Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tabloid beat-up.

What a lost opportunity!

We have a real need for independent media, but the one paper we have is nothing more than an amateurish tabloid rag.

Another example this morning. The most important thing going on in the world to the editor's mind, deserving of solo front page coverage, is a hotel beach club allowing only members in.

In true tabloid hysterical style that's not how it's presented of course. No, no. They use the emotive word "banned" in relation to maids instead. And in contrast to the headings, the story goes on to more-or-less tell the facts. Apart from obvious inaccuracies that is.

It really is tabloid journalism at its worst.

Briefly, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is said by the rag to have banned maids from the restaurant, beach club & kids club.

The hotel says that they are welcome in the restaurant as long as they are paying guests. The GM of the hotel says: "If families wish to bring their maids along as normal paying guests and sit and eat with them, then that is fine." Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. A restaurant isn't the place to go just to sit without eating.

But the beach club is for members only, membership is full and people have not enrolled their maids as members. The kids club has space for the kids, who are looked after by trained staff.

So, maids are not banned from the restaurant and only members are allowed into the beach club. Boy, that's a real front page story isnt it!

We've had the misquoting of Sheikh Khalifa, and the subsequent sacrificial sacking of the reporter, we have endless racist letters being printed, we have obvious spoof letters, usually inflamatory, being printed, we've had the distasteful 'up yours' headline. I could go on, there are many, many examples of what a dreadful tabloid rag 7Days is.

As I said at the beginning, it's a lost opportunity when the need is so great.

I must add the head-shaking description by 'one family' - they don't have a maid, they have...wait for it..."our lovely Filipino resident house assistant." When I read that I nearly had to go and change my underwear.

The 'story' is here.

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