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#37278 - 28 Nov 06 22:09 DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
From Indonesia Now http://indonesianow.blogspot.com/

A JELLYBEAN JOURNALIST IN SURABAYA

Writing for the English language media in Indonesia

Duncan Graham


The vehicle I use in Indonesia is a tiny bright green city car, frugal on fuel and nippy for squeezing through narrow alleys and dodging motorbikes. I think the jellybean is ideal for the job – but it has some serious drawbacks. It can be easily squashed – literally and metaphorically.

Foreigners in status-conscious Java are supposed to use a Mercedes, BMW or Peugeot – the blacker the better - and they should definitely have a driver. Otherwise they have no credibility and another purpose – probably to spy or Christianise poor Muslims. Xenophobia is alive and well in Indonesia.

So is distrust. An unaccompanied Westerner claiming to be writing for the respected The Jakarta Post and driving a joke car is certainly suspect, particularly with government officials and Chinese business tycoons. Being asked: ‘Where’s your secretary and driver?’ isn’t the best way to start any interview.

I live in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second biggest city and the capital of East Java. It’s a sprawling, chaotic and polluted port and a major industrial zone. Imagine stomping a cockroach on a tile floor. That seems to have been the template for planning.

The Jawa Pos newspaper group dominates the city. This includes a TV station JTV and Memorandum, a yellow-presser thriving on a formula of lukewarm sex, gory crime and mysticism, and Nyata which is Indonesia’s Woman’s Day.

The Jawa Pos is much like any middle market Australian paper with sections on celebrities, fashion, sport and advice on relationships and health – allowing for some eroticism under the guise of education. The writing is often turgid and by Australian standards padded with irrelevancies – but it mixes Javanese and slang in its stories making it part of the community. Its claimed daily circulation is around 300,000 in a province of 36 million people. That’s close to The West Australian’s Saturday sales in a state of just two million.

The superbly-designed national daily Kompas, which allegedly sells little more than half a million across the nation, is disliked by many in East Java because it uses high level Indonesian and is considered too serious.

The Jawa Pos has been extraordinarily successful since the fall of Suharto and the scrapping of controls restricting reporting, advertising and printing. Local inserts have made the paper widely acceptable. When East Java newsmakers think of print journalism their model is the Jawa Pos.

Before former president Gus Dur closed the Department of Information there were 292 print publications. That number rapidly jumped to more than 2,000 before a shakeout. Around 830 have survived.

According to Leo Batubara, a member of the Indonesian Press Council, about 7 million papers are sold nationally every day. He also claimed that most papers reported the same news and that there was little to choose between them

This boom has caught the industry short of quality journalists. The typical local reporter is young, enthusiastic, scruffy, ill-informed, badly educated and poorly trained. Men dominate. They often hunt in packs and feed off each other so copy is frequently generic. The industry has attracted the idealistic who publish their own little mags - and fringe dwellers with dubious credentials. These people hope to pick up the envelopes that some newsmakers distribute to encourage positive coverage.

Young local journalists would be lucky to take home more than Rp 2 million (AUD 300) a month. Kompas and The Jakarta Post pay higher but about one fifth of the Australian rate.

To their credit sections of the industry are trying to purge envelope journalism and lift education levels. The Jakarta Post, which is linked to Kompas and the Gramedia publishing group through shareholdings, bans journalists from accepting handouts and demands ethical standards from its reporters.

The paper also organises regular training programs for its staff. I’ve been privileged to have assisted at three of these sessions conducted at a hillside villa owned by Tempo magazine, which also holds shares in The Jakarta Post.

I’ve worked with senior editors from The Jakarta Post and the RMIT on an AusAID training program to lift standards among reporters organised through the State-run Antara News agency. Courses have been held in Kupang, Mataram, Surabaya and Makassar.

The Jakarta Post is run by PT Bina Media Tenggara, a private company owned by four competing publications. The other two are Suara Karya and Sinar Harapan. An employees’ collective holds twenty per cent of the shares.

Tempo produces an English language cut-down version of its famous weekly with less than half the pages of the original. After a fall in quality earlier this year, the magazine has now picked up.

The other English language productions are the glossy lifestyle mags like Jakarta Kini that celebrate hedonism and are pitched at expats on obscenely high salaries with nothing better to do than vote on best bars and whine about the traffic. Most are edited by native speakers listed as ‘technical advisors’ to comply with government regulations on foreign workers. They’re supposed to be passing their skills onto local replacements but the process seems to be taking a long time.

The international titles like Cosmo and Forbes, and which are published under licence, are in Indonesian – often with English headlines, making a bizarre mix.

Overall the language in The Jakarta Post is high standard and occasionally lively. Factual and grammatical errors are rare. The writing tends to be straight, bordering on the safe and boring – particularly in the Op-Ed pages where space if often taken by pontificating minor academics. Of almost 100 editorial staff only 11 are expats and include Australians, British, Americans and Japanese.



The staff write in English. However copy from regional stringers comes in Indonesian and has to be translated. This adds enormously to the job of producing accurate reports from correspondents of diverse skills and backgrounds and with little understanding of the readership.

Editor Endy Bayuni formerly worked for Reuters; his secondary and tertiary education was in England and he’s studied in the US on a fellowship. He’s aware most readers have accessed the Internet or watched satellite TV newscasts long before the paper is delivered, and are across the hard news stories. Consequently he wants The Jakarta Post to be a writer’s paper, a ‘viewspaper’ like the International Herald Tribune.

A worthy ambition that’s going to require a change in mindset by many staffers. Writing factual and often parochial reports to a formula and churning these out daily is quite different from using these as the base for creative interpretation – a task that takes time, resources and experience.

Nationalism is robust in Indonesia and no-one wants a paper produced by expats whingeing about Indonesia’s huge problems rather than locals analysing them. The problem is matching the top salaries the really clever English-language Indonesian writers can command in multi-national companies or with foreign news agencies.

The Jakarta Post tends to be liberal, critical of the Suharto regime, anti-corruption, interested in the arts and supportive of a pluralist society. There’s a strong emphasis on business and the economy. Human rights issues are usually given a good run. The paper takes shots at the government and other institutions in the style of Australian papers, but seldom applies the robust language we’re used to. Lese majesty is still a crime in Indonesia; for insulting the president the penalty can be six years in jail.

The Jakarta Post can often get away with comments and pictures that Indonesian language papers with a wider and less exclusive circulation wouldn’t dare try lest the mob’s wrath is aroused. Smashing up the office of a publication you don’t like and threatening the staff is still a standard way of protesting, as the publishers of Playboy know well.

Whatever the faults, the press in Indonesia has a real lusty heartbeat. It certainly doesn’t elsewhere in South-East Asia. Newspapers in Singapore and Malaysia are muted mouthpieces for the governments.

There are links between The Jakarta Post and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Two previous editors have been recruited as ambassadors; the present editor’s father was in the diplomatic service and staffers from the department have attended training courses run by the paper.

The Jakarta Post journalists I’ve met are extraordinarily able so it’s not surprising some are poached. I think they’d outshine many Australian reporters and be a credit to any newsroom.

It’s one thing to speak in a foreign language – much higher skills are required for writing on a daily basis, particularly when the job demands wide usage of Western idioms and a deep knowledge of alien cultures, ancient and modern.

The Jakarta Post’s readers don’t fit into any neat mono-cultural category. Surveys show around half are members of the Indonesian elite. The rest are expats from almost every country in the world whose only common link is a language that’s usually their second or third tongue. Indonesian is not a popular world language, so the Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, Indians and Chinese who work in Indonesia read The Jakarta Post.

How does a Muslim reporter cope with the everyday English idioms and references based on the Bible, and the literary allusions we’ve inherited from the great English writers? Does anything fit together if you haven’t studied Shakespeare or read Hemingway? How can you really understand the West when you don’t share a common cultural memory?

When I added to a story about controversial dangdut singer Inul Daratista the line: ‘Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington’ it didn’t resonate with everyone. A senior editor from the paper who has studied in the US certainly wanted an explanation – but was happy with another writer’s use of ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’ despite not knowing of Noel Coward.

How does an Indonesian journalist who’s never lived in the West make sense of the understatements of the reserved British, the overstatements of the brash Americans and the iconoclasm of cynical Australians – and all against a deadline? The best do, and that’s a rare and admirable skill.

The Jakarta Post started in 1983 with technical help from The West Australian. Most days it has 24 pages so it’s a quick read, particularly as advertising is expanding and many stories are ho-hum regional reports. Banks, airlines, property developers, international schools and up-market stores use its pages to reach the so-called A-class readers.



The paper has been making a profit in the past two years despite having a circulation below 40,000 so it’s no surprise that there’s now a rival, curiously titled The Point, inviting the obvious retort: What’s the point? At the moment it’s only going to embassies and has yet to appear on news-stands.

Thailand, which has a quarter of Indonesia’s 240 million population, supports two English language papers.

Distribution problems plague The Jakarta Post. Outside key newsagents in Jakarta, Kuta and the five-star hotels, the paper is almost impossible to find. To ensure a copy you have to subscribe. But deliveries in the regional centres are late and haphazard – a serious problem for a daily newspaper.

A larger readership may be there but it has yet to be reached. Even if the marketing problems could be solved it’s unlikely the paper would take a monster leap in circulation. Indonesians are not great readers and seldom buy papers in whatever language, preferring to get their news from radio, TV and street-corner gossip. One survey claims 88 per cent watch TV, only 17 per cent read newspapers.

Although The Jakarta Post has a reputation for promptly correcting errors and defending its staff, as an outsider I’m extremely vulnerable. Any offended Indonesian who is powerful enough could easily arrange for Immigration to run a visa check. This would probably find flaws though none exist. That’s happened to other Australians.

Alternatively for less than $100 they could get a mob to trash my house. Like my jellybean car, all foreigners in Indonesia are squashable. Tolerance doesn’t mean acceptance.

Many prominent and regular newsmakers understand English but are reluctant to use their skills with a native speaker. The ultra nationalists often refuse to use English. In East Java the tongue of choice is Javanese.

Getting an interviewee’s thoughts down without ambiguity is difficult enough in any language and particularly so with the hierarchal Javanese who have a reputation for saying anything but what they really mean. Hazards abound.

Curiously the people most nervous about my writing have been expats who come from countries with a free press tradition. The only person who changed his mind about cooperating after all the work had been done was an Australian academic working for a US aid agency.

Perhaps the expats’ nervousness is understandable. Those on lucrative contracts tend to live in gated communities surrounded by other Westerners whose duties include making personal ‘security assessments’ every time they go out.


Served by regular travel warnings from their embassies and constantly trading horror stories over their sundowners it’s not surprising they’re so easily spooked. For them the fundamentalists are forever poring over the media seeking insults to be avenged, clipping names for a victim list.

The US and Japanese consulates in Surabaya add to the paranoia. These are high tech forts with round-the-clock police guards plus scores of their own security personnel. Their bags are already packed so they can flee in a moment. The Americans claim they’re in town to improve communication links with Indonesians – but Americans don’t understand irony.

By contrast the French consulate is constantly open to the public and has no guards. It’s the site of intellectual discussion, classical concerts, exhibitions and arthouse films. In Indonesia the French are fearless – we are not.

There’s now no official Australian presence in Surabaya – and perhaps it’s just as well. Under current thinking it would be yet another bunker sending the same message as the Americans and Japanese: We fear you greatly and trust you not at all.

Indonesians who are well travelled use me to complain furiously and in detail about the visa restrictions on visiting Australia. As these people often want to buy property, get medical treatment and educate their kids in our country the onerous restrictions are a real thorn.

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta denies this clear and common truth and flaunts figures saying most applicants are successful. It has no statistics on those who have Australia as their first choice but are deterred by the complexities and obstacles - so choose another more welcoming country for their study, medical care, investment and retirement.

I do get plenty of banter, and not always good-natured, about Australia as the deputy sheriff of South East Asia, being George Bush’s lackey, planning pre-emptive strikes and having plans to break up the Unitary State.

With apologies to Mr Downer and others who claim such sentiments have passed their use-by date – sorry, folks: The view from the penthouse suites enjoyed by the fly-in, fly-out politicians may seem rosy but the people I meet don’t believe a word of our bland assurances however many treaties are signed.



I’m not going to be a mouthpiece for the Australian government. I don’t support its policies on Indonesia, apart from the generous aid donations and some fine but limited programs designed to improve teaching and good governance. The post grad scholarships are great – but our offerings miniscule: Under 700 for a population of 240 million.

For a safe future I desperately want to see closer ties between our two countries at all levels and I don’t think this should be done just through governments.





Regular exchange programs for journalists from both countries would be a great start. This has happened before on one-off projects but not on a continuous basis. The Jakarta Post occasionally takes interns from Australia and New Zealand – this could be formalised into a proper two-way exchange program to the benefit of both countries.

The ACICIS (Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies) is an excellent way for Australian undergraduates to study Indonesian language and culture; it needs to be enlarged greatly with equal numbers of Indonesians visiting Australia.

A few fine people of distinction, and the occasional creative artist pass through on goodwill tours – but make no impact in the kampongs. We need Nicole Kidman or some other locally-loved screen face to tell Indonesians that Australia is a friendly neighbour keen for contact and which means well - a separate, independent country free from US control and which seriously wants to build up a solid, long-lasting relationship.

But then I don’t think it is.

(This paper was delivered at the Media: Policies, cultures and futures in the Asia Pacific Region Conference, at Curtin University, Perth on 27 November 2006)
_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#37281 - 28 Nov 06 22:25 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
I have always enjoyed Duncans work. I'd like to meet him just for the crack
_________________________
Menace to Sobriety


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#37284 - 28 Nov 06 23:03 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Dilli]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
he was a little superficial for my liking before, but he seems to have improved over the years ...

actually, patung may well know him ...
_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#37352 - 29 Nov 06 07:18 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
I thought some of the bits he says about Indonesian journalists is spot on... and I'll be posting something in GRSB on that theme shortly.

BUT..

One reason why he'll never be a credible writer or journo himself is his use of tired, obsolete 50-year-old cliches:

"...but Americans don’t understand irony."

I get a real kick outta this one, and ignorant, sheltered Brits and Aussies try to shove it down my throat all the time. IT WAS very likely true for a majority of Americans ---- BUT HELLLOOOOOO, that was IN the 1950s or before with all the silly mindless sitcoms similar to those in Indonesia today.

Over the last few decades, the most popular comedians are Dave Letterman (the master of irony), John Stewart (maybe even better), Jay Leno and perhaps Rosie O'Donnell, and before he went overly political, Michael Moore was the undisputed king of dry, ironic wit (see his first film "Roger and Me"). The generation before them was the Saturday Night Live gang with the likes of Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, etc.. And lest we forget, Woody Allen and the early Monty Python films and Benny Hill (yes British humour) were hugely popular in America in the 80s.

Sure, there are still the 20~30% of uneducated dimwits and rednecks and factory slaves, who still get a kick out of silly, mindless humor and jokes, but holy moly batman, this sort of pigeon-holed stereotyping of 300 million diverse people is really passe and rears its ugly head with guys like Duncan, demonstrating nothing but small-mindedness and an inability come up with new wisecracks... He's not the only one. If i browse through Brit or Aussie tabloids, like The Sun, for instance, they constantly remind readers of such stereotypes, and then at the Pub, the readers' mates all talk about it and reinforce a stereotype they want to hold on to ... and so it must be true, right??

And all Italian soccer players dive, and all Irish drink Guinness and all Portuguese are stupid and the sun will never set on the empire...
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37354 - 29 Nov 06 07:27 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: riccardo

Over the last few decades, the most popular comedians are Dave Letterman (the master of irony), John Stewart (maybe even better),


Is that a piss take Ricc, or are you serious??? I hope and pray you are joking.... If you think Letterman is a master of irony, the problem is worse than we thought!

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#37356 - 29 Nov 06 07:57 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
a quick example of irony Ricc:

Rhodesia.

Whites get thrown out of power so that blacks can have a better life. but under black control the country goes bankrupt, reducing the standard of living of the blacks, and life expectancy drops from 60 to 30 in just 25 years.

Pretty ironic eh.

But here is the real irony:

Under black majority rule, introduced as democracy, Mugabe changed the constitution, and removed democracy. so democracy was destroyed by democracy.

Thats ironic.

and given time, as the fundamental Muslims taker power, they will destroy Indonesia as well.

That would be ironic.


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#37360 - 29 Nov 06 08:18 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
suit yourself, all of the intelligent non-Americans I know are in love with Letterman and it's not merely his words, but it's the deadpan delivery -- It may be difficult to grasp if one is not being bombarded by the US press about certain news items and all the subtleties going on in US politics or pop culture, such as the first one. If you've seen "Ben Hur" and "Bowling for Columbine" you'll get the Heston joke, but if not it means nothing:

Charlton Heston admitted he had a drinking problem, and I said to myself, "Thank God this guy doesn't own any guns!"
David Letterman

Dick Cheney said he was running again. He said his health was fine, 'I've got a doctor with me 24 hours a day.' Yeah, that's always the sign of a man in good health, isn't it?
David Letterman

Don't forget it's daylight savings time. You spring forward, then you fall back. It's like Robert Downey Jr. getting out of bed.
David Letterman

Every day is President's Day when you have an intern!
David Letterman

“Sometimes when you look in his eyes you get the feeling that someone else is driving.”

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.
David Letterman

Iraq's elite Republican Guard is doing so badly they're changing their name to the Democratic Guard.
David Letterman

“New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you.”

Ted Kennedy is endorsing John Kerry and I'm wondering, do you really want the endorsement of a guy with a Bloody Mary mustache?
David Letterman

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.
David Letterman

Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.
David Letterman

The worst tempered people I have ever met were those who knew that they were wrong.
David Letterman
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37361 - 29 Nov 06 08:20 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
These are one liners, not comic irony. Irony is situational.....


all of the intelligent non-Americans I know are in love with Letterman = I am not, therefore i am not intelligent? Subtle smile

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#37365 - 29 Nov 06 08:25 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
IRONIC by Alanis Morissette

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic... don't you think

Chorus:
It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
"Well isn't this nice..."
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

Repeat Chorus

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

Repeat Chorus

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out


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#37368 - 29 Nov 06 08:55 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
It's always useful to have a Canadian pop singer help us understand things...
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37370 - 29 Nov 06 09:01 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: riccardo
It's always useful to have a Canadian pop singer help us understand things...


she seems to understand irony better than Letterman does.....

what exactly IS the attraction with him? I hate the way he waits for the audience to laugh on cue.......

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#37373 - 29 Nov 06 09:12 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
This is from the Guardian (yes that one in London, UK) and it's a long read but I think this excerpt is apt here....

Irony and America

There are a few reasons why we think the Americans have no sense of irony. First, theirs is rather an optimistic culture, full of love of country and dewy-eyed self-belief and all the things that Europe's lost going through the war spindryer for the thousandth time. This is all faith-based - faith in God, faith in the goodness of humanity, etc - and irony can never coexist with faith, since the mere act of questioning causes the faith fairy to disappear. Second, they have a very giving register that, with a sense of irony, would be unsustainable (how can you wish a stranger a nice day with a straight face?). Third, because we think Canadian Alanis Morissette is American, and she proved some time ago, with her song Ironic, that she didn't know what irony meant (this is so ironic - first, because we think we're the more sophisticated and yet don't know the difference between America and Canada, second because America sees Canada as such a tedious sleeping partner, and yet Canada is subversively sending idiots into the global marketplace with American accents. Of course, I'm being ironic. Canadian accents are not the same as American ones!)

In fact, this is absolute moonshine, since the consummate and well-documented superiority of US telly over British telly is largely due to their superior grasp of irony (as well as the fact that they have more cash). Take, for instance, the opening sequences of Six Feet Under (a US tv show) versus the opening sequences of Casualty (A UK tv show) - they both start every episode with a vignette in which a stranger dies a horrible death or suffers a hideous accident. In Six Feet Under, this will never be straightforward - the porn star will never die because her silicon implants explode, she will die in some way that could happen to anyone; the wheezing, scared-looking sportsman will turn out to have been just a bit thirsty, while his amazingly strong team-mate will be dying in the background from heat stroke. There's always some cosmic irony, swiftly followed by ironic dialogue. In Casualty, on the other hand - man leaves pub in middle of day; commences dangerous-looking welding job; burns own eye out in drunk accident. Dur.

For the Full Article, go here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,985375,00.html
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37375 - 29 Nov 06 09:49 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: riccardo
In fact, this is absolute moonshine, since the consummate and well-documented superiority of US telly over British telly ...


i was with you right up to here! ... i must beg to differ!! smile brit television, quite simply, is far superior to that of the US, without a shadow of doubt!

_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#37376 - 29 Nov 06 09:53 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
I am still speechless. Mind you the Guardian is a pile of left wing rubbish on a good day. It delights in knocking England, which is itself ironic......

Indeed, the real irony in the Guardian was its employment of Dilpazier Aslam, who was affiliated with Hizb Ut Tahrir. The newspaper became an apologist for this radical Islamic group through his articles.

A guardian employee was killed in the 7/7 Hizb Ut Tahrir attacks in London.

Now THAT is irony.

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#37379 - 29 Nov 06 10:08 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Kuku, this writer is talking about present-day TV in those 2 countries, not decades ago when you last saw TV from either country. That is, unless you're talking about the utter rubbish like Baywatch that local Indo stations import and re-run so you and the rest of the males here can enhance your beach life-saving skills. Asia is where crap TV shows go when they die...
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37380 - 29 Nov 06 10:08 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
The Guardian - in common with most news organisations - is actively exploring ways in which to increase the diversity of its staff.


Article continues

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Among the programmes it has run or sponsored are the Scott Trust bursaries for journalism students, the Hugo Young internship programme and a diversity training scheme. This last scheme is designed to capture applicants from a variety of backgrounds: race or ethnicity is not a factor.
In addition to these schemes, it has done much in the past year to explore and engage with the Muslim community. It has established an annual Muslim Youth Forum, in which young Muslims meet to debate and discuss political, religious, cultural and social issues. Last year's discussions, under the title Being Muslim & British, were fully reported in the paper.

In January this year, the Guardian held a two-day conference, Islam, Multiculturalism & British Identity, involving a wide range of opinion-formers.

These debates form the basis of a book which the Guardian will shortly publish - in collaboration with the Barrow Cadbury Trust - exploring critical debates within the Muslim community and opening up these discussions to a new younger generation of participants.

The Guardian recently won the national newspaper award in the Commission for Racial Equality's Race in the Media awards for the way the paper has challenged stereotypes and explored differences between young muslims.

Dilpazier Aslam is a 27-year-old British Muslim from Yorkshire. After university he studied journalism at Sheffield University with the help of a bursary from the Sheffield Star.

He was a journalistic trainee on the Matlock Mercury in 2004. He won the NUJ George Viner award for promising black journalists in 2003.

He was selected to be one of the Guardian trainees under its diversity scheme and began the year-long programme in October 2004, working in many editorial departments across the paper, including research, photos, graphics, Guardian North, G3s, Guardian Unlimited and the city office.

On his 15-page application form he did not mention that he was a member of the Islamist political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir, despite being invited to describe any participation in public affairs or political campaigning.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a legal organisation in this country, though banned in others. It is described in an internal Home Office briefing note as a "radical, but to date non-violent Islamist group."

The note says of the organisation that it is "an independent political party that is active in many countries across the world. HT's activities centre on intellectual reasoning, logic arguments and political lobbying. The party adheres to the Islamic sharia law in all aspects of its work."

The note adds: "It probably has a few hundred members in the UK. Its ultimate aim is the establishment of an Islamic state (Caliphate), according to HT via non-violent means. It holds anti-semitic, anti-western and homophobic views."

Different countries and organisations take varying views of the Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is banned in Russia, Germany and Holland. In this country the National Union of Students has barred Hizb ut-Tahrir from its unions, claiming the group is "responsible for supporting terrorism and publishing material that incites racial hatred".

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) is reported by the Home Office to hold the view that "although not a serious threat at present ... it would be naive to think that if we leave them alone, they will go away. They are an organised minority group who are determined to make themselves and their albeit unrepresentative voices heard."

Subsequent to joining the Guardian, Aslam made no secret of his membership of this political party, drawing it to the attention of several colleagues and some senior editors.

On July 12 - the day it was announced that the July 7 London bombs had been placed by young British muslims from west Yorkshire - Aslam was asked to write a piece for the comment page.

His 560-word article, "We rock the boat: today's Muslims aren't prepared to ignore injustice", was published the following day. In editing the piece the Guardian did not make it clear - as it should have done - that the author was, in addition to being a Guardian trainee, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir. The Comment editor was not aware of this fact.

After the article was published a number of people drew attention to a document Hizb ut-Tahrir posted in March 2002, on its British website, Khilafah.com, of which the Guardian was previously unaware.

It quotes a passage from the Koran ["kill them wherever you find them ..."] followed by material arguing: "the Jews are a people of slander ... a treacherous people ... they fabricate lies and twist words from their right places."

The effect of this juxtaposition appeared to be the incitement of violence against Jews. The piece remained on the website until recently and is still available on other Islamist websites.

Before joining the Guardian, Aslam wrote three pieces for Khilafah.com, and was once billed as its "middle eastern correspondent".

In October 2002, Hizb ut-Tahrir's spokesman in Denmark, Fadi Abdelatif, was found guilty of distributing racist propaganda after handing out this document in a square in Copenhagen.

Abdelatif was given a 60-day suspended sentence. According to a BBC Newsnight report "the court rejected Abdelatif's argument that he was merely quoting from the Koran, and the leaflet was an act of free speech.

"The court also did not accept that the leaflet was, as he argued, aimed solely at the Israeli state and not Jews generally. In particular, the court found that in 'linking the quotes from the Koran to the subsequent description of Jews as a people characterised negatively ... is an evident statement of a threat against Jews.'"

On Monday July 18 Aslam was advised that the Guardian considered that Hizb ut-Tahrir had promoted violence and anti-semitic material on its website and that membership of the organisation was not compatible with being a Guardian trainee.

The following day Aslam told the editor, Alan Rusbridger, that he was not willing to leave Hizb ut-Tahrir and that, while he personally repudiated anti-semitism, he did not consider the website material to be promoting violence or to be anti-semitic.

The matter was subsequently treated under the paper's grievance and disciplinary procedure. Aslam was invited to a meeting with GNL's chief executive, Carolyn McCall, at which he repeated his refusal to leave the organisation or repudiate its material.

Having considered all the circumstances Ms McCall took the view that Aslam could not remain a member of the Guardian's trainee scheme.

The paper will carry a clarification making it clear that Aslam's membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir should have been mentioned in the context of his July 13 article.


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#37382 - 29 Nov 06 10:29 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
You mean quality shows about crime scene investigators…..???

There is irony, in a land where gun control is out of control, (itself an irony) the TV shows are all about investigating murders. ???

Or OC? Where the schoolchildren looked older than the parents, and the lines were cringingly crass.

Law and Order :SVU?????

Or Cold Case???

Or CSI Miami???

Or NCIS????

Or Numb3rs???

Or House????

British TV isn’t that good, but it is more realistic than the AM crap.

Ever seen Cracker? Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Robbie Coltrane) was a compulsive gambling, alcoholic, chain-smoking, womanizer who was a criminal psychologist. In spite of financial, marital and family problems, he was paid to assist the police.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_(UK_TV_series)

It was “remade” by US TV in 97, and was rubbish.


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#37384 - 29 Nov 06 10:55 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
I really can't speak from experience of late PB, I was just letting Kuku know What the writer, Zoe Williams, was referring to.

Like Kuku, I haven't seen American or UK TV in a decade at least. Unlike Kuku, I have Cable TV here, but I never watch the sitcoms or crime dramas you are referring to, I probably spend about 30 minutes per week on average watching any kind of TV. Sometimes I'll browse Discovery or NatGeo channel or Pooh Bear and Mickey Mouse with my daughter, other than that it's live sports at the pub.
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#37385 - 29 Nov 06 11:01 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
Patung Offline
Member++

Registered: 11 Mar 06
Posts: 234
Loc: Indonesia
I like the characterisation of the two cultures, plus one, from this example. British police tv shows are all about office politics back at the station, German police shows can't get through an episode without somebody mentioning Nietzsche, and American police shows are all about shoot-outs and car chases.
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#37386 - 29 Nov 06 11:06 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Patung]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
But Patung, you forgot to mention, ... back in the 60s and 70s
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37387 - 29 Nov 06 11:11 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
I feel like I'm talking to a bunch of old curmudgeons for whom time and progress stopped 4 or 5 decades ago (Bah humbug, kids today are soft, when I was kid we had to [insert toughness hyperbole]....), yet I'm pretty sure you guys and I are all roughly similar in terms of age.
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#37392 - 29 Nov 06 11:23 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: riccardo]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: riccardo
I feel like I'm talking to a bunch of old curmudgeons for whom time and progress stopped 4 or 5 decades ago (Bah humbug, kids today are soft, when I was kid we had to [insert toughness hyperbole]....), yet I'm pretty sure you guys and I are all roughly similar in terms of age.


Four Yorkshiremen

Monty Python



Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort.

Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

GC: A cup ' COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

MP: Cardboard box?

TG: Aye.

MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.

ALL: Nope, nope.
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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#37393 - 29 Nov 06 11:26 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Been there, done that!
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#37394 - 29 Nov 06 11:29 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Dilli]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: Dilli
Been there, done that!

pissing competitions were invented in Yorkshire wink
_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#37402 - 29 Nov 06 12:35 Re: DG/A Jellybean Journalist in Surabaya [Re: Polar Bear]
xsbir Offline
Member+

Registered: 29 Oct 06
Posts: 75
Loc: The Big Durian
Quoting: Polar Bear
Quoting: riccardo

Over the last few decades, the most popular comedians are Dave Letterman (the master of irony), John Stewart (maybe even better),


Is that a piss take Ricc, or are you serious??? I hope and pray you are joking.... If you think Letterman is a master of irony, the problem is worse than we thought!


Just read the whole thread. This is funny. I think the Jellybean Journalist's point (cliché) is being proven. Good one, as usual, PB.
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Don't even try!

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