When good news is no news

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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It never ceases to amaze me how daily newspapers love to attack their own national institutions. Today’s Bangkok Post was no exception. The day after the Thai capital’s long-awaited new airport at Suvarnabhumi opened, the front-page headline was ‘First day fliers left irked’. “Frustration and confusion were among the sentiments of many passengers using Suvarnabhumi Airport, which opened for full operations yesterday. The new airport… encountered several problems.” Yesterday’s edition of a local paper even majored on the complaints of a resident about noise levels coming from Suvarnabhumi take-offs and departures.

Yeah, right. Where was the commentary on the beauty of the airport, its profound contrast with the decrepid and crowded old Don Muang? Where was the description of what must rank as one of the top five airport retail offers in the world? Where were the vox pops from the many passengers I overhead marvelling at the facilities? How about any pride in the marvellously Thai ‘Sense of Place’?

Answer? Those stories are good news – and good news so often is no news for the daily media. One needs to be objective at all times and certainly there were significant teething problems at Suvarnabhumi yesterday. But besides those experienced at the Hong Kong International and Kuala Lumpur International openings, Suvarnabhumi’s were modest. Maybe the reporter concerned should jump on a plane and do a whistle-stop tour of Asian airports – he might like what he sees on return to Suvarnabhumi very much.

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