Why does this man insist on writing on music? And music that people really don't care about. It is almost as bad as his insistence on writing about Chinese food. Writing about music during the 'i' generation is a bit silly. I really don't want to know about an album that was made when my parents were teenagers. Heck, this sort of writing will alienate the newly-literate English speakers that the 'media' is targeting. There is a lot of good music from the 1965-1972 period where a substantial amount of writers think music began and ended. Take a recco from a poor blog writer - listen to Amy Winehouse and Pop Levi. Music hasn't died, it has just gone onto my iPod.
Anyway, that isn't the point of this post. I've had a couple of strange conversations with friends in the profession, and the theme is the same, the lament about where on earth Indian journalism is headed. Honestly, I have no answers to that to that question, but the rise of the 'Yo!' generation in the profession is fascinating to observe from my perch in the middle of the pile. And that is just TV. Print is a different ballgame altogether, and I'm not cribbing about bad copy. I'm fairly fortunate that most of my colleagues are people I can communicate with, even if it is talking about cellphones.
But the direction that journalism is taking is fascinating in some ways. If you watch any of the Hindi news channels in the afternoon - they are more entertaining than putting on Star Plus. India TV is like a daily soap opera that even Ektaa (she has two a's or is that three?) could not think up. At a fairly 'reputable' channel, one complaint a friend made was "The boss can't keep his zipper up, so you have a lunatic 26-year old running the show", and that has obviously led to a lot of the smarter people packing up and packing off.
It is even crazier sometimes at Press Events where everybody rushes for that 'one' bite and everybody misses the point. You sometimes wonder whether some news organisations, particular smaller, newer ones are becoming little more than repackaged Press Release shops. But what can you expect when things are growing at the pace that they are. Have we come to the nadir and now the only way we can go is up? I would like to believe so, but I don't think that will happen until a couple of organisations go under.
And deep inside, and this is despite the pathetic numbers I see, I really hope that the internet changes things for the better. I'm not saying that the internet will be a panacea for the Indian media circus. But, it might just change things for the better because of the way the internet is. But more on that in my next post.
EDIT : To quote The Economic Times recently...
"Jack Kerouac would have loved it, his typewriter being punched furiously but without the manic energy of drugs and jazz. The beatnik would have got the whole book just being on the roads of Delhi. The kill-a-day Bluelines and ramshackle DTC would have substituted for the terrific energy, and Delhi hapless people, at the mercy of the buses and government, would certainly have given the poetic push. And the honking cacophony of statements - by people, bus owners, government - would have equalled riffs of jazz. On The Road put together in Delhi."
This has to be other than the occasional article by a certain S.P in a certain magazine got to be the most fantastical opening paragraph I have read in years. Now, keep in mind the article is about Delhi's public transport system, how Jack Kerouac got involved, I still don't know. I don't know if this is someone trying to impress the world, but the article was a goddamn Page 1 anchor! Not an inside page hidden article.
I must starting smoking pot before I read the morning papers at this rate!