Daily Archives: 8 September 2007

Think small—and think different—to think big

To reach its newsroom, you have to wend your way through cutfruit wholesalers. Its staff strength is a grand total of four. At rush hour, the place has the hushed intensity of an air-traffic-control tower. Together, they put out their reports, columns, tips, links and more on a quartet of interconnected websites.

When the editor wanted to go to New Hampshire to cover the 2003 primaries, he passed the hat around. There was $6,000 (Rs 24 lakh) within 24 hours. When a new site was to be launched, readers chipped in with $40,000 (Rs 16 lakh) which brought in the first paid employee. Another site launch fetched $80,000 (Rs 32 lakh).

Welcome to the world of Talking Points MemoJosh Marshall‘s web network that “breaks news, connects the dots, stays small”, and causes more palpitations on Capitol Hill than many of the big players.

Read the full story here: The (Josh) Marshall Plan


Don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth. Unless…

Can an advertising agency create alluring ads for cigarettes knowing fully well the dangers of tobacco consumption? Can a public relations agency spin positive stuff about a big brand company that uses sweatshops with terrible working conditions? Can an image consultant sing hosannas in praise of a petroleum bossman presiding over the destruction of the environment in some far corner of the globe?

Simply put, can the media be choosy and sanctimonious about what they pick up and put out, or does anything go for a few dollars more?

Indra Sinha, the Bombay-born copywriter, whose book Animal’s People has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year, suggests that those in the creative business cannot completely divorce themselves from the moral compunctions of the stuff they are trying to sell.

“I think people who write ads on behalf of Dow and other such corporations can’t morally dissociate themselves from what they are promoting.

“I am no saint. Before my own road-to-Damascus moment, I had worked on cigarette ads and for corporations like Shell. When I quit advertising I burned my portfolio. I have since used advertising to raise money to found and fund a free clinic in Bhopal for the benefit of the survivors (of the 1984 gas leak).”

Read the full interview: ‘I feel strong contempt for Indian politicians’

Five myths about young readers—debunked

The South African Beeld publishes JIP, a weekly insert for the youth. Gavin Rheeder, Marketing Communications Manager, debunks five myths about young readership.

1. The youth is homoegenous

2. The youth don’t read

3. The youth don’t like newspapers

4. The youth want soft issues

5. The youth want slang

Read the full story: 5 myths about young readers debunked

Link via Editors Weblog