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Best foot forward

Enthralling?

The Kissel case seems to be getting widespread coverage around the world: US banker murder case enthrals Hong Kong according to The Guardian.  Well, I don't find it all that entralling, but then I don't live in the posh parts of Hong Kong island (where the Kissels lived) or work in a merchant bank. 

Regular readers of Flying Chair will know that Phil seemed at one stage to be the only source of English language information on the case (with Simon following up whilst Phil was too busy), with the Standard and SCMP ignoring it completely.  When the SCMP roused itself and printed a front page story at the start of the year, it merely repeated something that Simon had revealed three months earlier.

Phil and Simon were concerned that the trial itself might not be fully reported, and I think Simon tried to find someone who would provide reports for his site.  Then an apparently knowlegeable person stated that reporting on criminal cases was not allowed in Hong Kong.  In fact the case is being covered extensively by all the major Hong Kong newspapers, as well as being picked up by foreign titles such as The Guardian (presumably because of the expat angle).

However, ESWN seems surprised that a Google search for Kissel throws up Phil's and Simon's sites (and his own) ahead of news sites.  This seems to echo ESWN's earlier comment to one of Simon's posts about "blogging superceding the influence of mainstream media", but in this case he feels that it's unfair:

Whatever happened to justice in the Internet age?  The best coverage comes from reporters like Albert Wong of The Standard and Polly Hui of South China Morning Post , who show up day in and day out in the courtroom.  Why should a bunch of bloggers banging on their keyboards in the comfort of their homes or offices soar to the top of the world's most popular seach engine?

Well, who said life was fair?  Phil and Simon were upset because they feel that they were covering this story when the mainstream media (in English at least) were ignoring it, but the truth is that Google neither knows nor cares about that.  Blogs get prominent positions on Google because of the number of links, not because of the quality of the coverage.  Anyway, if you want to limit your search to news sites you can do just that, and there's no sign of any pesky bloggers.  The irony here is that by doing that you would miss out on ESWN's translations of what the local Chinese-language press have been saying about the case.

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