Daily Archives: 23 August 2007

The storm in the C-cup is a neat 36B

Even Britain’s serious newspapers give out CDs and DVDs to boost circulation. India’s magazines dangle everything from watches to suitcases to cars to add numbers. One Bombay newspaper even sent out alphonso mangoes in a plastic bag in the early 1990s.

So is a girlie magazine crossing the lakshman rekha in wooing readers by offering a breast enhancement for their girlfriends?

The Australian edition of the lad mag, Zoo Weekly, has offered its readers A$10,000 (Rs 5 lakh). It’s a cash prize for “a boob job for your girlfriend.” And as was to be expected, it has set off a tsunami in the C-cup.

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) in India used to have a ceiling on the kind of gifts newspapers and magazines could offer to attract readers. Hopefully, Zoo Weekly is bound by a similar upper limit.

Obviously, it is a sales gimmick that is right up its readers’ valley, in a manner of speaking, but surely there is a health issue somewhere in here?

Read the full story here: Magazine offers boob job, sparks ire

Also read: Dead people, deadly prose


Separated at girth till death do ’em apart

Britain and America, it has been said, are two countries separated by the same language. How about their journalism?

Is American journalism led by “partisan loons”? Is British journalism “sober, respectable and balanced”? Not quite, says Lionel Laurent, a Columbia School of Journalism graduate, now a markets reporter for Forbes.com.

“Unlike in Britain, where journalists are perceived as no more than hack scum that rifle through the bins of the political classes—something we journos are quite proud of—across the Atlantic the broadsheets have a sense of civic duty and republican pride that the less idealistic find hard to relate to.”

Read the full article here: Conquering the final frontier

Read the contrarian view here: Tedium on deadline

Where journalism is dying

Look what TV is doing to our women

Television may have become a bit of a bad word in India that is Bharat. We curse its crassness, we swear at its dumbness. But look what it is doing in the Bharat that is India?

A new study by Robert Jensen of Brown University and Emily Oster of the University of Chicago shows that television is having a distinctly helpful effect on women, at least in rural India.

The authors followed women in 2,700 households in 180 villages in four states (Bihar, Goa, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu) and the capital, Delhi, from 2001 to 2003. In the places that didn’t get cable by 2003, and in the places that already had it at the beginning of the period studied, attitudes concerning women remained relatively stable. But in the 21 villages that got cable between 2001 and 2003, women’s attitudes changed quickly and substantially.

“The authors focus on autonomy (whether the woman gets to make her own decisions about shopping, health, and whom she visits), attitudes toward beating (the number of circumstances in which women view beating as acceptable), and whether women prefer having male children.

“After a village got cable, women’s preference for male children fell by 12 percentage points. The average number of situations in which women said that wife beating is acceptable fell by about 10 percent. And the authors’ composite autonomy index jumped substantially, by an amount equivalent to the attitude difference associated with 5.5 years of additional education.”

Read the full story here: How TV is empowering the women of India

Link via Slate

For Indian media, Shankar does not count

The New York TimesAmelia Gentleman has a story in today’s issue on the flood havoc in Bihar, and has these paragraphs:

“At a national level, the plight of these flood victims arouses little compassion. In early August, when the United Nations declared the floods the worst in living memory, the miserable condition of the 31 million people affected in India was covered internationally but was neither front-page news in New Delhi newspapers nor featured on national news channels. Instead, bulletins were dominated by the sentencing of a Bollywood star to jail.

“Such apathy is not unusual. Newspapers in India often neglect the suffering of the rural poor, more preoccupied with the triumphs of the emerging India than with the familiar stories of extreme hardship experienced by hundreds of millions of Indians living on the land.”

Read the full story here: After the deluge, the reality of deprivation