The funny thing with having a competitive news industry is that sometimes stories that appear in rival publications or television channels are almost drowned out. Unless of course the break is too big to ignore, when most rival papers just shrug and start follow-up reporting. Like this break by the Times of India yesterday. This story deserved to be a flyer and yesterday every TV channel was agog with the news, and Priyanka even went on record saying she 'did visit' Nalini in jail. So therefore this headline in The People's Daily of Chennai was bewildering. Personally, I thought it stank of sour grapes, but this headline implies that the 'First Daughter' of the country is a liar. The body copy is more rational, but the headline is worse. But then again, this is the People's Daily which insists that the Dalai Lama clique is guilty of terrorism and that we should play softy-softy with the Naxals. But of course, there is this Sunday ET headline which contradicts itself - growing during a recession? Aren't growth and recession mutually exclusive - this is economics no?
There has been a long and interesting history of how to save face when you miss a story and your editor calls you in to explain. There is the patented ToI/ET method, which I remember was told to me many years ago by a women who was then in ET - "If it has not appeared in ET, it isn't news", in response to why she lifted a story I had done for HT a month ago. Thankfully, said reporter isn't in ET anymore. There is the 'HT method' which is to deny everything that appeared in the Times, no matter how stupid you look - therefore when the Times questioned why Delhi's legislators were so lazy and got into trouble for printing public statistics because said lazy legislators did not like being called lazy, HT gleefully reported that the Times was hauled up. Of course, this is the same paper that until yesterday pretty much defended the insane BRT corridor (and if it wasn't for Delhi's Chief Secretary realising the chaos the BRT has led to, would have continued to defend it). And now we have the afore-mentioned method in The Hindu, which today according to a story in Mint are so scared of Times that they want to raise money by selling a small stake to Fairfax of Australia - the guys who run the Sydney Morning Herald among other papers.
In other news, we finally have the first edition of The Financial Chronicle - or at least a e-Paper since there might not be a Delhi edition for a while. Yes, and you have to login for the service, so I really don't care to read much beyond looking at the front page. The IPL fiasco has become more interesting, firstly with Lalit Modi being forced to back down by the newspapers, which has made the broadcasters who agreed to many of the terms upset - so now they are threatening to boycott the IPL, poor guys!I think the BCCI which can take on the ICC, Cricket Australia and the ECB has met its match with the Indian media. Anyway, come what may, I'll be in the clubhouse at Kotla on saturday to see the Delhi Daredevils take on the Rajasthan Royals (McGrath vs Warne!), so if any of you are coming there, I'll see you there.
And finally NewsX, I watched it for a while yesterday, and yes while the anchors might have English issues and some of them overcompensate by putting on fake accents, this is not a problem restricted to this channel - after all nobody can understand some anchors at Headlines Today (even in real life) and some achors at Undie and Rajdeep TV have 'issues' to put it bluntly. Liked the fact that the layout was clean, the anchorettes looked good and there were no talking head shows. I mean not that one would liked to see 'The Champagne Bathtub Chronicles' (Which led me to an interesting question, how many Champagne Baths would Rs 7.96 crore buy?), but so far so good. Not that I'm going to watch much. And I have one question for CNBC TV18, do they have a features anchor/reporter other than Shereen? Really, I think the poor girl is going to die soon with her workload!