Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Those of you born earlier than me, before everything became computerised and before your music player started weighing 25 grams and became the size of - heck I can't even find a size equivalent for the new iPod Shuffle, it is insanely small. Carrying 1000 songs in something that small just highlights how far we have come. Just take a look at these pictures from the 1970's to get an idea how a newspaper was put together. I don't know about you, but I first walked into a large press and saw the bustle of a typical newspaper office in 1984, as a five-year old. Telex machines, typewriters and the sheer volume, and today people tell me that I type loudly at one-tenth the volume of the 80's. Cell-phones, Google, desktop designing and layouts, the world has come a long way...
And why would I have opinion on Fake IPL player -one of the people I thought could have written it denied it. I still believe the writer is a Bengali, because of a couple of references (and the tortured emotions towards KKR - which is why like the good Delhi boy I am I support Veeru's team), may or may not be in South Africa - a couple of bad mistakes (VJM wasn't in Cape Town for the opening ceremony - he was his cars in Shanghai) and is adept at the medium. I might be wrong here, but I personally believe that the blogger is either a journalist or a member of the production crew. Or and this is highly unlikely, a back-room member of KKR.
On this post, do you really think that we are tarring the organisation thanks to the actions of one man? I don't think so, firstly the editor, or the resident editor does have a say in the news selection, was somebody sleeping? The second and far more nefarious possibility is Private Treaties - ET did go gung-ho in printing Private Treaties news, the inside pages were full of news that really didn't cut the grade. Several leaked memos and reports have highlighted how Private Treaties have damaged the bottom-line, but the SEBI report has damaged the 'moral' line so to speak. How is The Economic Times therefore any different than India TV? Somebody has to ask this question, and I am.
Listen, I have nothing against Bennett, and as I told a couple of people when the shit the fan that ET should have used the SEBI report as an excuse to clean up its act - apologised on the front page instead of ignoring it. Standing up for some semblance of values is 'supposed' to be a bad thing according to some people? What world do you live in? The PR agency involved was deep in the doo-doo also - but the question that needs to be answered - desperately - was this done as a matter of policy? Making people scapegoats doesn't help for too long, just as hiding behind a few semantically challenged lines in autobiographies don't.
The slowdown is pummelling CNBC's reputation in the US, ET is the scapegoat here and believe me, this is only going to get worse, because I'm not sure if people have monitoring the interwebs for what is going on forums. Because there is a hell of a lot of anger, you can see how CNBC TV18 has reacted (a virtual change in their line-up) - I scout around web forums quite often just to see how people react. I don't like what I read sometimes, but weirdly enough, this is what journalism has also become - it is essentially to troll blogs and monitor Google Trends as part of the job. We can't all live in our little f'in cocoons and have stories delivered in small brown packets or over email.
Also, according to certain sources at ET TV, the great white elephant might be further delayed beyond the rumoured May 1 launch date (I can't nor will I confirm this), not helped along by integration issues. Cutting salaries of people in print who are supposed to help deliver the exclusives while the TV guys keep their 2008-peak salaries is leading to trouble. But that is like stating the obvious, and I have a funny feeling a few more reports might make it into the public domain soon.
So just a word of advice for anybody 'leaking' any reports - please 'leak' your report through Wikileaks - for reasons of libel and then link back to the Wikileaks site. Hosting any report which is copyrighted to someone else may not be in your best interests given how trigger happy the legal arms of some media firms might be.


KhanmanFilms said...

Like the fall of the TV, the must anticipated and rumored extinction of print magazines and newspapers is a hot subject for a few years now. Maybe what the Internet revolution hasn’t accomplished (magazine extermination) will the Recession finish, but we can still enjoy alot of print awesomeness these days...no?

Soumyadip said...

And newspapers might not be around (in the paper form) for long (though India will continue to be an exception for a little longer).

Had put up an extract from Reader's Digest (February 1987) on my blog quite some time ago. Mohan Sivanand writes about a day in the life of The Times of India.

Anonymous said...

You are getting slow and defensive on BCCL. Havnt you heard what SJ has asked VJ: We are spending 100 crore a year and what have we produced in last 3 years but AG ??
So ET Now has to wait till Times Now shows some moolah..