Monthly Archives: December 2006

What a dog can teach a journalist

Journalists are cynical and sceptical. It is supposed to be our stock in trade. Our motto is to question everything, suspect everything. But what happens when a child tells her journalist-father about what she read in a school textbook? Read V Sudarshan in Outlook: The Dogged Pursuit Advertisements

The copy editor’s lament

Every sub-editor cribs about having to chop stories to accommodate last-minute ads, update text, new pictures and fresh graphics. But has anybody ever cribbed better than George Martin? Courtesy timporter.com *** THE COPY EDITOR’S LAMENT By George Martin I was sitting on the copydesk just watching o’er the scene when the dealer sent a juicy…

The world’s oldest blogger is 94

Allan Loof, the world’s oldest blogger @ 94, has given an interview to Eric Shackle, the world’s oldest citizen journalist @ 87. No, Shackle doesn’t work for CNN-IBN, but for the website that is the pioneer of citizen journalism, ohmynews.com Read the full interview: World’s Oldest Blogger Recalls his First Christmas Presents

It’s not how you begin, how you end

From Lost for Words by John Humphrys (Hodder) ** A gauche young man from rural Mississippi won a scholarship to Harvard. On his first day there he approached a couple of cocky young New England socialites. “Hey, y’all, where’s the library at?” They sniggered among themselves and one replied haughtily, “At Harvard we prefer not…

Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

There is just a week left for entries to be submitted for the Ramnath Goenka “Excellence in Journalism” awards for 2006-07. The award categories (print and broadcast) are: Environmental reporting Uncovering India Invisible Business and Economic Journalism Political Reporting Excellence in Reporting on HIV/AIDS Sports Journalism Film Journalism For more information, log onto http://www.expressindia.com/rngf

What’s your new year resolution?

It’s that time of the year once again. When we resolve to turn a new leaf and do better than we did in the year gone by. So, what’s your resolution? To slim down, to write better, to eat right, to drink less? Not sure? Here’s what the leadership faculty at Poynter recommend: New Year’s…

How Britney Spears “K-fed up”

Slate is one of the more exciting webzines around, and The Explainer—a daily feature in which some mystery or the other is explained, like “Does the US President have to carry a passport when he goes abroad?”—is one of its most readable features. But there are some questions from readers which even the whizes at…

If you don’t get this, you know…

Everyone thinks he knows how dumb President George W Bush is, but had anybody suspected he would be as dumb as the American stand-up comedian Conan O’Brien makes him out to be? *** “Today at the White House, President Bush signed a deal that would send nuclear fuel and know-how to India. When asked about…

Nieman Fellowship in Global Health Reporting

Bharat Kumar H alerts us to the Nieman Fellowship in Global Health Reporting. The Nieman foundation will award three fellowships for the 2007-2008 academic year: one to a U.S. journalist, one to a European journalist and one to a journalist from a developing country. During their Nieman year, the global health reporting fellows will be…

Anil Thakraney on Sunday

The redoubtable Anil Thakraney, founder editor of Brief and some time editor of Mid-Day in Bangalore, has started a blog “where I will shoot out my shameless Sunday sermons every week”. Those interested in journalism—and it is clear who isn’t—may like to check it out.

Really, really short stories

Can we tell a story in 50 words? A story—not a report, not an assignment—a real story, a work of fiction. Some people are trying, and here are some fine examples of very, very short stories which are exactly 50 words long. SALMAN RUSHDIE/ Another Ulysees: Ulysses comes home after a lifetime’s wandering. His old…

Same with reading

Stephen King on writing “The so-called “writing life” is basically sitting on your ass. You have to have a place, but it can be anywhere, really. You have to have some time, but it can be anytime.”

Trying to be better is half the battle won

There is advice—and then there is advice—on what newspapers should be. Much of this is predicated on doomsday theories that do not hold much relevance in the Indian context. Nevertheless, Alan Jacobson‘s thumbrule for transformation is apt and precise: “Products need not be perfect. They just need to be good enough and slightly better than…

Do we need quotas in the media?

G.N. Mohan forwards a survey of the social profile of key decision makers in the “national” media conducted by the Centre for Study of Developing Studies. Its key findings are that the India’s “national” media lacks social diversity and does not reflect the country’s social profile. Hindu upper caste men dominate the media. They are…

Ours is not to ask why

Last Saturday, a friend—a businessman 34 years of age, Indian, resident in India—called out of the blue and among, other things, said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am buying a plane.” Yes, you read that right, a plane, an aeroplane. It’s going to cost Rs 34 crore. Ours is not to ask why;…

PR kiya to darna kya?

Nine out of ten journalists land in journalism by accident, most often because they weren’t fit or good enough for anything else—a sad reality that gets exposed when they leave after a few years for PR or corporate communications. Or, worse, when do the latter using the former. Not Howell Raines. The former executive editor…