Unspun sniffed it in the wind some time ago. But now, finally, word is out that the Lippo Group, euphoric from publishing its good news magazine Globe Asia, is now set to publish a new English-language business daily to take The Jakarta Post head on.
Word is also out that James has appointed A. Lin Neumann, whose latest gig is as Asia Consultant to the Committe to Protect Journalists, the editor-in-chief of this paper. Lin has worn many journalistic hats, among them the executive editor of The Standard and a founder and executive editor of the Asia Sentinel. He also pens for Asia Times.
Credentials, and turning up with a long-time Indonesian hand and respected journo notwithstanding, Neumann did not have an easy job convincing the cynical habitues at the Face Bar last week that he would be able to run a paper with integrity, considering who his bosses are.
The booze was flowing and Unspun is sure that there is some exaggeration but some witnesses to the exchange said that Neumann appeared rather dismayed after he was “pummled” by all the cynicism.
Unspun thinks this is rather unkind. After all, Neumann’s boss-to-be owns the only English-language business magazine in town (one can only wonder where the EIC of that magazine got the idea from, at the lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, after Forbes pulled out in the 11th hour) and also the second best university in Indonesia after University Indonesia (eat their dust ITB, UGM and others).
How does Unspun know?
It says so in one of the recent issues of Globe Asia (and without a disclosure statement that Globe Asia an the University have a common owner).
Is the crowd in Face Bar a bunch of old geezers merely high on booze and cynicism, or do they have a point?