22 December 2004

About blogs, slimes, etc.

I know most of the ways The Times of India 'sells' itself. But what I read today beats it all. I am so sorry this guy has stopped writing. Such detailed documentation of the TOI's ways of journalism (sic). And come to think of it, he's an MBA, and not a journalist. Pasting his blog below:

May 08, 2004

The Times of India
Most of my regular readers know the extent of my ‘love’ for the Slimes Times of India group and those who don’t can estimate the same from the fact that I have an entire damn
category dedicated to India’s most successfull and least professional media group.

Via reader Kalyan Raman and
Kitabkhana and Gouri Chatterjee at The Telegraph comes this gem of a piece about the complete lack of ethics, integrity and honesty at India’s (sadly) most popular media group - the Times of India Group.

On April 23, both the city supplements of Times of India in Mumbai and Kolkata carried a story titled “Sex and the City” on their front pages respectively. The screenshots are attached below(you will have to visit his site for the screenshots) and here are links to the web versions of the stories - Calcutta Times version and Bombay Times version.

The article(s) goes on to talk about the rising infidelity levels in the city(ies) with quotable quotes from people and psychiatrists like “for every four men who cheat, there are two women” and “Infidelity is no longer an eyebrow-raiser”. But this post is not about how the Times of India sensationalizes news items with risque quotes as they’ve been doing that for many years now. This post is about how the Times of India shamelessly reproduced the same article in two cities on the same day by just changing the names of the people in the story!

The articles are reproduced word-for-word with just a couple of minor changes to cover their tracks. Here are the minor changes:
“Ryan” in Bombay Times become “Raghav” in Calcutta Times
“Amit Patil(23)” in Bombay Times becomes “Amit Datta(23)” in Calcutta Times
“Social psychiatrist Dr.Anjali Chhabria” in Bombay Times becomes “psychiatrist Dr.Shiladitya Ray” in Calcutta Times
“Advocate Jai Vaidya” in Bombay Times becomes “advocate Indrajeet Bannerjee” in Calcutta Times.
What really takes the cake is the fact that the even the find-replace job was botched by the Times! In the Calcutta Times version they replaced “social psychiatrist Dr.Anjali Chhabria” with “psychiatrist Dr.Shiladitya Ray” in the first paragraph but forgot to do the same in the very next paragraph! So in Calcutta Times “psychiatrist Dr.Shiladitya Ray” conveniently morphs into “Dr.Anjali Chhabria” in the next paragraph! Sheesh!

Here’s a piece of advice to all those people who are still reading that dishrag…get a real newspaper! If you want gossip buy Filmfare/Stardust and if you want skin buy Debonair/Fantasy!

Note: The extended section of this post contains both the articles in question reproduced verbatim from the Times of India’s archives with the differences underlined.


The latest media take on blogging is by Time. Check it out.


Ubermensch said...

tx for the time link!

Vijayalaxmi said...

You are welcome, uber. I found the link on Blogger Dashboard. They feature interesting links now and then.

Sudarshan said...

Looks like the management are out to make TOI a Timeless Piece of Farce!

Sham said...

TOI sucks!

Vijayalaxmi said...

Sudarshan: It became a farce long ago, when Samir Jain took over.

Sham: Yeah, it sure does.

Swaroop C H said...

I'm reaaaaaally late on this post but TOI overdoes everything. Somedays I feel like switching back to The Hindu but last time I saw the Bangalore edition was Chennai-centric (!), hopefully it's not the same anymore.

Vijayalaxmi said...

Never too late, because the story is still the same with TOI. But what TOI is doing has become a trend more or less with print journalism. Because it's the market leader, others feel that by aping TOI, they too will reach there. They dont know TOI is on the edge of the cliff. As for Hindu, they are just too happy and contented for anyone to take them seriously. And they are major snobs.