Monthly Archives: November 2006

CAT is still not out of the bag for us

There are plenty of red faces around here today. Or at least there ought to be, if there aren’t any. First the good news. Even on a slow news day, we have managed to put out an okay front page. There is a neat explainer on the Chinese president’s visit. There is a good exclusive…

The name is Vivan, Sridhar Vivan

Can anybody believe a young man who says he went to see Casino Royal alone—yes, ALONE—yesterday? BTW, he avers it’s a darn good movie. That, too. Can anybody believe a young man who says he went alone to a movie to see the movie?

N for Nietzsche, I for Iliad, R for Rasputin

Over lunch at the almost-magnificent New Modern Home, under the benign gaze of Nehru and Gandhi and Anadurai, a certain somebody whose surname begins with M got a call on his cell. The caller couldn’t latch on to the odd-sounding name. And the three of us in unison chipped in to make the lady understand:…

Should we be writing what PTI, UNI give us?

When television breaks most of the news, when mobile phones send you instant news alerts, when websites are constantly updating news, when there is a good chance that news will soon be allowed on FM radio, what is a newspaper supposed to do? To ask the question in another way: What does a newspaper reader…

‘Repeating bullshit doesn’t make it wisdom’

In times past, Hitler‘s disinformation advisor Goebbles said, “Repeat a lie hundred times and it becomes the truth.” In George Orwell‘s Animal Farm, the sheep keeps on repeating the lie. On the very abrasive Devil’s Advocate, Ram Jethmalani says, “Repeating bullshit doesn’t make it wisdom”. That apart, Karan Thapar‘s interview on CNN-IBN with the fiery…

Vinay Madhav, take a bow

Bangalore’s newspapers do great, lavish packages for Valentine’s Day. They bring out special advertising supplements for New Year. And they mark every other day—“ex”-es day, secretaries day, mother’s day–with some feverish feature or the other. And if it’s some international anniversary like 9/11 or 7/11 we are falling over each other. Wanna guess how many…

Say hello to Harshitha

We are introducing a new column in BVT from tomorrow. It’s called The List. Basically, a top-ten every day of something or the other. (Why we have chosen the top-10 honeymoon spots for the first one, is not for us to ask). Anyway, Harshitha Hegde who brings out the immensely popular Page Four People, called…

710 feet below sea level

Our youngest staffer is back at work after two days of checks at various hospitals. Srini walked into office on Wednesday clutching his cheek with a muffler and, in passing, mentioned that he may have suffered a paralytic stroke the previous night and that there was a tingling sensation all through the left side of…

Switch on that lovely chandelier, darling

How many of us journalists have houses which can support chandeliers? Worse, how many of our readers have houses which can support chandeliers? The answer to the first question is easy. The answer to the second is not so easy. But sometimes it might be useful to ask these questions as we did at this…

Do newspapers have a future?

The Independent, London, has run a 5,227 word article on the future of newspapers, in which the who’s who of publishing gazes into the crystal ball. Here’s what Piers Morgan, the legendary tabloid editor, says: Every newspaper has a great future online. End of story. Within five years every newspaper will be free and they’ll…

Anybody seen this very important item?

We get a few weird calls every now and then. One came a while ago. A reader said he was really disappointed by the fact that we didn’t have an inch on the delimitation of constituencies today, although it was the lead story in our elder-sister newspaper. “All the other papers had it, why didn’t…

CONTEST: Rs 500 and a book to be won

So you think you are the smartest journalist in the City? Well, here is a chance to prove it without using Google. “We are the best”, the editorial blog on the most buzzing newsroom in Bangalore, is pleased to announce its first contest. It is a set of 10 easy questions. Answer them by 5…

JOHN SIMPSON: Secrets of Great Reporting

The fundamentals of great reporting by John Simpson, political editor, BBC (Courtesy: greatreporter.com) So, what makes a good reporter? Well, there are a number of qualities that you’ll need and among them are a real sense of curiosity; a profound interest in details and that real instinct that makes you want to grab people by…

Haphazard or neat, take your pick

Newspapers—at least not those who value their readers—do not conduct daily polls. The paper itself is the voters’ ballot; the day of bill-collection is the voting day.But if ever there was a poll for the most surprised reader of the newspaper this monring, it must have been Eapen Panicker. The man known as ‘Critic’ Roshan…

Which is the best headline you have seen?

I remember a couple of them off-hand. One is actually the title of a book by former Newsweek editor Edward Behr: “Anybody here been raped and speaks English?” This is a line Behr stmbles upon when he is covering the Vietnam war and captures the essential difficulties of journalists who can only speak English. Even…

Small tsunami in Japan; not many dead

OK, we are jumping the gun here and revealing tomorrow’s news today, but the magnificently named Shantila Maria Barnes has a nice headline in a world brief in tomorrow’s paper: “Small Tsunami”. The headline brought to mind a headline writing contest that sub-editors at The Times, London, (no less) used to apparently have to keep…