Saturday, December 19, 2009

When Delhi froze on Google

Google showed this weather report on New Delhi on Monday (Dec 14) morning. Screenshot taken at 9:07am on that day. According to this report, it should have been -2 degree celcius here day before. And people are talking about global warming :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Frontpages and advertisements

One senior journalist in Kerala expressed his shock at seeing the front page of 'The Hindu' on December 4 morning. Apparently, the whole page was split down into two in the middle by a huge "hit on the face" Ad by Uninor GSM.

I can understand his shock. I guess this is the first time The Hindu is running such an ad on its front page.

However, what I found more disturbing (difficult to feel 'shocked' with anything that the media does these days) was Sri Lankan government's series of big front page advertisements that the same newspaper carried with its chief editor's name on it (even the photographs were credited to N. Ram) more than an year ago. Below are some of them.

The Hindu front page, 2008 October 17

The Hindu front page, 2008 October 29

Editorial page, same day


The Hindu front page, 2009 July 6

Compared to all this, I find a "hit on the face" commercial quite harmless. It is not even paid news, as it demarcates itself clearly as an advertisement.

Even outside the Sri Lanka episode, I think it is dangerous to ascribe a holier than thou status to The Hindu. They claim that themselves, and we somewhere accept it too. Despite N. Ram's CPM credentials (or owing to it?), I have felt that they have very Tamil Brahmin sensibilities. The Sri Lanka episode could be read as a part of it.

(Btw it is fun to listen to some Iyers and Iyengars swearing by the 'real' English language that The Hindu uses:-))

In Delhi or Bombay, Times of India or Hindustan Times carry full-page ads on their front page quite often. I am no big fan of those newspapers either, but at least they do not come with the pretensions of being 'the serious newspaper'.