It has been a veritable rumour fest since the morning, if I do my math properly every single job in the Indian media industry will be wiped out by the middle of next week. Sure, we've seen a lock-out and we are all getting strange indications that things are wrongs - like suggestions to cut down on colour prints, reductions in evening and night drops or cutting out the evening snacks.
Different offices, different solutions. Personally, I'm really not that worried for my job, but I do know of some people who are, I knew people who got locked out at Sakaal, and I'm pretty sure that Sakaal won't be the end of the bad news. You know how bad news, the really bad news usually begins with something a lot smaller - Bear Stearns for the financial markets, Sakaal in Indian media. I hear that things at a couple of television channels are so bad that operating cash is running dangerously low and there may not be enough money to pay salaries in 2009. At least five recently launched publications are on the verge of being throttled back, maybe even shut down. It is very bad it appears. How bad is it going to get?
Well, I don't know and I despite my dire predictions a couple of lines previously I really don't think it is going to get that bad, but I do know this much - if you are a student in a media institute, this is not going to be a good year for placements anywhere. And you know what, I really do feel sorry for the kids who spent lakhs. But these 'schools' were churning out brainless zombies and maybe this will make them change as well. In fact, media institutes are a bit more screwed that the escort girl, sorry, air hostess training schools. That said, newsprint prices are falling on the commodities markets...
And maybe this is a good thing, you know during the boom a lot of shit gets buried under the carpet and talentless hacks can become superstars. But as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Which is why I watch Dexter every evening. Man, the stuff we miss out on in India is really not funny. Instead we get to watch wife-beaters non-anonymous on Big Boss. If you haven't caught Michael C.Hall as Dexter Morgan as yet, you're missing out on a great series!