You can find it here
I’m here in Kuala Lumpur helping with our coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which crashed Thursday in the east Ukraine region of Donetsk — just a few months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I traveled to Bangkok to help out with our coverage following the May 22 military coup.
Here are links to a few of the stories I worked on:
- Turmoil Costing Thailand Conference Business
- Thailand Sees Widespread Facebook Outage
- Social-Media Companies Skip Meeting With Thai Junta
- Thai Junta Says Facebook, Google Meetings Called Off
And, perhaps most memorably:
Anti-coup protesters in Thailand are adopting a symbol of resistance from a science fiction movie in which citizens struggle against a tyrannical government in a dark, dystopian future.
A few dozen demonstrators on Sunday gathered in a flash-mob style protest at a Bangkok shopping mall, where many held anti-army signs and raised their hands in a three fingered salute aimed at nearby troops.
The gestures were similar to those used by heroine Katniss Everdeen and other characters in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” a globally popular movie based on one of Suzanne Collins’s hit trilogy of books. Western films and other popular culture are widely consumed in Thailand.
To hear me discussing the three-fingered “Hunger Games” salute, see the WSJ Live video embedded above and online here.
And finally, for more on the Facebook issue, see this story I wrote just a few days ago:
A chance encounter in Jakarta with legendary Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was merely an exhilarating byproduct of my recent Indonesia trip.
I traveled there to cover the debut of BlackBerry’s new low-cost, Foxconn-made smartphone, which it released in Indonesia as part of a high-stakes turnaround plan.
The story includes snippets from my interview with Chief Executive John Chen, and begins:
BlackBerry Ltd.’s latest stab at keeping its storied brand alive is starting here, at a launch event for its $191 smartphone, in the capital city of Indonesia.
The phone maker based in Waterloo, Ontario, unveiled its latest handset, dubbed the Z3, before several hundred people in a packed five-star hotel ballroom on Tuesday. An Indonesian hip-hop trio warmed up the crowd before BlackBerry’s new chief executive, John Chen, took the stage to introduce the phone.
The Z3 represents a number of firsts for BlackBerry, which recently replaced its chief executive and revamped its corporate strategy, after failing to find a buyer for its struggling business.
I also wrote a post with more color from the launch event.
Yesterday marked three weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing.
For the latest news, keep an eye on our streaming MH370 updates.
Meanwhile, I spent some in time Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere helping with our coverage, and wanted to share a few of the stories I worked on.
First, I helped out with an in-depth narrative piece telling the stories of some of the people on board on the flight.
The story begins:
As night fell last Friday in Kuala Lumpur, businessman Philip Wood hurried to gather his bags for a trip to Beijing. He had confused the dates, but his girlfriend in China texted him to make sure he got on the plane.
A group of Chinese artists capped off their exhibition at a local cultural center in Malaysia’s capital city with a day of sightseeing and a banquet lunch of duck soup, fried shrimp and pork in brown sauce.
Norli Akmar Hamid finished packing for her long-overdue honeymoon and posted a photograph on Facebook of her cat trying to sneak into her suitcase. The cat chewed the lining near the administrative assistant’s neatly folded blue T-shirt and beige towel.
All of them boarded Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU -2.08% Flight 370 late Friday night and flew away shortly after midnight in the tropical night sky toward Beijing. Soon after, the widebody Boeing 777 jet carrying 239 people vanished from radar screens.
The flight manifest included Americans, Australians, Indians and passengers from a host of other countries. There were more than 150 Chinese on board, many of them tourists who belong to China’s burgeoning middle class. A country between Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia has emerged in recent years as a major transit hub and tourist destination for globe-trotting travelers.
Flight 370 took off carrying 239 life stories, each filled with moments big and small, ordinary lives soon to be swept up in a tragic mystery. Now, as the hopes for a miracle fade by the day, memory transforms the random and routine into the meaningful and momentous.
I encourage you to read the whole thing.
Separately, I wrote a short piece on pilots and aviation buffs sharing their musings on Flight 370 via blogs, Facebook, Tweets, and more.
I also helped with a story about chaotic scenes as Chinese relatives of missing passengers were separated from the media by security personnel.
In the video embedded at the top of this post and on YouTube here, I discussed the scene and some video I shot.
And finally, in the video embedded above and on YouTube here, I participated in a live Google Hangout with our Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Patrick McDowell, and aviation expert Harro Ranter to answer readers’ questions about Flight 370.
And if you don’t already, follow me on Twitter, as I’ve been posting frequently Flight 370-related updates there.
— Newley Purnell (@newley) February 26, 2014
I’ve been remiss in sharing some of my recent stories here.
In case you you missed it last month, I wrote an in-depth piece on Singapore’s increasingly lively startup scene.
Click through for an interactive feature on some Singapore-specific apps and a rundown of some local tech companies — and some potential challenges to the industry.
Next up: How I’ve helped out with Malaysia Flight 370 coverage. Stay tuned…
Quick note to share a WSJ story I helped out on Thursday about challenges Facebook may face in Asia following its acquisition of WhatsApp:
Facebook Inc. ‘s $19 billion deal for WhatsApp in part is a move to bolster the U.S. company’s position abroad.
But in Asia—which has the world’s largest, and possibly most avid, social-media audience—Facebook still has its work cut out for it.
That is because in Asia, even more than on Facebook’s home turf, the big, growing social-media market is on mobile phones. And if Facebook wants to be as dominant on smartphones in Asia as it has been on personal computers, WhatsApp will need to lure users away from three popular apps in the region: Naver Corp.’s Line, Tencent Holdings Ltd. ‘s WeChat and Kakao Corp.’s Kakao Talk.
Visit WSJD for more stories on the deal.
I’ll be working as Tech Reporter, Southeast Asia, based in Singapore. I’m excited to work with some of the very smartest people in the journalism world, covering important issues in this dynamic, populous region.
Posts will likely be few and far between in the immediate future, but normal programming will resume shortly.
As ever, thanks for reading.
Some posts you might’ve missed if you don’t follow me on Twitter, where I
self-promote link to my work more often:
- A Chinese province is trying to solve its labor problems with robots
- Thailand’s latest political crisis is ratings gold for its many partisan TV stations
- How do you disrupt the finances of an Islamist group whose name means “Western education is sinful?”
- As protests rage, Thailand admits its rice subsidy scheme was perhaps a terrible idea
- Why a Thai noodlemaker is feeling Hungary
- What the fatal plane crash in Laos tells us about the rapid growth of aviation in Southeast Asia
The story is up now over at NewYorker.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think.