Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ice, Fire, Smoke and Water

Makes no sense, does it? Nor did the massive amount of rumours concerning the leading business daily, but then again as a friend of mine over there told me, “something must be up, otherwise why would we be hearing all this.” Here is the thing, there are ways of keeping rumours in check, very good ways, namely not telling too many people and when things start to spread you could clamp down on the rumours. From one end, the palliative side at least, we have heard a flat-out denial. But from the other end, nothing at all, no denials, no messages, nothing. The more radio silence there is (like the Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbour) the more phone calls others have to field. And the more suspicion is aroused (ref: Tiger Woods).
It would be a bit difficult to deny that the television channel has been a tad disappointing. It is also by now no secret that people at the very top want the horses out and models in, the opposite of Tiger Woods’ philosophy of women (other than the Jamie Jungers chick, but she does look a bit like his almost ex-wife) and that isn’t really surprising. It is also by now no secret that the ‘integrated newsroom’ concept has been a colossal failure, but then again how did they expect to maintain an integrated newsroom with differential salaries. Seems a bit too much like ‘want Cake, for free, will eat too’. Ugsters on the telly minus the reporters, something had to give, no?
Such is life. On another note, one heck of a lot of carbon is being spent on sending reporters to Copenhagen (at last count, UndieTV is sending at least four people) but some parts of the media have been giving the event the coverage it deserves from India’s perspective rather than only buying into what the West wants. I’m no environmental guru, but any agreement that India agrees to must balance India’s developmental needs along with environmental concerns. Above all else, the government should instead of ramming down environmentalism down people’s throats teach them a bit about the problems – get the guys who write the Hindi soap operas to incorporate green messages maybe.
And then there is the ‘Paid News’ brouhaha. Usually most people specify what is an advertorial in print, and people have used the paid news club to batter BCCL again, and if you read the first two paras, they have their own problems (EDIT: though the Maharashtra Times did carry the same Chavan electoral advert). The funniest however was UndieTV which did a few shows, but it would have been better if they did some soul-searching themselves. A good half (well, estimates of over 60 per cent usually) the content on Undie Profit is paid for by advertisers. In fact, every business TV channel is guilty of this in India, and there is nary an indication of this before, during or after the show.
There will very few posts until the end of next week though as I’m caught up in a horrible mixture of work, wedding season (including travel to Lucknow), Single Malts and a bad cold. Well, there has been far too little single malt, but you get the picture.

PS: Oh, and I must thank Joji and Saad for giving all us twitter users a magnificently entertaining time yesterday evening. Yes, it got a bit out of hand, but that was primarily because Chetan Bhagat was finally exposed as the arrogant twat that he is. Surprising that bad authors can be so arrogant! Actually, wait a second....


KMN said...

About the tiger woods thing, I think his choice of women are ok. Surprised, no well known names in the list. And BTW, What do you think of so many people saying that Indian media is better in handling a celebrity's personal crisis, i think the Indian media would have gone bonkers if something like this came here.

Shyam said...

Integrated newsrooms are possible, but we seem to be trying here (okay, caveat first, I've been out of that piece of action for almost a year now, so what I know now is rather limited) is vertical integration, which to say the least, is foolish. Horizontal is what works best in integrated scenarios, where you should not lock different workflows out just because you are integrated. But there are two other simpler reasons why it won't work here: 1) Discipline and training, both are notoriously lax in today's news environments. 2) Egos.

KMN said...

And about the Chetan Bhagat thing, what can you say about a man who watches Sex and the City?
I mean he acts like he has never downloaded anything online, a torrent or from a p2p software. And, he is hurt from people buying pirated books of his?. Maybe someone should give him a hug and a teddy bear for his birthday.

And he was the one who tied up things to national progress, what has piracy got to do with it? Apart from the fact that people are reading (if its him, then they're reading crap, but that's beside the point)

He should have a single malt. Wonder if he goes to a comic show or part of some parody, he might start crying and sue for defamation.

Maybe it's because the only music he listens to is from Bollywood music

Anonymous said...

deal khatam, woh nahin jaa raha, pata hai na?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of newspaper turmoil, Mumbai based DNA is in chaos. Two senior editors have quit, both part of the founding team and applications are flying off from staffers to other papers. Eight of them have already resigned to head to Bennett and other groups. Even HT chalega, get me out of DNA

Anonymous said...

K; your parent magazine does a poor rip off of Time. Much cheaper than sending people to Cop(e)and hagen