Journalistic Faux Pas

I am not sure what source of information Mr. Fisk relied on to issue his rather ridiculous statement- “Law 174 is actually being obeyed in Lebanon”. Your source Mr. Fisk is either a prisoner in his own home, or is on a constant high (excuse my french). I was quite stunned when I visited Beirut for Christmas break 2 months back, as I observed what restaurants/pubs/clubs were making of the 174 law  (pertaining to smoking bans inde14fb4d6f5f611e1bfc622000a1cde39_6oors). Below are two scenarios I’ve personally witnessed:

– Le Mall Dbayyeh: While no one was smoking inside the shops, two ladies were actually smoking in the ladies-room, and then the cleaner in charge made a theatrical appearance, also a cigarette in hand, earning herself two bows of respect.

– Le Mandaloun: The evening of December 23rd was apparently declared a “public” holiday by Le Mandaloun Management. As we made our way to our table that evening, clouds of smoke were happily filling up the place, and as I curiously approached one of the overjoyed waiters and asked the forbidden question, he gave me an “Are you kidding me?!” look and quickly followed that up with: “Madame, please, we allow smoking during public holidays!” I had to apologize for my ignorance before heading back to my seat.

Whether we are abiding by the smoking ban Law or not is not the issue here. What I don’t appreciate about Mr.Fisk’s article is the fact that he:

– either wrote it with no reliable source of information whatsoever and without double checking his facts;

or (one can’t help but question his shrewdness)

– wrote it knowing this information was not credible, but published it regardless for personal or professional purposes.

As a modest Lebanese reader living abroad, transparency and credibility of the news I read about my country, whether good or bad, are of immense importance to me. Transparency and credibility make good journalists Mr. Fisk, and today you aren’t one.


About monakaraoui

Editor by day, journal blogger by night.. View all posts by monakaraoui

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