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How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/22/2008 5:42 AM

Italian press has decided to change its direction and save Naples' reputation after having shown all over the world its trash.

Yesterday news were talking about the industry in Naples: Naples aerospace, the gold factories; things everybody knows in Italy: we know what Alenia Spazio is doing in aerospace field in the Naples area, we know how Southern Italy is busy in infrastructure creation and new businesses set up, but what good news does all over the world receive by Italy?

Some months ago I was receiving e-mails by my US friends telling me "You are lucky, you don't live in Naples".

Unfortunately in Sicily we have other problems: one of them is called mafia.

Never heard about?

Hearing that I come from Sicily my US colleagues are usually saying: Sicily? The godfather!

Recently I attended a conference in Chicago, I was one of the speaker and everybody were astonished hearing I was coming from Riesi, a little town in the centre of the Sicily, and my company is working in important projects like ALICE with CERN… unbelievable!

When the moderator of my session asked me: "why to set up a firm in Sicily? You have nothing!"

I answered "Sicily is not only mafia and cannoli, no more!".

We have a semiconductor park (ST Microelectronics) and the excellence of nuclear physics in Catania (INFN-LNS), petrochemical field is growing again thanks ERGMED-LUKOIL joint venture in Priolo (Syracuse) and last but not least Aerospace is growing in the Palermo area thanks GALILEO AVIONICA.

Expertise in my company grew up here during the last 15 years, it grew up in Sicily which is famous everywhere for mafia and wonderful sightseeing, nothing else.

EASY TO CREATE STEREOTYPES, the most difficult is to brake them!

I hope Naples will be saved but what will happens to Sicilian businesses?

I think we are not very good marketing ourselves mainly because of press prefers "bad news".

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Anonymous Poster
#1

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 12:27 AM

The press here is doing their own form of making an icon, Obama is his name and he is an incompetent nincompoop. but the media has chosen him as our next president irregardless of qualifications.

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#9
In reply to #1

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 2:24 PM

What you have done here is exactly what you accuse the press of. You create a gross oversimplification of a mind numbingly complex subject (such as the behavior of a human being), and then package that caricature in a few insulting words. Naples is a grubby mess. Sicily is a remote unsophisticated backwater run by the Mafia. Obama is an incompetent nincompoop. This kind of sloppy shorthand is not surprising - it is the currency in which most political discussion occurs. The mastery of the imprecise use of language is an important tool for people who want to deceive, or who want to be deceived. If what you say is vague enough you will never be proved wrong.

Somehow I guess that you don't follow news and politics very much, because if you did you would have noticed by now that the press likes to build up a candidate for a while, call them the front runner, and then if they do start to pull ahead they tear them down. The media does have a bias but it is not generally so much left v right as it is excitement v information. Right now we are in the part of the cycle where the media is building Obama up. Two months ago we had five weeks of Rev. Wright, and the press informed us that Obama was mortally wounded. He had been pulling too far ahead of Hillary and the media wanted to keep that race going to boost their ratings.

In another two months if Obama is too far ahead of McCain, you'll probably hear the press get fixated on terrorist attacks and change the story to his 'youth and inexperience'. If McCain is pulling ahead you'll start to hear more about his age and mis-statements. The pundits will tell us that it's an open secret around the senate that he's actually an incompetent nincompoop when it comes to foreign policy, but they let him claim to be an expert out of respect for his past heroism and out of fear of his volcanic temper tantrums. They always have a 'story' to tell, usually a grossly oversimplified one, and then they come up with a short catchy 'name' for the story. So the real facts get shoehorned into a convenient story line, the story line gets crammed into a buzzword. Political discussions become strings of buzzwords.

Most news people are what we would call educated - they have gone to college and earned a degree in something (probably journalism). Since most polling show Obama leading among 'educated' voters, it would be surprising if were not the personal favorite among journalists. But as a group the news media is a completely different beast. What ever values and beliefs they may have as individuals, as a group the have all the moral stature of the crowd of kids behind the high school gym chanting 'fight...fight...fight'. The news does have a clear bias - keep the excitement at a fever pitch so you'll stick around for the Viagra and Geico commercials.

So is Obama an incompetent nincompoop? He doesn't appear to be. I heard him speak a few times and I've never heard him show his ignorance by using a non-word like 'irregardless'. He may not be (as some have claimed) the greatest orator of our time, but he is certainly a very competent speaker. He appears to be able to think on his feet. My understanding is that he has a fairly good education.

Maybe you don't like him, maybe you have some valid reasons for your dislike, and maybe you believe that he would not make a good president, but your case would be stronger if you had something more concrete to offer than the unsubstantiated assertion that he is a poopoohead.

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Anonymous Poster
#2

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 3:14 AM

Hey don't get to down about naples and the press

Often the opposite to what the press reports is what the people hear.

When the press report the capture or trial of mafia, they often make the place seem bad but most people I know are really happy to hear that there are really honest people there too, and that the place isn't how the press are presenting it because these people have sort out the evil and destroyed it. We see these things as not just little victories but physical demonstrations that Sicily really is a nice place with nice people.

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#3

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 6:55 AM

Hello Rosy

I always thought the local name for the gangsters was not the 'Mafia', but the 'Cosa Nostra'.

Kind Regards....

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 7:28 AM

Hi Spark,

evil has several names...the hope is it will stop existing.

Rosy

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#5

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 8:07 AM

yeah, that's the american stereotype for Sicily. Of course a lot of Europeans think that New York is all NYC. I've heard about the problems in Naples and that the Roma are having a hard time in Italy. Beyond that I think that the more reading one does and the better the education, especially in critical thinking, the less likely stereotypes are to take hold.

On the other hand people seem to try to simplify their lives by catagorizing things, including other people. So stereotypes persist.

But I have to ask, what on earth is CERN doing in Sicily? Seems to be a rather remote corner of the world for particle physics.

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 9:19 AM

I agree stereotypes are an ugly thing. You loose some of your "freeness of speech" on this topic by applying stereotypes in your signature line.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 11:20 AM

I assume you mean Rosy's quote? If so, it's a quote by a guy about the battle of the sexes. It's funny, for pity's sake! Get a sense of humor and loose the chip on your shoulder - it does nothing for your wardrobe.

Oh, and get an account too. If you're going to flame somebody you out to have the brass to leave your name.

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Eric
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#8
In reply to #7

Re: How the Reputtion of a Place Can Be Destroyed by the Press

07/23/2008 2:16 PM

Thanks for defending my quote...good answer!

Anyway just answering briefly to your previous question, it could be too much "off topic", we produce mechanical components for some University from US working with CERN in the ALICE project.

Bye,

Rosy

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Anonymous Poster (3); ca1ic0cat (2); johnfotl (1); Rosy (2); Sparkstation (1)

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