The Times of India...Double Sigh!
When the day finally came, and amidst pangs of pain the 'slimmer, slicker, sexier' bundle of the 163 year old The Times of India was handed out to me the pain subsided and my face broke into a smile. It was some makeover. 'Slimmer Slicker Sexier' - sounded like India's official entry to an International beauty pageant but the pages looked interesting.But after the initial euphoria I have realised that Slimmer actually meant thin content, slicker actually meant more celebrity pictures and Sexier actually meant more cleavage, backs and waistlines on Page 3. I have gulped it down many mornings now to sit and complain.
What happened recently threw me from my complacent throne - people burned in Meerut but the responsible daily decided that Salman Khan in Jodhpur jail was bigger news and so we had full front page of details about Salman Khan case. who all were there to support him and how people are thronging outside the jail to protest against his arrest. so what happened to all those who burnt in the Meerut fire? perhaps it wasn't as burning an issue as Salman Khan trial. Chinkara won over chingari (sparks...do not even think that i am talking of the depraved movie that shares the name!)
International news is a different issue altogether - its really slim! you mean there is so much happening in India and nothing happening in the world? there are more ads than news in the section and what really stands out is the page dedicated to hollywood with profound questions tossed about for instance ' Does Britney Spear still make it to the top 10 sexy women in America?'.
They have come a long way...last one was ' is Britney Spears a virgin?'...but that was many moons ago...media memory is supposed to be short so let me not get into the providence of that.
The experts say the size has changed but the matter has not – it is not enough to change the format the content should also change accordingly. There seems to be more ads and less quality matter than before.Is that what one calls changing with The Times - literally!
Another point of concern is that our dear paper (yes, I am talking of the TOI) looks no different than a tabloid. And it breaks me pretty little heart every time I gauge the paper for both form and content. Form is definitely easier to handle but content...where is it? The paper needs to get its priorities right and it has to start somewhere.
Why do I go on in this fashion?
It’s been sometime that the paper evolved but then again some issues are so deep rooted. Glamour-the key to acceptance in our country has won – so what if the eye sights go for a toss, so what if the news is not enough, so what if there are more ads, so what if I crib…every morning I still sit with my cup of tea, two Marie Biscuits and read the same newspaper.
and i dont want the habit to become a bad one!!!
I rest my case.