Monday, December 01, 2008

What a time to be away

When I set off on Thursday morning for a break through Rajasthan little did I know that things would get so bad in Mumbai. Evidently, the Hindustan Times thought the same way. This is a picture of the front pages of the Delhi editions of the two leading papers. I don't know if they made a running change, but we all somehow seemed to get the ToI 'War' edition and no-one I know got a second HT edition. This is a Barkha Dutt style screw-up. And whatever I have said about Arnab and Times Now in the past, my god they did a fantastic job as did Sreenivasan Jain of Undie. The rest of Undie.. well they were worse than RajdeepTV and lets be honest it was RajdeepTV, and the bits of Sagarika were irritating. Bhupen and Anubha were decent though. Anyway, I do not want to dwell too much on what happened, other than to say that this shook me to my core. I have spent whole afternoons having leisurely lunch meetings at the Sea Lounge and the Belvedere, gazed at the Gateway from Wasabi, had lunch at Tiffin and Kandahar and I knew quite a few people other SSS. I saw a lot of my rich South Delhi friends with ink stains on their fingers, and though I did not vote as I was not in town, I think the BJP (despite Narendra Modi of all people becoming the latest victim of pointing a gun at foot and pulling the trigger) will win landslide victories in these state polls. However, I do think that Arundhati Roy will shut up for a long, long time now and that really isn't a bad thing.
God bless this country though it is really bad that we will have to endure at least five more months of the UPA. Chiddu as Home Minister, well he might be better than that joke and for god's sake remove MK Narayanan, because that man has failed at his job. This is a time for bi-partisanship and not silly speeches. People are angry with our politicians and if they care for this country instead of power and making money they should use this time to inspire. Why has India's political heritage been frittered away?

PS: I will write a post on the Sakal Times debacle later, but to cut a long story short, the paper suddenly shut its Delhi bureau throwing 57 people out of a job.

EDIT: I got my hands on a collectors edition copy of HT which made some parts of the city. I believe the second edition had a limited run but made it. However, it appears that Times cancelled their first edition and carried just one. Just as a note, India Today which goes to sleep on Wednesday-Thursday night managed to re-do the entire edition on time to catch the press, but to be fair, they were helped immensely by the fact that their editor happened to be in Bombay and reverted to being a reporter and he was a good one and sometimes, despite everything, the stories are great. The cover story does not carry his byline, but that's PC's story all right. And Nag's blog has something about a silly mail, which I have a feeling has been written by the Ponytail's minions because the language is similar to what the minions write in their horrible magazine. If that man is ready to carry on losing a bomb on newsprint, he can carry on but the fact is that newsprint costs money.

10 comments:

DelhiJourno said...

The truth is that HT did have a second edition that day but because Auntyji desperate to save her kursi put pressure on them to carry the survey - and two days before elections which is grossly unethical - less than 10,000 copies of the new 'terror' edition got printed. ToI did not release a first edition, going with one mega edition. HT can never claim to be #1 in Delhi again.

Anonymous said...

The way Sakaal Times treated its staff is despicable. Even two days before they changed locks at midnight and posted the notice, senior editors and management in Pune has been telling Delhi journos (when journalists called to check) that everything was fine and they should continue working like normal. This included editor-in-chief Anand Agashe, Delhi RE Dhananjay Sardeshpande and HR head Anuradha Wadhwa. In the morning on Sunday, these same people did not take calls from Delhi people wehne they were trying to confirm about the notice. Some people, who had worked till 12.30 in the night on Saturday, had their belongings also locked inside the office. The operation is highly unethical and cowardly.

bluespriite said...

Mumbai coverage in HT's mumbai edition was worse.. all they carried was a small three column story ... very tepid. But that I take it, is because the edition goes to bed particularly early and the mayhem really came to fore post 12 on Wednesday night na?
And on the TV coverage... you are right, Times Now was one of the better channels.. and in NDTV, somebody please tell Barkha Dutt that being what she is naturally, totally kills it for her. Even Headlines Today didn't do a bad job till they stopped covering the happenings and brought in their own interjection.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Pune and HT's Mumbai edition did only slightly better, but we can put that down to the vagaries of printing the early editions. At least in Pune, we didn't get to read what the people in Delhi want. Thank God! Earlier, even that would have happened. After that hiccup, the Mumbai edition did a pretty decent job.
As for M.K. Narayanan, isn't he supposed to recieve all 'Intelligence' inputs, as NSA? If, after receiving all that he still doesn't get of his butt and act, I don't see much difference between him and Moose Miller. I would hold him more responsible for the mayhem in Mumbai, than Shivraj Patil. We all know exactly how obtuse most ministers are about their jobs and responsibilities, and precisely how much ministers are actually told by their bureaucrats, but the same can't be said about the NSA. One man's bloody incompetence has cost this country 180 odd lives, crores of rupees in damages and a loss of face. I wonder Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi find so irresistible about MKN...
With reference to Arundhati Roy, don't worry, I am sure Outlook will soon be coming out with her view of the killings and who was behind it - CIA, KGB, RAW, CBI...and if she can help it, she'll even tie the Martians to it. I am surprised how magazines have the space to carry her trash.

Anonymous said...

Ref Sakaal Times shutting down..I'm not surprised at all. The messy way they run their edition in Pune is ample proof of their unprofessionalism, which is surprising considering the way Sakal Marathi is run.
Sakaal Times' Pune edition is a rubbish product with the quality of articles defintely below average. I am surprised how some old friends from HT jumped ship and swam into Abhijeet Pawar's arms. Surely, they should have done a background check of the Pune edition here before joining. With the exception of some of the staff at their Pune office, most of them are mediocre. It runs only because of the funding it gets from the Pawars.

Anonymous said...

HT,Mumbai cannot be said to be slightly better as the action was in Mumbai..Moreover,below the three column Mumbai news was an larger report on Malegaon and the Purohits....

Atul Vishwanathan said...

TOI Delhi and Mumbai may have cancelled the earlier edition, but many parts of Bangalore did get the first edition. However, even in that, the terror story was the lead, occupying half the page.

This was possible because the news DID NOT break after midnight. In fact, it was on tv around 1045 pm.
So I really can't understand the irresponsibility displayed by HT..

TOI too has strict early deadlines, but the ones in charge had the sense to understand the enormity of the situuation and make an exception. Perhaps HT didnt

Anonymous said...

do check how a small paper called The Indian Express has covered the Mumbai carnage.

Anonymous said...

Barkha was horrible! First of all I can't understand why she landed up there when she is not even based in Mumbai. What annoyed me, as a viewer, was the fact that she kept shifting from one location to another every time the "action" would get over in the place she was originally reporting from. First Oberoi, then Nariman House and then Taj! In the bargain she removed perfectly capable and professional journalists like Srinivasan Jain and Miloni Bhatt and lost many viewers like me.

martha said...

That's true that Mumbai is going through hard time...
May the souls rest in peace....