Everyone has a pet peeve, and journalists have pet peeves about certain things. For some people in a particular pink paper, it is economy class travel. For others it is not being served Scotch. For me, it is the overwhelming majority of technology coverage in most newspapers. And the reason I am constipated today, and thus I’m really bugged, is the anchors of both the leading dailies. The first is ToI not knowing how Google Adsense works – it is called IP tracking I do it too via Google Analytics and that is how the adverts you see on the side are customised.
So instead of reading ToI’s very good Page 2, which looked at the rampant destruction of the Aravalis – and what is surprising here is that NDTV despite winning an award for a show on illegal mining in the Aravalis and doing a ‘Greenathon’ is not following up. And the second thing that bugged me in the morning was HT’s HDTV anchor which kind of loses the ‘How?’ part. Of course, with the little bit calling HD 16 times better than standard def making me wonder how the math was done (1080 lines of resolution is somehow not 16 times 480 lines) and the rest of the story was classic Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).
And the story was slightly old. DD has to record and telecast the games in HD (and might lose the rights unless it does - dated December 2007). Instead of talking about whether your TV is HDTV compatible – regular tube TV (negative) and the difference beween HD-ready and Full-HD and the slight matter of India’s total broadcast and transmission system being analog – no DTH system has the bandwidth for HDTV – the only way I can figure HDTV broadcasts being made are through either DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcast – terrestrial) or Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) networks but for God’s sake - and the story has the classic 'not authorised to speak to the media' official. These have a funny way of turning up very so often.
many, many years ago, when I was a little boy, in a matter of speaking at least, rather when was a greenhorn, I was thrust into doing subsidiary work on Reliance's backdoor entry into telecom. And one of my friend's fathers asked me to explain what on earth was going on, because most of the copy, in each of the papers was full of jargon which went above most people's heads - WLL, CDMA, GSM, TDMA yada, yada... Explaining your story, even if you have 300 words can be easy. But for that you have to be completely clued in to what you are writing. A free byline does not mean you can write crap.
It is bad enough that journalists played their role, along with bureaucrats from the HRD ministry on the $10 laptop fiasco, just try not to make it worse you know.
PS: Vir's latest post is quite interesting. Fashion magazines in India, the home of horribly, botched photoshop jobs, making every woman's face featureless and adding the mysterious 'enlogated thumb' or 'third hand' (I'll post examples of these). Here is the strange thing, these places are incredibly cheap to advertise in. Seriously, if you were a Gigolo, you could probably get an advert there for cheaper than what the massage services (hah!) pay HT and ToI. No seriously. In one 'leading' magazine, a full-page colour advert can be placed for Rs 15,000. That just about covers printing costs, anyway I won't make this post too long. I need to take a dump.
EDIT: ContentSutra has an interesting story on Bennett's foray into the UK market.