Archive for September 28th, 2009

Allen J. Mendonca, rest in peace

28 September 2009

allen

sans serif records with a heavy heart the passing away of Allen J. Mendonca, the former Indian Express and Times of India journalist, in Bangalore on Monday. He is survived by his wife Sandhya Mendonca and their son, Aditya.

Allen, the son of a Reserve Bank of India employee, was an old-school journalist for whom no beat, no story was taboo. Starting out at Bangalore’s legendary tabloid City Tab (launched and run by the Tharakan couple), he went on to cover crime, politics, information technology; composed jingles for television; acted in plays; wrote movie reviews; composed and sang music; and played the guitar.

He even starred in the  national award film, Stumble, directed by former Indian Express colleague Prakash Belavadi.

At a 2002 lecture at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore, Allen said:

“Journalism of courage has given way to a journalism of consensus…. Although there are some world-class writers in our country, there are very few world-class journalists.”

In 2003, Allen co-founded Raintree Media, a communications and media business process outsourcing outfit with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Port St Louis, and Bangalore.

Last night, he went home after a party and did not wake up this moning.

Photograph: courtesy Facebook

Visit the Raintree Media blog


William Safire’s 18 steps to better writing

28 September 2009

It’s not known if William Safire, who wrote the “On Language” column in the New York Times Magazine for 30 years till earlier this month, was conversant with the ways of social media, but it is safe to presume that he would have been horrified at how his demise last night was coveyed to readers subscribing to Jim Romenesko‘s media notes via Google Reader.

“NYT ‘On Language’ columnist Safire dies at 79″

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Of course, Safire, the author of “the nattering nabobs of negativism” and “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history”, would get the joke, but you get the picture?

Neatorama has a compilation of Safire’s rules for writing:

*  Remember to never split an infinitive
* The passive voice should never be used
* Do not put statements in the negative form
* Verbs have to agree with their subjects
* Proofread carefully to see if you words out
* If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view
* And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
* Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing
* Always pick on the correct idiom
* The adverb always follows the verb
* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives

Read The New York TimesWilliam Safire obituary

Also read: George Orwell‘s six rules for better writing

Sir V.S. Naipaul‘s seven rules for writers

‘Newspaper men meet such interesting people’

28 September 2009

American folk music singer, the legendary Pete Seeger, sings an ode to newspapermen.

Link via Vadiraj Hombal

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