India Uncut

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Almost Page 3

So what if my picture has never come on the Page 3 of any newspaper. I have, at least, managed to get my photo on the same page as Shobha De's. This one.

Weep weep. It's not all ignominy, though. Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta's snap is right above mine, and that can only be a good thing. For the record, we were asked to comment on the new newspapers in Mumbai. Here's what Uma had to say. As for me, I was specifically asked (by youthful Sonia): "[D]oes greater quanitity equal better reportage?" My take on it:
I'm not sure if more newspapers are resulting in better journalism in Mumbai. For one thing, the pool of journalists all the newspapers have to choose from has remained more or less the same, even if better paid. So the talent is simply more thinly spread. Secondly, one would have expected newspapers to try and improve their quality of journalism in areas such as hard reporting, but instead other papers are trying to outdo the Times of India in their celebrity and glam coverage, assuming, perhaps correctly, that those are the things that keep readers happy. Journalism in India needs a change in values, and that will not happen with more local newspapers, but with the full and unhindered entry of foreign media, which will raise the benchmarks here. Until then, it's all just more of the same.
Yes, I'm against protectionism.

Shobha De, of course, wrote the main story on the subject. What did she have to say? Well, I present you her first two lines:
Let me stick my neck out and say it -- Bunty and Babli Rule. Readers and viewers have never had it so good.
And her last two lines:
The Bollywoodisation of the media is finally complete. Let the dhadak dhadak begin.
Sigh. Ok, let it begin. We bloggers will just go off into the mountains.
amit varma, 12:00 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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