

Unbelievable!

14 December, 2006 16:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UAE censorship law makes it very clear that it is illegal to say or publish anything negative about the UAE, any other Arab country, or any other Muslim country.

It is also prohibited to mail alive animals, except for bees.

14 December, 2006 17:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tis also illegal to criticize or harm businesses operating here, which is pretty silly. Though I can testify that companies criticized appear unwilling to take things to court ....

14 December, 2006 18:22  
Anonymous an_editor_writes said...

"I guarantee freedom of expression to all of you and the right to be completely objective in your views and reporting ...

"I entrust you to research thoroughly, gather your facts well and act with moral responsibility. Make no accusations without evidence, cast no slurs without proof.

This Freedom will allow and encourage the Arab media to return home, to broadcast and publish once again from Arab land, and contribute to this new regional media industry."

Sensible stuff from Sheikh Mohammed, which I intend to quote in any impending court cases ...

14 December, 2006 18:26  
Anonymous cpx4502 said...

No one wants to end up in jail, or worse. So everyone toes the government /ruling family line.
That includes you too SD, when was the last time you wrote exactly what you thought. Its not just that you are afraid of losing your job, there are worse things that they can do and have done in the past.

A dictatorship can only survive by crushing the opposition and those who voice dissent; permanently. Thats the Arab way, thats how they all do it, and thats the only language they comprehend.

Rove/Rumsfeld 2008

17 December, 2006 06:35  
Blogger secretdubai said...

when was the last time you wrote exactly what you thought

I've never written exactly what I've thought for legal reasons, since the very first days, but I was a lot more outspoken back in the days of LJ obscurity before I moved to Blogger and so many more people discovered this blog. Now I'm really gagged.

I have however written several unpublished entries (well they're pubished as "Private" on LiveJournal) which I will publish on Blogger after I leave this place.

17 December, 2006 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A jaw-dropping example of how the media operates here occured last week. Page One of Emirates Toady featured a front page lead story (advert) revealing how lots of people were flocking to a new mobile phone provider and the Page One picture showed Sheikh M hugging his son.

Inside, there it was: EIGHT DEAD, 54 INJURED in the worst Dubai traffic accident for 15 years. But hey they were only labourers and they don't really count do they.

And it was such a sweet pictured on the front and I am sure du picked up many more customers from the phone coverage story.

NEWSpaper???? What a bloody sham.

Emirates Today really is a perfect example of what happens when government takes the reins in the media. I'd like to know what the cirulation is because anyone who hands over hard-earned cash for that piece of toilet paper wants their bumps feeling. And that's why it sheds any proper journalists quicker than a 4X4 on SZ Road once they have rumbled exactly what they have landed themselves with.

17 December, 2006 22:35  
Anonymous WaterWater said...

Final reports across the board are that nine people died in Thursday's accident. However, at least one doctor at Rashid Hospital has reported privately to friends and relatives that she saw at least eighteen bodies being brought in on Thursday morning.

I'm new to the UAE, so maybe naive, but is it really possible that a goverment would fabricate traffic accident statistics as part of its image control?

19 December, 2006 18:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Water Water,

Welcome to the UAE.

The fudging of the Truth is a very common occurence. As you can see by a couple of SD's posts, the main job of the media is to present a positive and truthful (with truthful being secondary to positive). This is not the first instance when number deaths etc etc has been played down (there were a couple of disasters in the Port and the Airport a couple of years ago and the Burj Dubai Labour Riots got very little coverage).

Of course when an international organisation publishes the truth, they are accused of bias, lack of understanding of the reason, racism and of having hidden agendas. This pretty much applies to most of the Middle East.

Criticism is not accepted [especially from us Devil Worshiping (non muslim) expats]

- DD

20 December, 2006 11:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the UAE is one of the more liberal Arab countries.

31 December, 2006 10:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all seem to hold the upper moral grounds ,ethics, honest etc etc. But I actually feel that you are as hypocrite as the other hack. This is from my long experience in a western media company here. Whenever an Arabic person does anything shoddy, like accepting a T-shirt at the end of press conference, he is tinted forever for it. When a western PR bribes another western hack who happen to be her boyfriend, with a 12k laptops, as was the case last week, nobody mentions it. Maybe the Lebanese has the saying "scratch my back and I would scratch yours" but everybody it seems plays by it here. I think it is just another subtle form of racism. You can tolerate your "crap" but will give the big outbursts for others'. Has anybody thought of enlightening us with the current jobs of several European former heads of state here? They are just facilitating economic growth for their countries, or creating jobs in their home countries from dodgy dealings.Bucket loads of newsworthy stuff, but it is your hostile preassumptions that is your compass.

22 June, 2007 09:37  

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