Wednesday, 23 November 2011


After a gap of six months I was looking at our regular newspaper, The Hindu. Because I was rather busy I did not take time to pore over everything, but skimmed over the headlines and the Letters page for a couple of days. Prominent among the letters were references to Khushwant Singh praising The Hindu. I was pleased. Now here was a good writer appreciating quality media.

As I began settling down to my daily routine, including filter coffee and The Hindu in the mornings, I began to notice some aberrations. The headlines were, well, just not up to the mark, not impersonal enough to reflect the seriousness of the articles or the dignified nature of the paper.  I brushed the thought aside, thinking that I must be expecting too much, since I was not impressed either with the newspapers I had seen in Seattle or New York.

But some days later I saw headlines with puns in the paper, which would have seemed right on a tabloid,  trivialising serious news.

One was on  November 10, : Now, Moody's blues for Indian banks, when the financial/rating company had downgraded Indian banks.

The other came a few days later - Niira Radia says 'tata' to PR, when the infamous political lobbyist who had single handedly managed to bring down a whole lot of big names, and among whose clients was Tata, announced her decision to quit the PR business. This was a very tacky headline, I felt, and in bad taste.

Then last week when the government-run milk agency in Tamilnadu hiked its prices, and people were beginning to protest against this hike, the Hindu’s headline on November 20 ran
After price hike, Aavin card holders no longer hold the aces.

Another headline  today
Now, vegetable prices put consumers in soup

Maybe they sound clever to the editors and sub editors who wrote them, but I feel it brings down the standard of the newspaper.

The picture of singer Dhanush in the newspapaer.
Then to crown it all, the most trivial of entertainment news finds place on page 1 today. – the popularity of a song from a yet-to-be released film, and how it has gone viral, gaining instant popularity on the internet . Good news, of course. But page 1?

Don’t for a minute think I don’t like the song, I do - it is very catchy.  Listen to it here.



Anonymous said...

Are you sure it was only six months? Sounds more like Rip Van Winklesque. At this stage you should be content that there is something that can even be called a newspaper.

lalli said... too an avid reader of The Hindu..ninaivu therincha naalernthu..hmmm little bit worried seeing all those highlighted by u but still i hv the hope that they wudnt go beyond their ethics..!!

Asha said...

even I was wondering why was that filmi news on the mainpage, when they have a weekly pull out devoted to cine news. But looks like this song is making international news.

Regarding hindu's make over, i had a friend whose husband was the RM, circulation for Hindu. He said they have to change the paper to keep pace with times, after all it is the question of survival. Even I hated, when they changed their masthead and design 5 years back.

Still i feel Hindu is the best of lot. Other newspapers make you squirm in your seat while you open the broad sheet especially infront of children.

Maiji said...

You do hit the nail on the head . Very good writing !!

must send this to the Hindu.

Meera's World said...

So it was not just me who had that feeling. I was feeling that the headlines were sometimes way too silly,and the grammar in some papers,both malayalam and eng doesn't seem like what it used to be. Sometimes they dont put the ','at the right place that we end up reading and re reading a couple of times to understand the meaning of a simple sentence.I hate it.
And yes i liked that Kolavery song:).Its funny!!

ashok said...

you are bitten by the kolaveri bug too?!

Maddy said...

KDi has picked up - bachan said good, a million extra hits. javed akhtar said rubbish, 2 million more hits..the hit counter is reaching 23 million now..there is a shivaji version, a tom & jerry version...mallika sherawat is going to dance for it...
possibly dhanush for grammy.....