Daily Archives: 26 July 2007

Kate-Duplicate? Kabhi kushi-Kabhi glum?

Say what you will, but the British papers are markedly more alive and refreshing than their American counterparts (as Tunku Varadarajan said here, and Matthew Engel said here). Have been and will probably always be.

Surely, they are heavily opinionated “feral beasts“, but the British papers take themselves less seriously, are better written, more irreverent, and have that one quality that signifies life: breathing.

Christopher Howse who writes on language for The Daily Telegraph, London, recently invited suggestions for the “scientifically enhanced twin peaks” of the model Jordan alias Katie Prince even as he commented on the strange name she had chosen for her daughter.

Howse writes he has been inundated with entries. These are the top-20 according to the language guru.

1 Pinky and Perky
2 Hindenburg and R101
3 Gee and Gigi
4 Gilbert and George
5 Dumb and Dumber
6 Scylla and Charybdis
7 Trident and Polaris
8 Romulus and Remus
9 Duncan and Smith
10 Two new Munros
11 Bristol and City
12 Tweedledum and Tweedledee
13 Fyling and Dales
14 Slazenger and Maxfli
15 Yul and Telly
16 Raspberrry and Ripple
17 Swell and Sweller
18 Knock and Knock-Knock
19 Buster and Booster
20 Bubble and Squeak

Read the full blog here: Name Jordan’s famous twins

Photo courtesy: Shanghai List


Tide against trivia turning one anchor at a time

Another silly American story and another silly American anchor in another silly piece of posturing.  Last month it was Paris Hilton, this month it is Lindsay Lohan. Last month it was an MSNBC anchor (Mika Brzezinski) who refused to read news about her, this month it is a CNN anchor (John Cafferty).

For a media that is accused (rightly) of putting trivial celebrity news on air, come hell or high water, standing your ground on air is a nice position to take to sound more credible. But aren’t these anchors aware of what’s coming up, what they are going to read? Don’t they take part in meetings where they can put their point across?

Do they have to indulge in “live” theatrics?

Be your own boss. Be greedy. And never retire.

At an interview several years ago, Rahul Bajaj, the  energetic bossman of Bajaj Auto, was asked when he planned to retire from his job. “Retire? Who retires?” shot back the acid-tongued man. “Only fools retire.”

A similar lesson in life comes courtesy of The Economist this week. It looks at Rupert Murdoch, 76, trying to gain charge of the Wall Street Journal. And it looks at Summer Redstone, 86, trying to keep control of Viacom.

“What lessons can ordinary mortals learn from these very old media titans? First, be your own boss—then nobody can sack you or force you to retire. Also, greed—the pursuit of wealth—is obviously good for you: keeping at it is helping to keep these men young. The money, evidently, is not the point. The bottomline? Never retire—it rots the brain.”

Read the full article here: Very old media

Link via I want media

Does print still break more stories than TV?

Outlook magazine editor Vinod Mehta has this item in his Delhi Diary this week:

David Lean when he was casting for Lawrence of Arabia approached the great theatre actor Albert Finney and offered him the role of Lawrence (which eventually went to Peter O’Toole). The actor declined. “Don’t you know I’ll make you a star,” said Lean. “That’s what I am afraid of,” replied Finney. Surveying the Ramnath Goenka awards for excellence in journalism, I notice TV journalists (all fine professionals) have swept the honours, which just goes to show that India’s love affair with TV continues. Print journalists, on the other hand, get very little or no recognition, even though most of the serious and solid work in journalism is done in print publications. I am not unmindful of the draw of TV as a “glamour medium”—a charm to which our netas are irresistibly attracted.

“I may be biased, but I’ve always regarded current affairs television as a fundamentally unserious brand of our trade, where style wins over substance and which finally is a performer’s art. It is not what you say but how you say it which counts. TV journalism occasionally produces good work, but where would TV channels be without newspapers and magazines? Ninety per cent of the stories on television are picked up from print.

“I have made a few foolish decisions in my professional career, but thank god I’ve stuck to being a print hack.”

Holes in the veil and fear in the hearts

Shortly after 9/11, America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 citing the plight of women in that country under the Taliban. But in the six years since, how the lot of the Hidden Half improved under the benign gaze of The Great Liberator?

The July/August issue of Mother Jones is featuring a photo essay by Canadian photojournalist Lana Slezic on women in that country. It shows that the burqa is more common than before, that domestic violence is growing, maternal mortality rate is the second highest in the world, and the reality has been hidden from the world with aplomb.

View the photo essay here: The Hidden Half

Photograph courtesy: Lana Slezic/ Mother Jones