Monthly Archives: January 2008

Unholy trinity: Booze, smokes, good journalism

Jack Shafer in Slate: “Every profession needs what academics call an “occupational mythology” to sustain it, a set of personal and social dramas, arrangements, and devices, as sociologist Everett Hughes put it, “by which men make their work tolerable, or even make it glorious to themselves and others.” As hard drugs are to the hard-rocker…

Why is travel journalism so mediocre, dishonest?

“Hip”, “happening”, “sun-drenched”, “undiscovered”, “magical”, “eat this”, “do that” , “go there”… Why does all travel journalism seem so manufactured and artificial? Because, says Chuck Thompson, author of Smile when you are lying: “Almost all magazines exist for a single purposeā€”to move product,” he writes. “As conditioned purveyors of the sell-sell-sell mentality, magazine editors routinely…

In prosperous Gujarat, everybody can buy media

GIRISH NIKAM writes from New Delhi: Now that the elections are over and done with in Gujarat, one needs to look at the role of the media in that State, its pliant nature and the increasing commercial angle in its reportage. Whether newspapers or TV channels, the Gujarati language media by and large tried to…

Does dog ever bite dog? Not for our TV channels.

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: The following few paragraphs appear in a larger story on drunken driving and new year revelry in the Delhi Newsline supplement of the Indian Express today: Like every Delhiite, Monday was not just another night for Amar Kumar. The icecream vendor from Kalyanpuri was tugging his cart towards India…

How not to write in the year ahead

The department of English and comparative literature at San Jose State University has announced the winner of the 2007 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, and the winner is Jim Gleeson of Madison, Wisconsin, for this passage. The goal of the contest is to submit bad opening sentences for imaginary novels. “Gerald began—but was interrupted by a piercing…