Competition is a good thing. It allows us to compare the competitors and see which is better and which needs improvement.

No thanks to the very slack circulation department of The Jakarta Globe, Unspun did not get his Saturday paper delivered to his house until this morning. Unspun, however, is master at caging a free read and managed to get hold of a copy of the Globe’s competitor The Jakarta Post at a Coffee Bean outlet in FX.

Then my jaw dropped. I felt surreal reading the headline story on the front page news of the Post. I did not know whether to laugh or cry in anguish and frustration.

The day before dozens of people were injured when a queue for discounted Blackberry Bellagios turned ugly. Apparently hundreds of people turned up, they were not handled well and a crush occurred when the crowd was told that the Blackberrys had run out.

Unspun read the paper hungrily, expected to be informed how it happened, who had been injured, what the organizers had to say and how something like that could have been allowed to happen, you know basic journalism stuff called the 5Ws that you usually include in for hard news stories.

Instead Unspun was treated to the condescending opinions of a Singapore sociologist (no local sociologists to quote?) on the “mental underdevelopment” of Indonesia’s middle class.

Here’s a screen grab of the story or read the full story here:

Being someone with a full social life, Unspun went to do other things and did not think much about it until this morning when the Globe’s ever efficient circulation department delivered him Saturday’s paper.

There, on the front page, was actually a story with some decent reporting of the incident. See for yourself in this screen grab or go to the story’s link to read the full article.

This is all very intriguing so Unspun decided to do a bit of a count to see what the reporters from both papers have been up to.

The results are that to write that story The Globe‘s reporters interviewed:

2 Jakarta Police spokespersons, 2 customers, 1 Blackberry staffer and 1 security guard.

The fact that they were there was also reflected on what those in the journalistic trade call “color” – details that you can only observe if you were there  or if you were very good at cribbing- in the story. (e.g. “The rules have changed,” said Karim, who had been queuing since early Friday morning).

And the number of people interviewed for The Post‘s story: 1 non-local (Singaporean) sociologist.

So where’s the mental under development?