Archive for March 3rd, 2011

Why a ‘serious’ Reuters journo reads a tabloid

3 March 2011

Although India’s print media market is booming, be it in English or the languages, the truth is that it is still the broadsheets that get bowels moving in the morning.

Despite the best efforts of managers, there is a palpable resistance to smaller sized newspapers, regardless of whether they want to call it a tabloid, Berliner or a compact.

The Daily is dead, Mid-Day is struggling, and Mumbai Mirror still rides piggyback on The Times of India in Bombay while Bangalore Mirror comes free with ToI in Bangalore.

Although the brand-wallahs are in thrall of the 5F formula (food, fun, film, fashion, forecast, fornication), most discerning readers, especially journalists, turn their noses at them.

Only Mail Today and Mint seem to have gained some editorial acceptance but at huge cost.

Robert MacMillan, a journalist who works for Reuters in Bangalore, says most people, who hear that he reads the Bangalore Mirror that comes free with The Times of India in that City, exclaim: “But it’s a tabloid!”

In other words, size instinctively colours perception of news sense, although the broadsheets may be guilty of the same crime as “redtops”, which is to dumb down to the lowest common denominator.

It need not necessarily be the case, writes MacMillan, who hails from Jersey City:

“In the case of the Bangalore Mirror, I find plenty to chew over in the morning. The headlines are a little New York Post/ New York Daily News, but there’s a reason people read those papers. More importantly, they’re jumpy and flashy because they often herald good journalism — the kind of stuff that people want to read. No doubt, they likely contribute to the tired “India! Ancient yet vibrant and modern!” PR campaign that has entranced my U.S. media colleagues.”

Link via K.K.

Read the full blog: Don’t hate mate because I read Bangalore Mirror

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