Not too many in journalism—not too many in Indian journalism anyway—like to turn the binoculars at themselves and look at what is happening in their profession in a different way. Tim Porter at First Draft does just that with aplomb, often surprising you with how much of what he says makes sense, in spite of the American context.
In particular, his recipe to rebuild the system is interesting as indeed is his take on what newspapers ought to do if they are to rise again. But what is must-reading is how the values of modern newspapers ought to change: from competition to context, from individualism to collaboration, from speed to discipline, from answers to questions, from authority to interaction, and from more to less.
Go take a look.
Namrata Joshi sends us the new revised alphabets, and journalists—or at least some of us who are socially conscious—should really be ashamed if we do not know them by heart.
For reasons of journalistic fairness, and to not make any one feel left out, this item is not being dedicated to any one in particular, but all of you—and you know who you are—can take it as a personal tribute.
A for Aristocrat
B for Bagpiper
C for Contessa
D for Director’s Special
E for 8 pm
F for Four Roses
G for Godfather
H for Haywards
I for Imperial Blue
J for Johnny Walker
K for Kingfisher
L for Lincoln Lager
M for Master Brew
N for Narrangansett
O for Old Monk
P for Pioneer
Q for Quat
R for Red Label
S for Scotch
T for Trommers
U for Utica
V for Vat 69
W for Watkins
X for XXX
Y for Yotoc
Z for Zingaro
“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.”
We are at that stage when we are looking for a new name for the operation. At yesterday’s morning meeting we spent a full two hours discussing some possiblities and we ended up with a list of 50-plus.
There were the usual (Newsline, Newstimes, News Horizon, News Echo), the cliched (Silicon Times, Chip City), the classy (The Metropolitan, The Cosmpolis, Bangalore Browser, Enter), and the convoluted (Coffee Country, Robusta, Harbinger).
But there were a couple of names which were truly interesting even if impractical.
Imagine calling a paper Bangalore Post & Observer like in the US because the first letters add up to BPO, or imagine a paper named in the manner in which the city likes to drink its coffee (News By Two)—only half the news will be provided every day; the reader fills/imagines the rest!
Things were going swimmingly well till B D Narayankar sent an SMS that he would like to write a sports column called Deep Point. That sent us off on a tangent.
We began thinking of cricket names for the paer. Somebody suggested “Third Slip“. It sounded like something till we realised how awkward a reporter would sound if he called up Deve Gowda‘s house and and introduced himself in Kannada.
For strategic reasons, the most likely new name/s is not on this list. Wanna guess?
Who was the sentimental desk man whose eyes welled up on reading a news item of a father who fell from a roof and fell on his son, who was standing below, killing both of them on the spot?
Late night—after we have put the first edition to bed, and after the tinkering for the city edition is still to be done while senior design consultant P S Ramesha has a long leisurely smoke—is a great time to spend on the internet.
To visit chosen websites (not all of them intellectual, mind you), to visit blogs, to update blogs, etc.
For those of us still getting used to the amazing even if narcissistic world of blogs, here is a great resource to see what other journalists on other continents are doing with their lives and careers.
Visit www.cyberjournalist.net, for a most comprehensive list of blogs produced by journalists. Visit it to see how “into it” some journalists seem to be.
“We Are The Best” is pleased to announce the winner of its first quiz contest. It is “senior design consultant” G Vishwanatha.
There were more half a dozen all-correct entries, and the winner was picked by a draw of lots conducted at the evening meeting today. The honour of picking the winner went to “Critic” Roshan, Eapen Panicker.
That’s the good news. The bad news or shall we say the more revealing news is that in an organisation which has a strength of around 140 people, barely a dozen felt inspired or motivated to take part in the sort of contest that should be meat and drink for journalists.
In spite of the Rs 500 prize, in spite of the promise of an interesting book.
Whether we know it all, whether we think it beneath us to take part in a competition, whether we are too conscientious not to google the answer—or whether we are too you-know-what—is for the world to judge every monring.