Tuesday, September 16, 2008

General Rants.

Has anybody noticed that a couple of papers have very quietly increased their news-stand prices over the past few days? The cost of newsprint is beginning to hit home hard, particularly with salary budgets for editorial being massively overshot (primarily because they were unreasonably low in the first place). Anyway, on the gossip front the latest concerns Outlook Group, and the gist of the story goes that the group is up for saleand that the old, bespectacled man who runs the place wants to go and start something new all over again. Yawn!
Anyway, Mint and CNBC-TV18's coverage of the global meltdown yesterday was far superior to that of the competition simply because they happened to have the 'alliances' in place. I think CNBC-TV18 did the smartest thing by switching over to US markets coverage instead of boring the world with their evening schedule and Mint's coverage today was brilliant. Though, I do think that it was a particularly unfortunate day for Morgan Stanley to place a front-page advert in both ET and Mint. Though, personally, my favourite story in Mint today was buried deep inside. Great feature and with the general interest news-magazines obsessed with Bollywood and Lifestyle, I guess the papers will take over the highly readable social interest features space.
I don't know why, but Mint is slowly becoming great lazy afternoon reading - still doesn't quite fit into the essential morning read category for me, but definately a paper to chew over - and it freshens your breath as well.
No wait...
As for the comment that seeing pictures of death and devastation will help us grow balls, I don't think so. Here is the problem, thanks to mass media pictures of death and devastation has made many of us immune to pictures of suffering, we all live with thirty-second attention spans. Heck, I don't know what I started writing this post on - "Oh shit, people dead... Damn Liverpool is winning over Man U... She slept with whom?" Those are our lives, we mourn if we have to mourn, but the rest of the world carries on.
I just think that some channels went overboard on Saturday, they added to the panic and confusion - created scrums at Hospitals blocking entrances for medical personnel and blast victims and generally were a nuisance. Maybe something good will happen out of the market meltdown, meybe some investors will start pulling out - maybe we'll see 400 channels instead of 500.

4 comments:

J said...

So our over exposure to death via mass media is desensitizing the Indian public.
How could anyone possibly get out of this fix?
Cz it's gonna be a like a vicious cycle with TRP's etc thrown in.

Anonymous said...

The Mint coverage of the meltdown in Wall Street is not just because of what they pick from the Wall Street Journal... they also have two excellent senior editors -- Niranjan Rajadhyaksha and Manas Chakraborty -- who have written brilliant pieces on the issue. Apart from the great columns they carry from Bloomberg etc...

Sushant Kumar said...

Hey I wouldn't completely agree with what u've said, Media people going overboard about the blasts is reasonable. We have a reason to be angry at our lazy old apathetic politicians. I was near CP when the blasts went off. People were terrified. I might not look the same way on TV. And yes there are people saying "Only 25 have died". According to many it is small incident as the no: of deaths were less than what we've had in past. But look at the importance of life here. Atleast we'll have better security measures from now, hoping our agencies learn lessons.

Anonymous said...

K, I beg to differ on your view that CNBC was ahead of eveyone in their coveage of the Lehman, Merrill events. UTVi was in fact the first to pick it up. They even changed their programming schedule that day to specially track the US markets. Their tie-up with ABC News also helped them stay on top of the news. And I will say that the quality of their coverage was much btter than CNBC's. Their banking coverage is very strong and they had worked out the India impact much ahead of the others. Could bird-brain Latha Venkatesh have managed that? Certainly not. CNBC woke up to the bloodbath on Wall Street a good 45 minutes after UTVi started covering it. To the extent that CNBC has a 55% market share compared to UTVi's 10%, the perception will of course be that CNBC was the first and that it covered the news better.