How do you print a newspaper everyday – relentless reporting, wiring, proofing, editing, consulting, rewriting, printing ? No! Like everything else, there are newspaper hacks – Sell most of your pages for advertisements, write a couple of columns criticizing Modi’s choice of words, write an article praising Modi’s fashion statement, put a few churches under attack, arrange the ‘Letters to the Editor’ so as to put the ones that resonate with the Almighty Editor’s opinion on top, never try to go into details in the rest of the pages.
Then let the God say – ‘Let there be a Newspaper!’ It is worth noticing that the fiercest and the most incisive of criticisms of the present day Government came from none other than Mr. Arun Shourie who has been associated with the party at centre for quite sometime. Rest of the opposition and media are too obsessed with semantics and issues that only they care about.
It is only proper when someone extends respect and credit to one’s moneylender. The newspapers of today while painting their first page, must also declare in bold fonts – “This newspaper has been brought to you by Flipkart“. (Clarification – I have nothing against Flipkart. I find their advertisements appearing on most number of days , hence the mention. )
The unfortunate readers of this nation shouldn’t be surprised when every news article in their dailies will have such a note . I happen to be one of those unfortunate ones – to see a full page chest-thumping of one or the other brand every morning. I have subscribed to The Hindu, the self proclaimed custodian of intellect in this country. The June 13 edition had 4 full pages and in total 23 instances of commercial bravado of companies, the June 6 – 26. I have not counted the ads in supplements for these numbers. On relatively tidier days, The Hindu carries around 15 glaring advertisements on an average with first page dedications running into second in almost four to five days out of the possible seven. Another one would come up in full page avatar by the time you reach page 4/5/6. They are all pages (numbered) of your enlightening newspaper which means you are being made to pay for all those advertisements. So before you pounce on any 20%-30% discount offer advertised in any newspaper, remember you have already been billed for it.
On a slightly different note, one of the ads In The Hindu reads under the sub-heading of Astrology (Classifieds Mart) –
“India’s Famous Kerala Astro-Numero-Palmist
Consult for your life changes, Enemies, Business improvements, family problems, studies, matrimony solutions for Relationships personal issues etc., and any other problems. ……”
Turn to Page 6 of May 25, Page 8 of May 30, Page 4 of June 15, Page 6 of June 22 to find the cited, or if you have used up the previous editions for more honourable chores of your house, you can wait for tomorrow’s. If you are ‘lucky’, you might find it right there in the same corner ready to help you demolish your enemies.
I would love to know if The Hindu has verified the claims of the astrologers that it is promoting through its hallowed pages.Every newspaper had covered Smriti Irani’s visit to an astrologer with great energy and enthusiasm a few months back, The Hindu included. If not anything else, at least they can proofread the text for grammatical errors. Alas, who cares for Classifieds when you have the biggest brands fighting for space on your first page!
Most of the articles I find in most of the newspapers are high on rhetoric, very low on facts. One can only enrich the extreme faculties of love or hate for the government of the day by reading such articles that are published today. Big names can spike the readership figures but more often than not, such articles don’t spike the information base of the readers. An article high on facts, precise data-points gives us the opportunity to know what’s happening and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of any initiative/step. Instead, most of the columnists that I read these days just try to bombard the readers with their own prejudices, whimsical thoughts, extreme hatred or blind love for the establishment. I do not want to name any columnist here. I suggest to the readers to start searching for facts, data-points, logic, reasoning from tomorrow and I bet they will be disappointed and disillusioned as much as I was in my attempt. I have always loved reading newspapers and had subscribed to The Hindu with much hope and excitement after overcoming a long hiatus recently. Sadly, what I get every morning at my doorstep is not a newspaper but a sales-pitch document of all the companies working out of my city.
In case you are ruminating over the television media, they no longer bother me. The day Mr. Arnab Goswami from Times Now runs a debate over ‘Deepika Padukone – Times of India’ fiasco, I might reconsider my indifference.