Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dumbed Down or Really Amateur Writers?

Came across this Azg article about production in Armenia. I don't know if the author has dumbed down the content to the lowest common denominator or does Azg indeed print amateur articles? I think it could have been written in a little bit more sophisticated manner and yet accessible for the average Azg audience. Right now it's just a joke and adds no value to the casual reader.

Here is a sample of disturbing thoughts in the article:
- the implied thought that the investors may make investments through self-sacrifice (that is charity work, not investment);
- the implied thought that the Armenian citizens will buy a used Opel rather than a similar new Armenian made car (they will buy whatever is a better value for the money);
- basing the profit margins of the Armenian processed meat manufacturers on the GDP/budget inflows in Austria (it's so ridiculous that I just don't know what to say about this one);
- registering that the Armenian made raisins will cost more than the imported Iranian raisins and yet suggesting to drive out Chinese made shoes out of the Caucasus region with Armenian made shoes (after restoring the shoe production in Armenia).

What the author could have done was to gloss over some examples of the cost disparities in locally produced stuff and the imported competitors. Why does that happen? Explain to the reader. Then mention protectionist policies, dumping, WTO tariffs, and why it is wrong to have protectionist policies. After that, suggest the solution of having a competitive local industry through technology or knowledge cluster. Suggest a few areas that Armenia might be competitive in the world (pomegranate wine or mulberry vodka made and marketed as premium consumables, for example).

Articles like this should not underestimate the intelligence of the reader - add some value to them while entertaining. Don't insult their intelligence.

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