Friday, July 29, 2005

How low can a "newspaper" fall

"Marooned without TOI", screams the headline, informing pathetic readers that celebrities started their day without the Mumbai edition Times of India, the self-proclaimed "leading English Daily of the world". This, the day after half of Mumbai was drowned by 37 inches of pouring rain. This, when over 200 people had died due to the deluge. This, when rumours of a tsunami were spreading around the city, causing small stampedes.

Clearly, that was far less important than Kumaramangalam Birla and Akshay Kumar not getting their morning newspaper.

Read more about it in Uma's fantastic post, and Faderu's pithy post on DesiMedia, and a typically strong post from Suhail.

Read it all, and weep. This newspaper, decades ago the pride of the nation, and a bastion of upright news reporting, has become such a disgustingly pathetic rag.

addendum: Also, Arnab's post really hits the nail on the head. Other blogs pointing out to this issue: Charu, Reuben, Dilip, Aditya and Suman.

Meanwhile, here's Mumbai help, and Cloudburst Mumbai. What a great effort.


Anonymous said...

this was really the pits, I know... have a(nother) post on the newspaper scene in Bombay today on my blog - check it out - have said a similar thing about HT there - about its long history and where it is today, given that history...

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
Yes, I saw Uma's post. I think it is a public relations disaster for TOI.
Btw, I believe Rohit Gupta goes by the nom de blog of Fadereu and blogs at C**S**F.

Btw, You are the star of the day at my blog. (I'm surprised you haven't been there yet).

greatbong said...

Sunil...these are the people who really saved Mumbai.

Kaps said...

i dunno why people like Kumaramangalam Birla are agreeing to be featured in such articles.

Sunil said...'s sad to see newspapers like HT and TOI, which were bastions of accurate news, and which strongly supported India's freedom struggle, be reduced to such levels.

Michael.....Fadereu is Rohit......and I'm awfully embarrassed (in a nice way) with your post.

Arnab.....even by your standards.....that was a super post.

Kaps....I share your wonder. Why would Birla need to do this? Perhaps the Birla group buys stories in the TOI, like any other advertisement. far as I know, TOI won't respond to any long as their advertising revenues are as strong as they are now. So, what we need to do is to stop buying that rag, and if we are reading that rag online, use pop up killers to kill all their ad spam (and not even by mistake click on any of their ads).

pippala leaf said...

It seems TOI thinks of itself like the rooster who thought sun rose everyday because he crowed. Ridiculous.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sunil, the shame is that they will pay no attention. Unless this blograge over it gathers enough momentum and they notice. But likely not even then.

Sunil said...

Madhu...yeah....I'm reminded of a rooster in an asterix comic....that crowed in the middle of the night....(perverse, but what to do?) can only do what one can do.....after that....we'll see.

Pennathur, nice to see your comment. Too many dorks around indeedd. CR Irani was a giant, and too few even knew about him.

I'm especially saddened with what's happened to the TOI, because even up to the late 80's, it was an excellent newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Sunil, and now Mr Big B goes without a bath for three days - says the front page of Deccan Chronicle here in Madras. sigh!

Iyer the Great said...

TOI must give up pretentions of being a serious newspaper. Having "reinvented" themselves, I see no way back for them now - particularly with their redearship increasing.

Over the past few years I had been lamenting the dip in quality of The Hindu - but thankfully nothing of the sort that you see in TOI or HT.

Siddharth Varadarajan said...

I recently came across a comment somebody called 'Pennathur' left where he had called me a 'dork' for spending one month in Bangladesh and not writing about the HRBCM report.

I don't know where he got the impression that I spent that kind of time there. I have visited Bangladesh only twice, the first time for 4 days in 2001 following the BSF-BDR spat, and the second time in 2004, September, when I was in Dhaka for barely 3 days, for a conference.

One of the by-products of making such fleeting visits is that one ends up writing about breaking developments, which in September 2004, happened to be the bomb attack in Dhaka, the charges that Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Khaleda traded, and the usual blame-game vis-a-vis India which followed. (Please see

The Hindu has a full-time correspondent based in Dhaka -- Haroon Habib -- whose job it is to monitor stories of the kind you mentioned (i.e. rights of minorities, etc). If you do an archive search, you will see that my colleague has covered this story amply.

Thank you.

Siddharth Varadarajan
Deputy Editor
The Hindu
New Delhi.

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