What was India thinking of on the 29th of October 2007?
Here are some screen shots of the front pages of daily newspapers in India as well as some from the US and the UK. Most of these are print editions although there usually isn’t too wide a difference between the content of an online newspaper and it’s print version.
In my post on the defense of the Indian Media I had mentioned that it is the rapacious capacity of people to devour sensational news that is driving the press today. A race is on not just between the dailies but also the television channels to feed the reader what he/she ‘needs’. Murder, celebrity gossip, scandal, sensational revelations and family dramas. And oh yes success stories of Indian Americans. While I too am curious about these successes, what’s objectionable is that these stories make it to the front pages of newspapers. You can read this interesting article about how the Indian media went overboard with the news of four Indian American achievers and there is also Shashi Tharoor’s analysis of why we shouldn’t think of Bobby Jindal as ‘Indian.’
I don’t want to make judgments here…I don’t want to make statements like the media is being irresponsible or that readers are immature. I do not want to judge the media because I believe that publications ultimately get what they deserve, and in this case it is decreasing respect. It takes years to build up a good reputation but much less time to destroy it. A time will surely come when they start to lose business in a big way. There was a newspaper I had grown up with, one which I used to respect a lot, but today I have scant regard for it. Sure, those days the news was dull and often blatantly censored, but I preferred that to what I read today.
I will not judge the reader either because he/she has a right to seek what he wants. But during our time if we wanted to know about which film star was going out with whom we read Stardust…today you might be able to get such news on the front pages of mainstream newspapers, complete with photographs! Today it is the serious readers who are stumped for choice. When they want some light stuff they can pick up the Mirror or the Midday but what are they supposed to do when they want sober news? Go straight to the middle page or the business section?
Watching television news can be more painful if one wants serious news. One has to wait for the ‘right’ news to appear and most of the time he/she has to suffer the endless trivia and advertisements. At least in a newspaper or magazine ads can be ignored.
So here are the images…they speak for themselves. All of them screen shots taken yesterday…29th october 2007.
The headline of DNA is the same as that of the tabloid Mumbai Mirror.
This is the print edition of the HT which talks of a rally in Delhi but I was not impressed that Shilpa Shetty was given the front page. Also the headline that in 1999 “Pak planned to nuke India” is sensationalism. This news has been reported before (threats from Mush and Pakistani officials) – I clearly remember reading it some years ago. Sure, now it’s been confirmed with someone writing a book on it, but I don’t see why this news should be so loud. What is the newspaper trying to do? Create paranoia about Pakistan?
Today the Times wasn’t so bad, but usually it is. But their blatant self-promotion goes on as it evident with the headline “ET toasts the cream of Corporate India.’ But note, the family drama of a brother shooting a sister is there on the front page.
Midday being a tabloid will report on a murder trial. But at least the murder trial is about the shooting of a major political personality in Maharashtra. Suitable material for the front page of a tabloid.
The following except is from The Hindu Online, and I felt that it was the most balanced and the least sensational of all the English dailies. Well, yesterday at least.
Now let’s take a peek at yesterday’s top American and English news media.
So which is better? You choose.
Related Reading: India was worrying about Kashmir on 25th of August 2008 (post with front pages of English newspapers from all over the country)
What was India thinking of on 16th of April 2008 (screen shots of the front pages of some English newspapers)
An example of pathbreaking media
What India was thinking of on 17th april 2008 (brief overview of the front pages of national newspapers)
Is Print readership falling in India?
An example of how political parties gag the media
Fake stings and fraudulent journalism
The media dishes out what the public wants