Thursday, June 19, 2008

'Quiet' an achievement: Classic howlers in Dubai journalism

By John Cheeran
This surely must rank as one of the classic howlers in journalism. A sub-editor who does not know his English, despite having formally studied it, and dumb enough not to rely on a dictionary in sheer arrogance or ineptitude, plunges the newspaper’s brand equity to new depths.
When Sachin Tendulkar celebrated his birthday on April 25, 2006, the Dubai-based Gulf News newspaper decided to gatecrash the party with a lead headline that said volumes about the illiterate journalism that it does in the Middle East. See the image on top right. The sub-editor who wrote the headline, apparently, is unaware of the world of difference in meaning between ‘quiet and quite.’ And quietly the headline went all the way to press, to be a living proof of the quality of journalism that the newspaper practises.
Well, as the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky observed “everyone has a right to be stupid, but one should not abuse that right.”
If only such gentlemen journalists could heed Trotsky’s wisdom!

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