When a newspaper and a news wire tell a totally different story on a company's annual report, I know something must be going wrong in one side.
So here is the story. When China Southern Airline, China's second-biggest airlines by sales, disclose the annual result of 2004, a Hong Kong local newspaper reported the result in a net profit of 94 million yuan, while Bloomberg, a financial news wire, said a net loss of 48 million yuan citing the burden of surging oil costs.
Amy is curious to dig into the company's website to get the real result, and it is here. Bloomberg is right that the Airline lost money last year, while the unlinkable South China Morning Post is totally wrong.
The PR person in the China Southern Airline might be happy to see the story on the largest local English newspaper. They may careful cut the story down from the paper and post it on their own records, with some note such as "Our great PR job".
The reporter in the newspaper said that the mistake is caused by his inexperience in reading simplified Chinese, which is in different form from the popular traditional Chinese in Hong Kong, though I would like to call it an "unavoidable" mistake in the newspapers.
Newspaper itself suffers most from the popularity of online news and blogs. Michael Eliott, the Editor of Time Asia, said that he already knew newspaper will be the victim in the Internet era, instead of the magazine, because the latter's quality is better. Newspaper's revenues grows up slowly, leading many experienced reporters leaving for other better-paid positions such as Public Relation person and financial analysts. In that case, how you expect some entry-level or inexperienced reporters to bring in-depth or right stories to the readers?
If the circle is like that, guess what will happen at last?