Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chindu facing financial crunch?

When I picked up Chindu this morning, I was surprised to see that it carried a full page ad (atleast the Chennai edition) for a luxury home builder on its front page. Not that it's uncommon in India, but Chindu never misses an opportunity to pat itself on its back for not selling away its front page to advertisers (though selling the front page to "ideological partners" is perfectly fine).
As recently as Jan 14,2008 the Liar-in-Chief penned this rather effusive self congratulatory piece to mark the 50 th anniversary of the day when news replaced advertisement on the front page.

From that piece: (control your giggle)

Trust is the most important asset of a serious newspaper. “Our Front Page,” the third editorial published on January 14, 1958 and reproduced here, is a fine example of how a great newspaper wins and renews trust by being transparent and by communicating openly with its readers, advertisers, and distributors. The interplay of tradition and modernity, of continuity and change is an important theme here. So is the commitment to maintain “the high standards of journalism” as a “public service.” The observation that “we have moved into an age when events go rushing by in such headlong fashion that a reader to-day has often no time even to pause ‘to open his paper’ for the news but must get it the moment he picks his paper up” sounds contemporary (except that in several mature media markets, although not in India, fewer and fewer young people seem to be picking up printed newspapers even to scan the front page).

Till Jan 14 the readers did not have time and hence news had to be on the front page, but on Feb 29, the reader "suddenly" (like "sudden removal of Modi") has all the time in the world? What has changed? What about the "commitment to maintain “the high standards of journalism” as a “public service.” "? Perhaps it might have dawned on the editor that the paper in any case isn't maintaining that and might have decided to fill the coffers with some easy money. Where has all the Chinese money gone? Given the massive Chinese investment in American bonds, the recent turbulance in American markets might have wiped off a significant portion stemming the fund flow to propaganda vehicles. Poor Chindu has to fend for itslef - atleast for now.

I feel sorry for the paper for it is contradicting itself with a sickening frequency. The paper revels in shamelss doublespeak and this latest "change" is no exception. It is consistent with the paper's policy of "Don't practice what you preach".Today's mess was compounded by the fact that the paper carried two mastheads. The Front page carrying the ad had a masthead as also the next page which carried the news. It was a meek attempt to show that "Look.. This inner page is the actual front page and not the one carrying the ad".


Anonymous said...

Yes.. It's shameful for chindu to toe the tabloid times of india line all the while claiming a moral high ground!
My uncle was an ardent reader of chindu for 40 years.. Last year, he was so disgusted about the continual erosion of values of chindu that he stopped reading this garbage-paper.
Shame on chindu and hope it's circulation goes down as fast as possible.

Anonymous said...

haha Funny indeed. I used to work in the press there, probably I can add some funny stories to that.

Andromeda said...

@ anonymous,
Oh..pls do post your stories

Anonymous said...

I most definitely will. Keep up the great work !!