Paper

As far as I remember, my family has been a loyal subscriber of The Hindu.

When I was a kid I used to wait for Saturdays. Young World was just amazing. Eureka and the column where we have to join dots and colour (Hope it was named “Colour Me” or “Crayon Corner” not quite sure) were my favorites.

I collected all the copies of Young World that I could get hold of, under my bed. Later (that’s after a year or so) I used to again read it. My collection became so big that it changed the shape of my bed. My cleanliness obsessive Amma one day sold it off to that guy who takes crap and gives money.

I was 10. I cried.

I again collected.

Amma again made money.

One day morning when I took up the paper, I saw that the font had changed. Every article had a tag beneath their Heading. I liked the new style of the paper.

Later, Know Your English, Opinion (on Wednesdays) and Magazine became my favorites. Opinion was a supplement then, which was later squeezed into a page.

When we moved over to Kochi, we stayed with mema (amma’s sister) and family. They subscribed The New Indian Express.

A piece of crap.

The same crap at school library.

Not only was the content crap. The newspaper was made out of cheap quality paper. Like that of P.C. Thomas’s. I hate cheap quality paper. An eye-sore they are.

I missed my paper.

Achchan used to bring The Economic Times from his office. I liked the color. The financial News made no sense to me. It had (hope still has) a glossy supplement – “Brand Equity”. I utilized it for covering my school notebooks. Notebook cover made out of glossy paper stays long. Common sense.

I remember reading an article about inflation. It had a still from Pukar. Anil Kapoor holding Ayshwarya’s leg. Her legs were perpendicular to each other. I assumed they are the X-axis and Y-axis of the graph.

Then I left for college. My first year room-mates - one Bangalore based Bengali and one Mumbai based Mumbaikar introduced me to another piece of crap – The Times Of India. This is the most circulated crap in India it seems.

From the second year in college, you can choose your room-mate. So you can choose your paper as well.

I got back my paper. My paper used to gracefully come in at 10:30 am, bringing along with it all the bliss into our room. It so happens that, in NITK there is a mafia for everything. Newspaper Mafia, Stolen Mobiles Mafia, Dhobi Mafia are examples. These Mafias have monopoly in their respective sectors in NITK.

Paper coming in at 10:30 am is ok with us NITKians. We kind of get up most of the days when we hear the paper-push beneath the door.


In the NITK saloon, I saw a copy of Tehelka for the first time.

I took it up with respect.

And put it down with disgust.


Thus I had 3 years of The Hindu in my college. I could easily relate to Slice of Life, The Shashi Tharoor Column was never truer, The Other Half was too complaining.
She said women are not properly represented in the Research and Development stream of the nation. I mailed Kalpana Sharma; women have better right brain while men have better left. I gave the example of my college (410 guys and 40 girls). She was not happy with me. This was evident in her column the next week.


Come to Bangalore. Every morning I get to see the TOI crap. My company does get The Hindu. But they keep it in the Fourth Floor. (Ya I do have a life outside my company, but I am a miser.)

I do it the Software Engineer way - get RSS feeds.


Now, if crap is indeed crap why is it circulated so well?

Let’s get things into perspective.

Vinod Mehta says it is profit making strategies.

Kushwant Singh tells us it is no more Political Journalism, instead Journalistic Politics.

Well as Magazines, I respect Frontline and Outlook.
For they are edited by real Men.

They say Newspapers is the mirror of the nation.
They are powerful.
They make democracy successful.
But we get to see that they are vulnerable as well.

Abdul Kalam says
Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?


My friend showed me this. I can understand that these are also supposed to be published in a neutral paper. I am concerned about the significance the paper gives to such articles.


Its not that The Hindu is an all time good newspaper. They once published a photograph in the front page. The body of a martyr Jawan being dragged by two other Indian Jawans. People sent in letters and the paper apologized.


I think Vinod Mehta has the last say,
…. content is a calculated mix of what the reader wants and what he does not want. The trick is to marry the two to make great journalism and big profits...


P.S. TOI has come out with this Unlock Bangalore thingee. I am quite impressed :)

3 comments:

karthik said...

Although I too have the same view of the Hindu, currenlty the it is the season of hindu bashing for their pro-china stand. I havent seen a pro-hindu blog in sometime now...
http://churumuri.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/when-a-newspaper-is-no-longer-a-newspaper/
http://www.hvk.org/articles/0900/52.html
http://friendsoftibet.org/save/
http://churumuri.wordpress.com/2006/05/30/under-n-ram-the-hindu-becomes-a-sorry-paper/

On a parting note,If you detest TOI then check this out!!!!
http://adformula.blogspot.com/2007/06/deccan-chronicle-bolder-and-better.html

Prajeesh said...

churumuri one- I read that a few weeks ago, probably thats what made me post this. Yes, The Hindu does commit mistake and the Kirloskar thing is business as usual.
adformula-when i read it I thought he is being sarcastic, well his comment proved me wrong.
Well what can I say. The ad puts the point across that we will get to see both the sides of all issues reported. I have nothing against DC putting up an ad like that (ya feminists will complain about commoditising women). Let them advertise the way they want. Its what they report and how they do it that matters. "Exciting News" is exciting enough but does that achieve the purpose of a Newspaper other than profit-making ?

karthik said...

Based on your comment....I see that a lot is considered acceptable in society.(The ad being a case in point)
Whether its TOI/DC versus Hindu, IPL cricket versus Test Matches, Or even Pop music against Classical.. there seems to be a strong justification in taking the easier path. Just wondering where will all this dilution in quality lead us to?