Monday, June 09, 2008

Edit - Comment

While HT has spent a bomb on marketing the new 'HT City', they probably will spend next to nothing marketing their re-branded Editorial page, now called the 'Comment' page. I was a bit taken aback to see the page, but I really did enjoy Amitav Ghose's piece on his new book. The edit page is an interesting page for most papers, it is usually read by very few readers and I will admit that I just glance through the edit pages, only bothering to go through them very occasionally. However, the people who do read them are a fairly vocal bunch, and while I found the humour in the 'Why?' piece (undoubtedly Indi Hazra) asumsing, I don't know if people will take to it quite well. I can't get a full-page screen shot, you could check out the HT ePaper's 'Comment' page. If I were HT, I would have set up an interactive section on the front page of the website and elcit views from readers, not print outraged latters the next day. I don't know how the redesign will progress, when instead of interesting pieces by the only Stephanian author of note you have boring paeans to Mrs G and Surdie-Boy. Anyway, but for the time being, I like, and attached is a screengrab and below, Indi's tongue-in-cheek explanation, which as usual on a media site, did not have a link, so has been cut-and-pasted from the ePaper where paragraph breaks do not seem to exist!


Er, what the hell's happened to this page?

It's called a makeover.

It looks like dumbing down to me! Why is the worthy Hindustan Times going down this road to perdition?

You said the same thing about having photos on this page some nine years ago. And having Amitav Ghosh is not dumbing down, silly

I don't know about all this. I still don't know the fate of the nuclear deal, how to tackle inflation and what the percentage of India's Gujjar population is.

No one, not even the government knows those things. But don't worry, all those things and much more will continue to be written about with utter seriousness.

I have a strong feeling that now we'II be bombarded with commentaries on Aamir Khan's blog entries and Beyonce's food habits.

But aren't those the sort of things you also keenly follow?

Neh-ver! And certainly not on this page.

You sure seem to know that Aamir has a blog and that Beyonce eats in these global food crisis days.An-e bhai, don't worry There'll be politics, economics and border dispute pieces written with words like 'insomuch' and 'suo motu' too.

And what happens to the seriousness of the page, eh?

Well, if you think a better-looking page with a more flexible design robs the page of its seriousness, you can always switch to...

Oh dear...

I rest my case.

Call me old-fashioned, incredibly intellectual and semi-retired, but I don't like the idea of reading an edit page that has a weekly column as moronic as this one.

Oh, there'll be others, I'm afraid. But you'll always have the choice of opting for at last one 'serious' piece every day. Why, I hear that someone's writing in favour of the anti-Naxal Salwa Judum tomorrow. That'll be something new.

You mean the page will continue to carry pieces that deal with solving india's corruption problem, judicial reforms and caste politics?


Don't say: I can't differentiate my elbow from my gravitas!

Do say: Oh my God! I can actually understand what's written on this page.


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