05 October 2005

Stupid Press

Yes, yes, I'm supposed to be away, but I thought I'd just pop back in here to provide another example of why you should be Very Careful when you read the local newspapers. Today the Business Times has an article with the title:

Asia is home to world's best and worst cities

However, when you read the article, you see that what it actually says is this :
(SINGAPORE) The Asia-Pacific region boasts some of the world's most liveable cities but also a number of the most wretched capitals on earth, according to a survey. Melbourne came in second and three other Australian cities - Perth, Adelaide and Sydney - were in the top 10 in a global list compiled by research firm the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Vancouver in western Canada topped the list. Also among the 10 best cities were Vienna, Geneva, Zurich, Toronto and Calgary.

The headline tells us that Asia is home to the world's best cities. But from the article we learn that it is actually Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney which feature in the world's top 10 cities. And none of these 4 cities are cities in Asia. The Business Times has confused Asia with Asia-Pacific.

In fact, there is no Asian city that features among the top 15. Tokyo comes in at No. 16, while Osaka and Kobe share the No. 20 spot. Hong Kong was ranked 41st while Seoul and Singapore tied for 54th place.

So the Business Times title is not very credible at all. In fact, it is quite misleading. Asia may indeed be home to the world's worst cities, but it cannot really claim to be home to the world's best cities.


tscd said...

Hmmm...maybe I should relocate to Australia after all.

Beach-yi said...

My oh my, is it telling that Singapore with a population of 4 million plus ties in the same spot with Seoul with a population of 10.3 million at the 54th spot.(Note, land area between both cities are about the same I think)

While Sydney with about 3 million plus people (and the NSW State pollies are screaming that it's filled to the Brim already) is at one of the top spots...

I am feeling a Molly meekish headache coming on.

Jiankai said...

I always wonder about this kind of surveys...

How many people actually do live a substantial period of time in many different cities to come up with a decent conclusion?

Probably it's just some people putting numbers on the cities

Missing My Friends said...

I think the question of whether Australia is Pacific or Asia is less clear-cut then you have made it out. But then again, this issue has been debated for years and is still being debated without any clear conclusion.

Interestingly enough, the Oz have been taking a more active role in Asia and its regional economic organizations, as well as interest in Indonesia's terrorist networks. A sign of change?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

I think that it is quite telling that:

(1) the article itself says that the Asia-Pacific region has some of the best cities;


(2) the title says Asia has some of the best cities.

And what do you think is the immediate impression that the title gives readers, about the world's best cities?

Is this impression consistent with the actual facts reported in the article?

Anonymous said...


Mr Wang:10; Straits Time: 0

Kena....again and again...

Again....and again....Kena

The Distinction between

Asia is home to world's best and worst cities.


The World is home to Asia's best and worst cities.


Good job


Tattler said...

"(SINGAPORE) The Asia-Pacific region boasts some of the world's most liveable cities but also a number of the most wretched capitals on earth, according to a survey..."

The word used is "Asia-Pacific", so who's mistake is it?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

The night-duty sub-editor, of course. It's the sub-editor who thinks of titles for articles.