Update: The paper is to be called Jakarta Globe and it would be housed at the Aston, the group of apartments/office space owned by Lippo and which houses Globe Asia. It is also confirmed by Joe Cochrane himself that he will be the Deputy Editor
Having had a taste of the power and glory, real or perceived, from owning a business publication in the form of the Globe Asia, James Riyadi is now going full bore in setting up his new English-language business and general affairs daily. Nobody seems to know what the paper is to be called although some have speculated that it may be called the Globe Daily. At any rate let’s, for convenience sake, refer to it as Globe Daily.
The soon to be published paper has taken a half page advertisement in Kompas today announcing that is is looking for a chief political correspondent, specialist reporters in the fields of defense, the legislature, office of the president, environment and health and the Jakarta goverment and its related issues. In business it is looking for specialist reporters in finance, the capital market, infrastructure mining and natural resources, trade, labor and consumer affairs.
It is also looking for 10 general reporters, 5 lifestyle reporters, 2 sports reporters and 10 designersFrom its requirements it looks like James has learned from his mistakes at Globe Asia and has other people thinking about an interactive strategy to go with the paper. When he launched Globe Asia the people running it were so clueless they did not even think of registering a domain name or checked who were using http://www.globeasia.com (see here).
This time around the reporters, said the advertisement, will be required to file for the web and also do standup reports for the video component of the website.
All fine and well, but one wonders where they will get all that talent. The Jakarta Post as it is is already groaning from the difficulty of finding people who can put two sentences together, let alone be able to report accurately, investigate and write well.
They could aim to recruit from the wires, but which decent journalist in their right mind in Indonesia (as opposed to Hong Kong where the Hong Kong Ronin roam free and desperate) would work for a Riyady paper? How would their reporting values mesh with James’s business, political and religious interests? And how long would the paper last?
Still, these are desperate times for print journalists and any job that promises a salary i not to be scoffed at. And since we humans are all hardwired to be optimistic there i alway that slim chance that things would work out and Jams prove to be a publisher par excellence, and the paper would go on the be the paragon of journalism in Indonesia.
Perhaps it is this optimism that has seduced normally skeptical hard-nosed journalists such as Lin Neumann, Plott(?) and, as the goss mill in the JFCC goes, Joe Cochrane to sign up in the latest Riyady venture?
Unspun hopes that they are right because this town could do with some competition where English language newspapers are concerned since the last pretender to the throne, The Point, was pointless from the start.
Ok. How ’bout this as a front page for the first edition ?
With the prospect of a democrat win in the U.S. — what are the fortunes of former, um, donors to Bill Clinton, (Mrs. Hilary to some).
An Indonesian conglomerate owner was indicted for illegal campaign donations — are there any lobbying efforts in the work ahead of a democrat victory ?
Oh, that’s right the donor was James Riady. Might not go down too well.
To be fair, the question of ethics depends what Riady wants to do with the paper, to what extent he’ll stand back, and his appetite for losses. It’ll make losses for a long time.
Have to ask, though, what robber baron, has set up a newspaper not (italics) to wield influence ?
Profile of James below: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Riady) — he pleaded guilty to campaign violations.
I wonder what A. Lin Neuman, who seems to have been on the Committee to Protect Journalists, has to say. Indeed, the best protection for journalists now is to find deep-pocketed investors, something he seems to have done.
Informed sources say the former editor in chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), David Plott is also helping to set up the paper. FEER, as some recall, presented itself as a beacon of transparency and anti-corruption in Asia, upon its closure in 2004.
Looking forward to the business editorials on stock market transparency, anti-corruption, local campaign donations, and regulatory standards. Also looking forward to those hard-hitting reports on the Lippo Group.
In the 1996 presidential campaign, James Riady was a major campaign contributor to the Democratic Party. In 1998, the United States Senate conducted an investigation of the finance scandal of the 1996 U.S. presidential campaign. James Riady was indicted and pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations by himself and his corporation. He was ordered to pay an 8.6 million U.S. dollar fine for contributing foreign funds to the Democratic Party, the largest fine ever levied in a campaign finance case.
Together with Jim Guy Tucker he established a company called AcrossAsia Multimedia Ltd. Tucker, another former Arkansas governor, had been forced to vacate the governor’s mansion in 1996 due to alleged fraud in the Whitewater scandal. The two had met through Little Rock’s Second Presbyterian Church. With AcrossAsia Multimedia they wanted to build the largest cable TV infrastructure in Indonesia using a company called Kabelvision. The venture was unsuccessful.
Today, James Riady lives with his family in Lippo Village, Karawaci, surrounded by security aides. He has been demonized by the media because of his involvement in the campaign financing scandal. Hendardi, an Indonesian human rights activist, once stated that Riady’s “major achievement was to export corruption to the U.S.”
Here’s one editorial in the IHT where Lin Neumann (along with a Thai journalist), writes about the media combating entrenched corruption and fostering openness.
They said in 2000 that the result of increasing media openness would:
“be that long-festering issues of separatism, cronyism and corruption can at last be discussed away from the political shadows of the past.”
Looking forward to reading in Riady’s new newspaper about cronyism and corruption being discussed.
You simply do not have to wait for the paper to get a “feel” for what the paper is going to be like! Just take a look at GlobeAsia and CampusAsia — the agenda and style seems to be pretty self-evident. All about how well Lippo is doing, good corporate governance, the quality of UPH, blah blah blah!
I would suggest that the style might stay the same or at least be very similar no matter who is at the helm…
When I read CampusAsia I always have a little chuckle to myself when I read about ethics and Christian values and then think about James Riady and the manner in which he was caught up in US campaign financing. That experience was not an example of ethical behaviour or the epitomy of good Christian values…
Oh well! I guess I will just have to wait and see what the paper is like when they finally get around to publishing the thing!
Informed sources say he signs letters, “Your Christian friend James.”
P.S. – sorry for the rant, Unspun.
Mr A. Lin Neuman. Crazy name, crazy guy. Hard to keep up with Mr Neuman. Was he not with the AWSJ, then some NGO, then HK Standard, then Asia Sentinel, then a Korean newspaper and now a new Jakarta newspaper. Also a picture of him married to a Thai spinner in HK Standard once. He moves around like a whirling journalistic Dervish. Good luck to him though, it’s hard to stay employed as a western journalist in Asia. And he has suceeded. Mind you he must be pushing on 60 or summat.
Lin Neumann respected? By whom? Himself? He’d be the first to tell anyone what a great journalist he is. He’s only in Asia because he cant get a job anywhere else. More fool Riady
“The Jakarta Post as it is is already groaning from the difficulty of finding people who can put two sentences together, let alone be able to report accurately, investigate and write well.” Oh man.. I like that one.
I like that how the Globe always hijacks journalists from the Post because they can’t set up a training ground for newbies. Hahahahaha.. smart move. They paid so much that the Post journalists got enticed to work with them.
Unspun is always funny, and I’m wondering how much he gets paid just to worship James, who allegedly tried to buy the Post but got turned down by “the venerable” there.
I’m wondering why the Globe never wrote any story about James, especially when he got a travel ban from the Department of State. A tycoon having a newspaper outlet? C’mon. I’m wondering how journalism is controlled there. Poor thing.
I was in the Globe newsroom about seven months ago, when scion John Riady was taking a group of non-English speaking Mainland Chinese investors/controllers? through the place.
It all seemed very awkward, as the heir-apparent doesn’t speak Mandarin and the translator they had with them fumbled through their questions/orders?
The Globe is a joke, and will go the way of virtually all English dailies in Asia that have been set up by dodgy tycoons.
When said shipping, real estate, logging, mining magnate realises he can’t make a profit within five years, the cache of influence quickly fades and only the editorial Killing Fields will placate his accountants.