Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cringingly embarrassing from Dubai Eye

Dubai Eye Radio plumbed the depths this morning with its new 'Majlis' programme, various parts of which I caught on the car radio. Dubai Eye is well known for the amateurishness of most of its presenters, but this set a new low standard.

The idea is good - as I understand it they invite high-flyers into the studio for a chat, so that we can all be better informed. The presenter's job in that case is to ask questions on our behalf, delve for the answers we are seeking.

This morning we had the CEO from Etisalat and someone from the TRA. And we had a presenter who was obviously uncomfortable in the environment, who was ill-prepared, out of his depth, who struggled to frame his questions which were littered with y'know and I mean.

A presenter who was embarrassingly deferential to the guests. There's a huge difference between politeness and being in awe and he fell on the wrong side by a country mile. A real lightweight amateur. He even read out a text message from an irate listener complaining about his 'brown-nosing' making it a terrible programme. His response? "I have a radio programme, you don't".


The whole programme was a spoken press release, I swear using Secret Dubai's brilliant UAE Press Release Generator.

Of course spokespeople for organisations are going to simply repeat the corporate line if they're allowed to. The job of reporters and interviewers is to get past that, to get to the truth, to ask the awkward questions. To actually get some information for heavens sake!

The question of VoIP came up again, and yet again the naivete of our 'journalists' was apparent.

Etisalat's CEO confirmed that they will introduce VoIP at some unspecified time in the future. But he wasn't asked about the pricing strategy. The verbal press release followed by...nothing.

I've posted about this before* - our 'journalists' naively believe that VoIP is inherently cheap. It isn't! The price the consumer pays depends entirely on the price the provider decides to charge. Skype, MyWebCalls and all the others offer cheap calls because of the huge competition they face. Etisalat will face ersatz competition only from the government controlled du.

We have a missed opportunity here. A radio station giving us more than the wallpaper music of the others, a good programme idea, VIP guests, the opportunity to get answers to so many of our questions. All in the hands of a cringingly embarrassing amateur presenter.

*Cheap VoIP from Etisalat


Anonymous said...

Spot on, it was a cringe worthy, sycophantic, fawning and submissive piece of so called journalism. What we needed was the local equivalent of Paxman and what we got was Bambi…

Etisalat and the TRA must have been ventd a sigh of relief and then chuckled all the way back to their respective offices.

A great chance slipped by...

moryarti said...

What was he expecting? TRA, Etisalat and Du pointing fingers at each other in a CNN's Crossfire-type debate?... what an amature ...

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Seabee: boy I wish I had witnessed that.


clayfuture said...

Damn.. I wish I hadn't missed this one!