Monthly Archives: December 2006

Say hello to our ‘Sister Bloggers’

“Yesterday three of us went and played mini-golf. We had a blast.” That could be the blog entry of a bored businessmen. On the other hand, it is the blog entry of Sister Sarah, a 26-year-old Bendictine nun, who after seeking solace in the great sphere upstairs is currently nestled one layer below, in blogosphere,…

Even a yawn is a silent shout

Edward Munch, the man who painted The Scream, was born on this day in 1863, and Slate marks the anniversary with an outstanding photo album of people shouting, that should leave serious practitioners of journalism wondering why we don’t seem to get these ideas in the first place.

‘Bhaiyya, Chlormint kyun khaate hain?’

Every night when Shantila Maria Barnes closes shop and heads for home, she dips into her Louis Vuitton bag and pulls out Chlormint and other lozenges that may be in reach, and hands one to all in her vicinity. The beneficiaries, usually, are B B Subhash, and Basavanand Swamy and K N Purandar and, lately,…

Dead people. Deadly prose.

Obituary writing has evolved into something of an art-form in the US and UK. Gone are the days of dryly reporting the death of people, with their age and names of survivors. Instead, a stylish new form of literature has emerged. In The Dead Beat, a tome on the deadly business (Harper Collins), Marilyn Johnson…

Six tips to write better English

Every so often some reporter or sub asks some wisened old fool, “Sir, how can I write better?” The answer usually produces an interminably long lecture which not so unusually leaves the recipient wondering why she ever made the mistake of asking. On the other hand, you can visit one of George Orwell‘s most famous…

Who killed good cricket writing?

Cricket, apart from boxing, is probably the only sport that has consistently evoked great writing. (Maybe even fishing to some extent.) But you wouldn’t notice if you read Indian cricket “writers”, barring honourable exceptions like, say, Prem Panicker. So short is the supply that genuine cricket aficionados who do not believe the cricket world begins…

Yes, you love journalism, but…

Every young journalist and wannabe journalist goes through this existential question: How does one get on the phone and ask total strangers completely embarrassing questions like, “When, Sir, did you stop beating your wife”? On the wonderful salon e-zine, Cary Tennis offers some advice.

Say it again, Madan bhai

The venerable Mathihalli Madan Mohan, long-time Hubli special correspondent of The Hindu, who now writes a weekly column for us, sent us this terse but telling note after Siddaramaiah sneaked through: “Chamundeshwari has proved once again, how unreliable is any calculation based on the caste factors, with which our worthy colleagues in the media are…

A brief (but not necessarily easy) quiz-I

John Simon said, “A person who misuses the language is as bereft of good taste as someone who picks his nose at a party.” In that spirit, below are some sentences with common grammar and punctuation problems that trouble many people, least of all reporters and sub-editors.Can you spot the problems? 1) If I was…

If you are as smart as you think…

The election is over, the EVMs have been switched off and sealed, and the last doubts about its fairness have been brushed aside. It’s time for the votes to be counted in the Chamundeshwari by-election. What do you predict? Who will win and by what margin? Stick your neck out and show the world if…

Want to blog? Here are 10 tips

It’s still pretty unheard of in India—the whole concept of editorial blogs, where reporters, photographers, editors ventilate on any and every issue under the sun, especially that which happens in their very universe. So, journalists who want to blog (or who should) have little or no guidance on how to go about it. And are…

If 70 kg of gold is worth Rs 56 lakh, then…

Today’s not a good day if you were the sub who edited the Thulabharam story on page 9. We get the name of the person who weighed himself against 70 kilograms of gold wrong (it’s P N C Menon, not T N C Menon). We spell Bangalore-based as “angalore-based”. And, wonder of wonders, we say…

100,000 in Bangalore—and counting

It’s official. The very amiable Prabhu confirmed this morning that the print order for the paper had crossed 100,000 in Bangalore City today. A fact confirmed by CD later in the evening. Which means, staff statistician G Sudhakar Nair can pull out his pocket calculator—he never leaves home without it—tomorrow to calculate what the growth…

Should reporters cast their vote in a poll?

One of our younger reporters Shilpa P is on leave today. The ostensible reason is that she wanted to cast her vote in the Chamundeshwari by-election although the fact that tomorrow is her weekly off too may have helped her make up her mind quite easily (which is OK, because Shilpa has done some good…