Wednesday, December 07, 2005

When a dog bites a man...

Journalism is going to dogs, literally! Please read this article published today in Mid-Day. The so called yellow-journalism seems to be taking over not just tabloids but the reputed newspapers as well and once respected papers like Times of India are going The New York Banner way (Fountainhead) with lots of scandals, gossip and melodramatically concocted headlines.

As a kid, I have heard people advising their children to read editorials from Times of India, if they want to improve their English vocabulary. While that might be still true to some extent, the only thing they might end up learning after reading the paper is what Bipasha Basu likes for her breakfast and how Sachin Tendulkar is the savior of Indian cricket or why he should quit playing altogether (depending on the mood of the writer). The extent of playing to the gallery seems to have gone so far, that it was no wonder the news of Amrita Preetam's death was pushed to some obscure corner and the coverage it received was way less than any other "newsworthy" story like Ms. Amrita Arora spraining her ankle or denying a relationship.

Electronic media is a step or two ahead and in a rat-race of becoming "Sabse Tej" (the fastest) will leave no stone unturned, even if that means barging into I.C.U. to interview the ailing superstar of yesteryears. Thankfully, the vernacular newspapers - at least the reputed ones like Loksatta (Marathi) and Mumbai Samachar (Gujarati), are not getting carried away and are still in touch with the local problems. I hope that's a sign that mentality of our society as a whole is not as crooked as it might appear if one reads the so called leaders of the fourth column.


Apurv said...

c'mon, mid-day is an open tabloid and they're covering what a tabloid ought to be covering. what are you complaining about? it's like saying.. 'sheesh. look at that plane, it's flying!' what else should a plane do if not fly?

Nandan said...

I agree Apurv, no point complaining about Mid-day. However, I wanted to write about the sorry state of TOI for a long time and this mid-day article just gave me a point to start.

Sudhu said...

Excellent post Nandan, was planning to do the same... unleashing my rage on the state of the newspaper reports these days.
That mid-day post would have been hilarious had it been in a blog. (Blog about a Dog!). Thousands of people (including I) write such useless stuff on blogs, but that is what differentiates between an article in the papers and the ones in the blogs. Bloggers dont have responsibilities, journalists do, bcoz they get paid for it :) and coz we pay for the newspaper.
I was peeved to see 3 whole pages dedicated to the feat of Sachin (35 centuries) when Lara crossing Border's mark got half page coverage. As a child, the only section in the paper i used to read was the Sports Section. Now that its only filled with cricket, it saves my time, 3 less pages to read!
The Hindu, btw, along with the editorial (which is becoming biased) also publishes some interesting articles by renowned personalities (renowned in the subject of discussion) and columns of foreign journalists, which make an interesting read.

How are the papers in the US?

Nandan said...

Local papers here are not as good. Too much focus on the city and county news, I feel. International news seldom gets the coverage it deserves; of course the renowned papers of East coast being the exceptions to some extent.

One more example which I forgot to mention in my hurriedly written post was Indian express management publishing a special supplement when Bal Thackeray (whose policies and speeches are condemned by all editors of Express group) turned 75. One might wonder, if this was the same management who dared to publish a blank editorial when emergency was imposed.

shashank said...

nice post.
the times group is the worst among equals in the print media, in my opinion. they just don't care about society.
btw, there is a community on orkut "Times of India sucks" if anyone likes to join.