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Pirates block Britain's bid to rule waves (Daily Mail 16 Aug 11)


War Hero
Sorry WLS I still think this is sloppy reporting and hiding it in the business pages hasn't helped.

IMO it isn't balanced, it is just a 2nd rate piece of regurgitation of published (elsewhere) facts and a few added comments from assorted officials and pundits. The editorial "balance" you suggest would come in the analysis and there isn't a lot of that in this article. In fact I would go so far as to say it is more than a bit thin, it is glaringly threadbare in places - starting with the not-so-Gucci graphics.

How can you have 362 reported hostages under the left hand Somalia column (implying total hostages taken during the entire reporting period) yet there are 377 hostages currently being held (right hand column) - if they haven't been reported how do you know they are there?

Whether the mistake is by the ICC/IMB or by the Mail Graphics department or by the writer himself (Hugo Duncan) is irrelevant - it SHOULD have been picked up before publication.

In summary - definitely up to the usual standards of the Daily Mail which is either long on vitriol and short on substance or, as in this case, just sheer lazy.
According to the IMB website, the figure for hostages currently held should be 355 instead of 377 so it looks like a careless typo:

Please see below figures for piracy and armed robbery incidents as reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in 2011.

Worldwide Incidents: updated on 18 Aug 2011
Total Attacks Worldwide: 314
Total Hijackings Worldwide: 31

Incidents Reported for Somalia:
Total Incidents: 178
Total Hijackings:22
Total Hostages: 362
Total Killed: 7

Current vessels held by Somali pirates:
Vessels: 18
Hostages: 355
This minor error doesn't affect the gist of the the article which appears balanced, informative and timely. I hope the message is starting to get through.


War Hero
I'm not saying the article isn't "balanced" - I am saying that the balance has stuff all to do with the Daily Mail editorial contribution. All the journo has done is collate a series of numbers (not very effectively) and a number of quotes and comments from external sources. There is no "publisher's slant" so the balance is simply the facts speaking for themselves.

I suppose there should be SOME credit to the Daily Mail in that they haven't tried to score any cheap points out of it.
This was why I linked it. The business pages are the most balanced part of the entire newspaper and don't usually go for the hysterical approach like the front bit does. It's pretty much left alone to get on with the job.

It serves as a nice reminder why the RN is so important to the UK and was why I was surprised it didn't get a mention on the Defence Media analysis.
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