16 January, 2007

Wonder what to make of this--Gulf News' Orchestrations

A colleague of mine was happy to find an article about his father in the GN's Friday Magazine. It is a lovely article indeed, one that anyone should be proud to have done up about himself, EXCEPT... it apparently includes a substantial amount of fiction presented as quoted commentary. The subject of the article, a diving instructor, elaborates on the fiction on his own website.

This leaves me with the question of WHY. The story would have made perfectly good reading if represented truthfully. It was not a matter of serious importance one way or the other, so why would the editors have gone through the trouble (not to mention the question of ethics) of fabricating key portions of the story. What in the world is the point? And the larger question, what is to say they would not fabricate on stories of much more importance?


archer14 said...

Divers have a unique ability to observe a part of the world that lies unseen by most people, and only a few among divers are privileged to observe creatures so stunning as a whale shark, or to catch a glimpse of a shark or devil ray. From their perspective, divers tend to be vitally concerned about the environment, and about impacts on the environment that threaten nature below the water. In my 40 years of diving, I find that encounters with remarkable animals have become increasingly rare near places where people encroach. Photos and first-hand reports from beneath the sea should serve to heighten people’s awareness of the beauty of the world all around them, including the parts that they can’t always see, and how tragic it is to damage the unseen world through thoughtless development or waste disposal.

I really don't get how a divers view on marine life would make you take another look at the construction blitzkrieg with a critical view. There's been far more damaging news on page 2 and 3, but his views are harmless compared to those.

IMHO the real reason for this could be something as stupid as squeezing his quote in 2 sentences instead of 4.

secretdubai said...

This is immensely worrying journalism - it looks like far greater change than simple compressing/"tidying up" (eg if you record an audio interview with someone, fair enough to take out ums and ahs, but you don't invent whole phrases).

I find the whole situation very odd, but I think that this man deserves an explanation and probably an apology.

Mme Cyn said...

Typical GN. I have been interviewed by them more than once in connection with a group I belong to, and they have always gotten it wrong.

They asked me for an interview last year and I evaded them so long they finally gave up. Perhaps I should have told the intereviewer that I have been misquoted before and that incorrect or incomplete information has been given on more than one occasion, and that I have no respect for their paper. But I didn't bother. What's the point?

The words the writer put in Vince's mouth were inane drivel that no intelligent, sensible person (which he clearly is) would have said. Who wants to look like a fool in the papers?

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