World Press Freedom Day #1: The Vendetta

With his father Newmont Indonesia head Richard Ness exonerated from pollution charges by the Manado Court, blogger Eric Ness is now gunning for New York Times reporter Jane Perlez.Eric and Rick both think that Perlez, who was until recently stationed in Jakarta with her husband, was instrumental in lending credibility to the allegations against Rick.

Armed with his blog and the Manado court’s verdict Eric is now taking on Jane Perlez and the mightly New York Times. One might say that this is a justified vendetta, given that most foreign journalists in Jakarta also think that Perlez went over the top with the story that damned Rick and Newmont.

But what will be interesting to see is whether Eric’s strategy of getting personal with his attacks pays off. In the mainstream media this tack will not work but he may just be able to pull it off with a blog. He’ll likely be going after Walh, Jatam and the rest of the NGOs as well. Unspun wonders if any of them are even thinking that this may be a PR problem for them.

Eric’s blog has also seen additions. Now he has a link for those who want to read his posts in Indonesian. This is a bit sophisticated for a supposedly one-man effort, so he’d do well to explain to readers where all this new sophistication comes from. And he needs to let readers comment. Now that the trial is over, a comments section would not jeopardize the trial and it will certainly make the blog more interesting.

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Starting with this blog I want to re-focus on the person whom I consider to be instrumental in instigating this hoax. And this person is Jane Perlez of the New York Times. In fact I believe that Jane Perlez has set a new standard in yellow journalism. First it was her false reporting! And then unlike the fish that never disappeared from Buyat Bay, Jane Perlez disappeared from the scene when my Dad’s defense started to present their witnesses in early 2006.

It is clear that Perlez first devised a story and then conjured up the facts to support it. No one expected a New York Times reporter to indulge in this kind of pop-journalism. But she did and my future blogs on this topic will show that the urge to embellish the Buyat story for mass appeal can be traced back to the encouragement that the newsroom managers in New York provided to Jane Perlez

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8 thoughts on “World Press Freedom Day #1: The Vendetta

  1. This is indeed interesting and I wonder what Eric can achieve from this effort (no offense meant, Eric) apart from further exoneration. Getting personal in this case may prove a point, even if it is pure academic. But I am sure Eric does not intend for this exercise to be one.

    As for Wahli and Jatam, the NGOs and Eric appear to be operating on different frequencies.

    But I am not one to pour cold water on any effort seeking justice and redress. Let’s see how innovative Eric will be in his crusade.


  2. Go for it Eric! But, does he think it’s better to forget about it and start finding a smart Minahasan lady as a partner? 🙂
    Historically, it was a common thing to have a good on-going relationship between the Europeans and Minahasans, as giving advantage for both parties. Reviewing his capacity, why not? He’s been there and loves the place, meaning he also likes the people. Aye, Ric? 🙂
    Eric has indirectly used the Unspun as his PR, hasn’t he? Cos this is the only place to comment on Buyat.


  3. No this is not the only place to comment on Buyat. Greenstump’has as well just unspun does it better. Anyway i hope Ness goes them like an attack dog, A few serious and expensive civil suits just to start. What cost personal loss of freedom based on fabrications!


  4. anymatters: not incorrect in that Eric may have indirectly used Unspun for his PR. Unspun likes to help underdogs.

    It is a source of continued amazement that the son of a man who works for a goldmine with so much money to throw about to retain PR experts, lawyers and sundry other consultants , is actually an underdog where publicity is concerned. What are the rest of them doing and what do they have to show for it?


  5. Walhi has too much on its hand to handle to event think about PR problems arising out of Eric’s comment. Focus is key, but I’m not even sure Walhi is focusing on more important issues than Eric.


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