Monday, June 29, 2009


Well it was quite a journey - we left Auckland International Airport at 2.00pm Sunday (NZ time) with Thai Airways and after an easy and mostly smooth flight, (except for the first hour when we were buffeted around by gale force winds and crew and pasengers were confined to their seats), we arrived in Bangkok at 2.00am (NZ time), a two and a half hour wait for our flight to Phuket, half an hour to get luggage and clear customs at Phuket, a half hour drive to our beautiful resort (Twin Palms Resort Hotel at Suren Beach), half an hour to check in, shower and fall into bed at 6.00am NZ time. The time difference between Thailand and New Zealand is five hours, that is Phuket is five hours behind NZ so when we got into bed here it was 1.00am local time. Six hours sleep and we woke at 7.00 am feeling bright and cheerful, a delicious breakfast (think mangoes and paw paw) and off for a walk on the beach.

Whenever I am in Asia or Europe the wonderful International Herald Tribune becomes my daily news and newspaper fix. I have stablished that t arrives here in Phuket between 12 noon and 1.00pm each day so the copy I got this morning was actually the weekend edition but I didn't mind as it has a significant arts section and a great round up of world news, even some from NZ - French rugby player lies over incident in New Zealand!
And here is Alan Cowell writing on page two:

Is Free News Really Worth the Price?
'While business managers ponder when digital news will overtake printed news as a money earner, champions of good journalism must insist that their message is not sacrificed on the altar of a changing medium.' By ALAN COWELL

PARIS — If you are reading this, I am doing my job.
Roughly speaking, that is the compact that has underpinned the ties that bind those who write the news to those who read it.
But as the world hurtles into a digital era, other questions intrude: if you are reading this on paper printed with ink, are we both dinosaurs; and, if you are (still) reading this on your laptop, or P.D.A., or mobile phone, who is paying for it?

The questions have sharpened in recent days, honed by a blizzard of Twitter and Facebook messages and images on YouTube and Flickr from the protests in Iran, demonstrating the limits of the old and the immediacy of the new, all the more evocative for their blurriness and brevity — 140-character dispatches from the front lines of a putative and possibly doomed revolution.
In Tehran, the authorities may have been able to close down mobile-phone and Internet networks, expel or jail correspondents, enforce crude regulations to prevent traditional reporting by traditional reporters as much as they have moved brutally to quell the protests themselves.
But they have not stemmed a flood of video and words from the demonstrators on the streets — the same dark tide as bore the grim image of the dying Neda Agha-Soltan, a 26-year-old Iranian woman shot and killed last weekend. Her staring eyes and spilled blood produced an instant global emblem that no amount of repression or media restriction could deny.
It may be tempting, perhaps, to argue that, finally, that oft-reviled beast — the mainstream media — has been left in history’s wake. After the demise of typewriters and Telexes, the time of the tweet has arrived. The view is not universal, even among tech-friendly journalists.

Read Cowell's full piece here.

More from me anon about what I'm reading etc.
here at Phuket it is presently 31C and very humid. I'm off to the pool. No swimming allowed at the beach at this time becaise of strong rips.
We are here by the way to attend the 50th birthday party of London-based NZ friend.


Fifi Colston said...

enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the warm, company of good freinds, celebrations and the delicious absence of bad news that was a thick grey wall of needless depression (coming back to NZ after my holiday away.) The newspaper in Vanuatu is 5 pages thick and full of nothing much to worry you... may you be free of it yourself for a brief respite. Drink those mango cocktails and luxuriate.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a wonderful respite from miserable cold - into the sunshine!