February 15, 2005

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SCMP catches up on Kissel

The Robert Kissel murder has generated a huge amount of interest. Last week I noted the SCMP finally covering the upcoming case, 3 months after I had obtained the same information. Today "Spike" from the SCMP left this comment:

Why the bitchy tone Simon? You moan when the papers don't report the story and then you moan when they do...just because a piece of info apears on an obscure website, surely this does not preclude it being given a much wider audience in a newspaper at a later date?
I responded by saying the difference between news and history is in the timing. I'll leave it to you to decide if 3 months is a tight deadline for Hong Kong's premier English-language newspaper to report on the case. Where I really take issue is the second part of Spike's comment. "Obscure" this site may be, but that makes my beating them to the punch on this by three month even more embarrassing (not to mention Phil's extensive coverage as well). But does Spike's logic follow? No. Not at all.

Spike's implication is the SCMP has performed a service in its report by bringing the story to a wider audience. That's true...to some extent. The article is reproduced in the extended entry. It is a recap of the case with the details of the upcoming trial. There is not a single shred of new information in the article. Yet the editor felt it deserved a banner headline and the top spot above the fold on the front page. I'm glad the SCMP are finally starting to cover the case. I hope they continue to cover the case. But I hope they do so in a timely manner. That was my implication in my "bitchy" post. At least we seemed to have moved on from if they will report it to when. That's progress of a sort.

It begs a broader question. When does news cease to be news? It would seem according to Spike it is when a newspaper decides. Information is not exclusive. If it appears on an obscure website it is obviously not precluded from appearing in a newspaper as well. What is odd is when it appears in a prominant position in a hundred year old newspaper three months (and more) after the same information appeared on the obscure website of an amateur.

That's why the bitchy tone, Spike. It's all in the timing.

Wife of Merrill Lynch banker to stand trial for his murder

Niall Fraser

A woman accused of killing her husband, a top American banking executive, has been free on bail since November and will stand trial for his murder in three months' time.

Nancy Ann Kissel was released on bail after a closed-door Court of First Instance hearing before Mr Justice Michael Burrell on November 4.

Her release came almost a year after the body of her husband, Robert Kissel, was discovered near their luxury apartment in Parkview, Tai Tam.

Kissel was Asia-Pacific managing director of global principal products for banking giant Merrill Lynch.

Nancy Kissel, 40, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and the trial is due to start in the Court of First Instance on May 19 before Mr Justice Michael Lunn. The proceedings are expected to last at least 20 days.

A pre-trial review hearing has been set down for April 25.

The last public records of Kissel's progress through the courts were those of her non-appearance at two hearings before a magistrate in Eastern Court because she was unwell.

In June last year in Eastern Court, Kissel pleaded not guilty to murder and was remanded in custody. No bail application was made at that point and the case was transferred to the Court of First Instance.

On November 1, at a chambers hearing before Mr Justice Michael Burrell, Kissel was granted bail pending reports.

She was formally released on bail three days later.

It is understood that the couple's two daughters, who are aged nine and six, and their three-year-old son have returned to the United States.

posted by Simon on 02.15.05 at 01:43 PM in the Kissel category.


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That's why websites and blogs will continue to be a good alternative news source. When I wrote a story on my blog about the 'massive west Antarctic ice sheet is starting to collapse', I wondered why such a news story does not get headline status in newspapers. Newspapers and traditional media report what they like and what they think should be main news. Maybe the Antartic ice sheet will get headline status when it melts and many nations dissapear from the face of the earth. That would definately be the headline in the future.

posted by: IZ Reloaded on 02.15.05 at 02:29 PM [permalink]


What is the source for the story on the massive west Antarctic ice sheet that is starting to collapse. Sounds serious to me and I would like to read more about it. Can you provide a link?


posted by: kennycan on 02.15.05 at 06:54 PM [permalink]

Ken, here it is..

The ice is melting

posted by: IZ Reloaded on 02.15.05 at 08:38 PM [permalink]

Good for you, Simon. Looks like you touched a nerve.

And think how much better the SCMP is going to be now that you are required reading in the news room!

posted by: RP on 02.16.05 at 04:03 AM [permalink]

dear simon: keep this up.
it is my fervent belief that the sum total of all websites/blogs will eventuall supercede the influence of mainstream media. time is on our side. keep the faith.

posted by: eswn on 02.18.05 at 01:40 AM [permalink]

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