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 alternatives.”

It’s a piece of advice we could usefully employ for the next story we do, the next picture we shoot, the next package we commission. Because, a newspaper is just a work in progress. We are not—cannot, should not be—trying to get in the last word on the subject.

Just a slightly better word will do most times.


  1. boringjournalist

    Alan Jacobson is perfectly in saying that the product should be slighly better than altenrative.
    But the main problem is how to get over the stereotype jacket which we wear all along and seldom would like to graduate beyond the proformas and precedents in writing and handling copies. Initiative taken sometimes by somebody gets killed by those who are loathe to try being innovative.

  2. Tennis Krishna

    Well ‘ideal’ will never be practical

  3. RAJU1987

    Shrimaan editor,

    I request you to limit to one or two posts a day. It will give us time to digest and emit responses. Not all of us have anytime access to internet like you have. Not all of us are prolific bloggers like you. Of course, not all of us are as smart as you are.

  4. RAJU1987

    Hi KP

    Has anyone told you how cliched your writing is and how inspired-from-elsewhere- your ideas are. I think you need to start working at some originality.

    Cliches in this post

    There is advice—and then there is advice—on…
    doomsday theories
    thumbrule for transformation
    apt and precise
    most times

    can you write one uncliched sentence. I can’t bear I have heard this somewhere-else-note-in-your-attempt-at-literature

    BTW: Thumbrule is two words

    So be careful from now before you bleed red on my page

  5. M K Vidyaranya

    Trying to be better is half the battle won’ is perfectly alright.
    But to enter a battle one should have a battle gear without which he/she will either get injured or killed.
    Many youngsters who are aspiring to become warriors at the battle field called journalism, lack battle gears such as good English, proper usage of grammar and nose for news.
    Copies should not be edited for the sake of editing. Before tampering with other’s stories, it is better if they devote few hours every day to practice English grammar,study general knowledge, history and geography of Karnataka which would go a long way and stand steadfast in their journalism career.

  6. I don't know any better

    Dear M K Vidyaranya,
    That some pithy advice. By the way, it is practiSe English grammar.

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