India Uncut

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

The occupational hazard

My Guardian pieces of the last two days are here and here. The day before yesterday I was asked to give 600 words, to lead with Bucknor's 100 Tests and put in a bit of match preview material. I delivered 800, they used 400. Yesterday they asked for 500, leading with Sachin Tendulkar's 10,000 runs and then a bit about the match. I gave 500, they used 350.

Five years ago this would have upset me, but once you actually understand what goes on at a newspaper desk, you realise how tough it is. The racing season is on in England, football's on, cricket news about England keeps coming in, and India-Pakistan Tests are naturally not such a high priority. The pieces, of course, read a bit disjointed, with some of the best bits cut, but under the circumstances the editing work has been skillful. I've seen far worse, and my fellow writers who are covering this series for England's other papers are suffering similar excisement, if not worse.

My Guardian reports, by the way, generally go online in the early morning, India time. You will see reports on the site before that, but those would be website only, culled from agencies. The newspaper reports replace those.
amit varma, 9:33 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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