Where do you read your news from? If you are like most people who have regular access to the net, then you would be getting it from the Internet. If you are ethnically an Indian and/or care about news from / of / about India, then there are a few main newspapers or news sites which you would access the most – Hindustan Times, Times of India, Rediff, The Hindu, etc. How do you feel about these news sites and the newspapers?
Of course, the print versions of TOI and HT have become more like tabloids, but the worst is that their online sites are technically, aesthetically, content-wise and user friendliness -wise… RANK BAD. In fact they are irritating. With pops up all over the place and sudden ads while you are trying to get to an article. Even when you are on a news item.. there are so many ads and irritants around on the page that it is very tough to read anything.
Any analysis done on the site is an accident. News is made big by giving catchy headlines which mean nothing! One day it was “Anupam Kher teaches Obama Bhangra” – and I was intrigued. When I went there, I came to know that Anupam kher had a dream where he was dancing bhangra with the US Prez and he had tweeted about it (Which I had read). And that was made bigger than it was and made into news. One of the easiest ways to write news analysis for these guys is to keep pouring into the twitter accounts and blogs and just keep picking on every line these stars write and make them into news. But is that the way to report news?
Even most blogs do better than that. At least there is a serious attempt to write stuff that makes sense. Some blogs do attempt to research stuff as well.
Another rather lowly tactic that these sites – specially TImes of India has been using is to repeat entire paragraphs multiple times. You will see that to increase the size of a story, they will repeat the same paragraphs twice or more. Yes, verbatim! Its just I am not sure if this is a software glitch or a deliberate thing, but from how random it is used and how often it happens makes me believe that it cannot be a software flaw and neither a mistake but a specially chosen tactic by some unscrupulous “news” reporters.
Where is the future of Indian News headed then? The way the media – TV channels and Newspapers – have prostituted the news, I see the next breakthrough in news coming from the blogging world for the Indian media. What do you feel?
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