2008-08-07

WaiWai Correspondents' Club, Part 2

About a month ago, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age published reports concerning the WaiWai issue. Both articles that were similar to each other were written by a reporter Justin Norrie. I had something to say about those reports, but, since I am not good at commanding English as you readers may easily notice, I had not been able to write about them. I just noticed that Jun Okumura at GlobalTalk 21 has written about the article published in the Age. In the post, he wrote many of the things that I wanted to write. Please take a look at his post here.

I'd append here some additional comments concernig the Justin Norrie's article.

In the article, Mr. Norrie wrote:

In the past month the 39-year-old, originally from Melbourne, has become one of the most reviled figures in Japan, (...)
There seems to be a factual error. The editor of the WaiWai column, Ryann Connell, is not 39 years old, but 53 years old. According to his profile page written by himself, he was born March 25, 1955 (this page has a link to the cache of his profile page. Click the link at the top of the linked page to see the cache).

Then the article says:
When contacted this week, Connell said he was unable to comment. But The Age believes he has received death threats and is under strict police instructions to stay at home until things die down.
Connell was unable to comment, then how The Age was able to "believe" Connell had received death threats?

Mr. Norrie's another article in the Sydney Morning Herald has a similar paragraph.
When contacted this week, Connell said he was unable to comment on "any aspect of the case". But the Herald understands he has received several death threats and is under strict police instructions to stay inside his suburban Tokyo home until the matter dies down.
Connell was unable to comment on "any aspect of the case", then how the Herald was able to "understand" Connell had received several death threats? No one but the Herald and The Age can understand.

His reports on the WaiWai issue were so interesting that I tried to find other articles written by him. Of the articles found, this one titled "Boyos abroad raising the flag, shaming the nation" was especially interesting. He wrote in the article:
In the run up to Australia Day this year, organisers of the Big Day Out music festival triggered a nationwide round of chest-beating by declaring the national flag unwelcome at the Sydney event. Their aim, they said, was to prevent aggressive displays of nationalism and ethnic violence.

While the festival passed peacefully, the anticipated outbursts of drunken thuggery and cultural friction were unravelling 8500 kilometres away, on the freezing streets of Hokkaido, in northern Japan.

At Niseko, a small ski resort town dubbed "Little Australia" in honour of the Antipodean property developers and skiers who have driven its revival, the Japanese owners of Cafe Pow Pow had thoughtfully thrown a barbecue to mark the special day for their patrons.

They had supplied Australian wine, beer, meat pies and fish and chips - even fireworks. Before long their guests quaffed the lot and - amid the occasional refrain of "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!" - began throwing punches and glasses around the bar, then out in the street, in one of at least three brawls across the town that night, witnesses recalled.

"This fighting is common for Australians," a female bar worker at Pow Pow told the Herald. "They get drunk, take off their clothes, sometimes smash glasses and have fights - like it's fun."

The Australia Day skirmishes received no media attention.
Australian residents in Niseko had something to say about the report. The Australian Alpine Club Niseko wrote in their blog post titled "lost in translation?",
Justin Norrie, the Tokyo correspondent for the 'Sydney Morning Herald' recently wrote about alleged bad behaviour by Australians in Niseko, apparently evidenced by a brawl at Cafe Pow Pow on Australia Day this year. Bar staff from Cafe Pow Pow were quoted and the reporter observed that "[T]he Australia Day skirmishes received no media attention." The story has since been widely circulated on the internet.

A slight problem with the story is that according to Cafe Pow Pow and some who frequented the establishment on Australia Day, no such event occurred. This might explain why it received no media attention.
Haha.


Update:
The following article was also interesting.
Australia also should "Rail at Australian's Tabloid Trash" about Japan.

2 comments:

sho said...

Pretty amusing that you try to call out the SMH's factual errors, but misspell its very name - it's not "Sidney" but "Sydney". Hey, it's only a city of 5 million people, who cares how it's spelt, right?

Difficult to see how some bar fight in Hokkaido is related to any other point you're trying to make - or what those points might be in the first place, but whatever. Write whatever makes you feel better, that's what blogs are for.

Aki said...

Thank you for pointing out the misspelling in the blog entry that you are not able to understand. I have corrected it.