Galadari Printing Press / Quality of KT Drops
By Staff Reporter
Quality Drops as Public dissatisfied with Khaleej Times
Every single day, is a day for apology
Members of the public and executives in the industry have expressed dissatisfaction at the quality Khaleej Times newspaper is being produced, the grammar and the entire story lay-out lacks professionalism with many grammatical errors on daily basis.
At the same time, departmental heads are calling for a total restructure of the Khaleej Times editorial network, to dramatically improve content of the newspaper, if demands of quality is to be met, most affected are the evident sales of the newspaper, as advertisers have pulled out having lost confidence with the publication.
This is evident from the numerous daily emails and letters the executive editors receive from the public pointing out serious journalism errors, which are now frequent in the Khaleej Times newspaper. . It is noticeable that every alternative day, the newspaper carriers an apology for some of the most serious mistakes that could have been avoided if there were responsible hawk-eyed professional editors to look into the matter.
Some of the most serious errors according to the emails are changes made on quotes by the sources, (it is imperative that journalists should maintain quotes made by an individual) wrong names and designations of the person interviewed, numerous grammatical errors, false information etc. All this is passed blindly because most of the news articles are either copy and paste text from the websites, other publications or simply from a press release.
When such emails are received Mr.Rahul Sharma (Editor), Mr. John Newland (Associate Editor-Editorial Production) and Ovais Subhani (Executive Editor) hurriedly convene and decide to reserve a space to publish an apologize statement for the following day’s edition, this has now become a frequent trend in Khaleej Times, besides the stale news printed, when rival newspapers carry the happenings on their previous day’s edition.
The executive and Associate Editors who lack the knowledge in journalism, have failed to maintain professionalism. Many times, news sources call to find out why news that really make sense and can draw the attention of readers are never published in KT, yet all other national newspapers in the UAE and Gulf region, carry the articles and that too on time, unlike outdated news by KT.
The simple reason being that they (the editors) are too busy, either doing private work or go on a boozing spree during office hours, and hence no time to go through the final copies, this work is left for the juniors, of course who do not even bother, because they claim it is not at their level.
Editorial departmental heads who attend the daily meetings with the editors say that both Mr. Subhani and Mr. Newland, stink of alcohol and to make matters worse, they chew mint sweets that make the stench even worse. They wonder why these senior editors have not yet been disciplined for drunkenness especially heading a responsible section in an organisation of high repute.
It is time the editors are sacked from the organisation instead of ruining the company’s reputation that had been built over the last three decades.
In other companies, persons found under the slightest influence of alcohol, leads to summary dismissal, there is no compromise to this. I think the owners of Khaleej Times should think twice to save their reputation, and have these drunken editors sacked, as it paints a very ugly image to the public and the advertisers in general, since these charlatans in high-rank position are also known to be womanisers.
Recently, when some of the senior staff queried as to why the newspaper needs to have 2 associate editors, Mr Sharma and Mr. Ovais hurriedly designated Mr. Patrick Michael (the long serving former Weekend Editor) to the position of Associate Editor-National News, the others being Mr. Newland and one Mr. Narendra Jha, a former boss of Mr. Sharma.
It is believed that Pat, (as he is popularly known among colleagues) has no authoritative power as an associate editor-News (his absence from the meetings proves it all), it is only on paper, but he is in fact deployed in the rewrite desk, where he does not seem to be happy, because the gentleman has a vast experience in journalism and was suitable to head a much better position, instead of a re-writer.
Mr. Jha on the other hand, sources confirm had been jobless for quiet sometime in India, but Mr. Sharma saved him from depression and got him to Dubai. A post of associate editor (News) was created for Mr. Jha, just to keep himself busy in the office and recoup from depression. The person is shabbily dressed, lacks personality and one wonders what role he plays at the KT News room, as he comes whenever he feels like and leaves at his leisure.
Though Mr. Newland was given the most responsible position that of Associate Editor -Production, he is not a native of the UK, but hails from Australia and can hardly communicate in the English language, and hence the numerous grammatical errors on daily basis.
Prior to his arrival in Dubai, Mr. Newland worked as a night duty supervisor at some fast food restaurant in a South East Asia country. Newland has no experience as a journalist, and was hired by Mr. Sharma and Mr. Subhani because of being an acquaintance with Mr. Newland in some other country.
The same goes to one Mr. Aruna Raj Urs, who spends most of his time, researching for Mr. Subhani to write for him some columns (business pages). He also acts as a delivery boy of the editors, his role is to ensure the bosses have had their meals, he accompanies them to night clubs in search of women and as a drinking partner, some say Aruna is a gay from Bangalore. Aruna’s main job is to reply to blogs and make stupid comments on employees who are older than the newspaper itself.
Yes, though it is commendable that the owners of Khaleej Times have recently put on hold all firing and hiring of staff, (due to recession) there is of course an urgent need for the immediate sacking of these drunk and in-disciplined editors, (who have no knowledge about journalism), before the once reputable newspaper losses its readership and pride. The newspaper can get better qualified editors at the same exorbitant salary being paid to these charlatans.
Newland always spots a battered face, and recently he had several bruises on his forehead, which he got from a brawl he picked with an Arab National, outside a Dubai night club and his vehicle was almost stoned by angry Lebanese men. This is the type of picture shown by high-ranking editor of a reputable media house in the UAE, it just shows how much respect the newspaper gets in the public limelight.
Khaleej Times owners should engage a Manpower and human resource agency to employ the best cream in journalism. All the existing staff should be given a chance to re-appear for an interview on individual basis, there is no need for the company to pay undeserving salaries to unprofessional journalists, who lack the knowledge or qualification in the media world.
It is a known fact, throughout the newsroom and the entire KT, that a section of the female ‘writers’ who have difficulty writing a clean and presentable copy, pass the same to Mr. Subhani’s private email address (the IT department can proof this through their office server).
He then sits in his office to re-write all the stories with the help of copy and paste from here and there, mainly to save the ‘sex dolls’ from being incompetent and, once the copies are amended (though the grammar may still be wrong), Mr. Subhani passes it on to the ‘writer’ who in turn presents it to the departmental head as a finalised copy, leaving no room for doubts.
Some of the experienced female staff wonder why this type of treatment should be given to the ‘sex dolls’ by an editor in the most senior position. Such writers, they say should not be in Khaleej Times, they may as well go back to their respective bedrooms and serve the needs of their sex-starved masters.
Staff at KT have also expressed total disgust as to how Mr. Subhani meddles with other departments instead of concentrating at the editorial level. Recently, he proposed that a long serving supplements manager be demoted from his position and be replaced with an inexperienced female staff (again the issue of sex) in a responsible marketing position.
He also interfered by making changes in the circulation department. Mr. Subhani should not practice nepotism, this is not his fore-fathers property, it belongs to responsible businessmen and he should respect their ultimate decision.
Employing unprofessional journalist is dangerous to the Media industry, as it brings down the readership level and also makes advertisers loss confidence in the newspaper, which is the exact case with Khaleej Times currently. Even abrupt changes have been made in the Supplements department, where a long serving supplements head was demoted overnight and a woman replaced in this position, a total novice to the industry.
The time has come now for the real “Keeping track of change” as everyone is keeping their fingers crossed, for the day the owners of KT make the necessary long overdue changes, otherwise the respectable name of the newspaper will have to go down the drain, as is the case now. Long live KT, long live the Professionals !!!