Misquoted By The New Paper

Relax – An inconvenient fee: “Another frequent budget airline traveller, Mr Bradley Farless, 28, a US citizen who is visiting Asia for work and leisure, had bought a pair of tickets from Tiger Airways for a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

He said: “It is not a small amount when you add it all up. And who is stopping them from increasing this amount in the future?””

When I read this I kinda just pulled one of these numbers:

Last month I was interviewed by phone by Veena Bharwani, a reporter for The New Paper.  She had initially contacted me by e-mail because of a Tweet I made expressing dissatisfaction with the amount being charged as a ‘convenience fee’ by Tiger Airways.

I have no problem with what she quoted me as saying.  I just wanted to point out that journalists should be bound by a sense of integrity, to not put quotation marks around a summarization of the writer’s views and then attribute it to another person.

Yes, I do agree that the fees are high when you add them up.  We paid a 6 dollar convenience fee per person per direction, or 24 dollars in total.  But, I didn’t use those exact words.

I never made the second statement, even passingly.  That’s the writer trying to attribute a quote to me to validate her own opinion.  It’s not even correct English.

I do agree with her assessment, because what is to stop them from raising the fees in the future, on the vague grounds of processing fees and some other such nonsense?  I want to just use Amazon.com as an example.  When’s the last time you made a purchase on Amazon.com and had a 6 dollar fee added onto your purchase for ‘convenience’?

The convenience of shopping online is that there are supposed to be less fees and less hassle.  It seems to me that these fees the airlines are charging are their way of milking customers for a few extra dollars to help them edge their bottom line higher into profits.

Here’s the fishiest part of it:  If you go to a ticketing office you can get tickets without paying the convenience fee, but you aren’t allowed to take advantage of online ‘deals’, meaning you pay more.  But, if you go online to get the ‘deal’ you have to add in the ‘convenience’ fee, which means that you’re probably paying the same as what a person at the ticket counter is paying.

In the end, what’s the difference?

But, back to the matter at hand, it would be good if people who make a living off of journalism learn to do it right.  Learn the art of paraphrasing.  Don’t put words in people’s mouths, even if it’s something positive.

8 thoughts on “Misquoted By The New Paper

  1. Well. I can address that in two ways. In the original image I didn't
    know it was her to start with and you can barely see her face at all
    since she was turned mostly away from the camera. What gives away her
    identity is her stature and that shock of bleach blonde hair. So in
    reality the first post wasn't about her at all since I didn't know who
    she was. It was a general critique of Asian bottle blondes.

    In the subsequent posts where I critiqued her blog I mentioned her
    name because her blog was the subject. She has plenty of full on
    pictures of herself there that someone could have looked at if they
    wanted to so whether or not I used images then was irrelevant.
    Besides, my follow up posts were about her blog and what she posts on
    them, not her looks.

    What she did is tie them together and make it about her looks
    personally and also about all Singaporeans that dye their hair, which
    wasn't my intent at all. I only dislike bottle blondes. Highlights are
    cool. Not to say that there's something crazy about that since she
    fell into the category the first post was about.

    Other than that she does a good job of making a mockery of hersled
    without anyone else's help so what did it matter if I pointed it out?

    I still think the only reason she made a big deal out of it is because
    she could use it as an Asians vs White post and a Singaporeans vs
    foreigners post. Those are hot issues in Singapore and were surefire
    ways of getting hits. If I started posting about her again she
    wouldn't do anything about it or even care because it would no longer
    generate the hits like it did before. It was never personal for her.
    It was about taking advantage of an opportunity to make money at my
    expense.

  2. ursie

    I agree that you're entitled to your own opinion as not everyone likes the same thing etc. etc., but I still think you should've at least had the decency to censor her face.. Imagine if a stranger bashed you unprovoked on his/her public blog and started judging you based on your appearance. That was a one big mistake (in my opinion). Then again this is your blog, so in the end it's still up to you.

  3. I still think that girl is a simple minded idiot. I feel worse for her
    rabid fans though because they're so easily fooled by bullshit. I
    don't like Asian chicks with bleached out hair and I don't like her
    blog. I think it's crap. That doesn't make me a racist, sexist or
    supremacist like she claims. That just makes me a guy with an opinion
    and a certain taste in women.

  4. alice

    i think i totally agree with what you say.. integrity! or the lack of it. it happened to a good friend of mine, who passed away from a drowning incident end of last year. the journalist pretended to be a 'friend' and 'interviewed' family and friends at ICU and wrote the news article after that. how unethical. wonder how she lived with the lack of morals and integrity.

  5. Well, I hate to be so blunt about it but from what I've heard, as long as you kiss the right ass around here you get coddled at work. Especially if you're female. The whole EO thing hasn't had its heyday in Singapore yet. But… that's a topic for another post.

    I'm just glad I wasn't misquoted as saying something reprehensible that could've resulted in a negative reaction. I'd rather do that to myself on my own terms. ^_^

  6. That is just pure laziness on the journalists part. I use the term 'journalist' loosely here. Attributing indirect quotes, paraphrases, or worse still, attributing the opinion of the author as someone else's direct quote is poor reporting which should have you expelled from the industry.

    A journalist should report the events, not make them up or manipulate them to suit themselves. Maybe they should try their hand at writing fiction or semi-fiction novels if this is too hard for them.

    Every reporter should be bound by principles of ethics and of good practice. One such element of journalism ethics and standards is 'accuracy and standards for factual reporting', clearly ignored in your case.

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