I have been reading The Times of India ever since I was a child. In fact, back then, it was considered imperative to read the TOI to improve your English. I lived in Goa, and all we had access to was the Mumbai edition of TOI which hit the stands in Goa only in the afternoons, which meant that the newspaper delivery guy delivered the TOI a day late. Yet, we unfailingly read the day-old newspaper everyday. Later, my parents also began paying the newspaper delivery guy, who lived right next to our house, to deliver the newspaper to us on his way back home. Our school teachers used to encourage us to go beyond the front page and sports pages of the newspaper, and to explore the editorial page, and understand the different views expressed there.
Now what is the connection between the title of this post and the first paragraph, you ask? Well, you’ll soon find out… But before that, take a look at today’s web TOI:
This is the page showing today’s top news! Start from the left panel – “Twitter’s censor move with eye on China“. Really? “Eye on China”? Is that a legitimate phrase in English, or is it just the translation of the Marathi “चीन वर डोळा”? The last I had heard, “keeping an eye on someone” meant watching over them lest they do something they aren’t supposed to. Aren’t they instead supposed to write “Twitter’s censor move eyes China“? Of course the sentence still makes little sense to me, but at least it is English! (Do correct me if I am wrong though.)
Let’s move on to the right – top. Madhuri gives some advise to SRK – and yes the national adviser’s words are almost never printed on the home page, but this – oh how can they miss printing this!
Just dip a little lower (pun intended) and slightly to the left. You will see “Katharina’s raunchy act“! Yeah sure, so what if they get the spelling wrong, so what if they use provocative words – they are giving the readers some hot news! And below that, some more “Other Stories” that basically tell the same tale… They are not a national pioneering newspaper, but a glossy gossip magazine…
You may have noticed that I have pasted the screen shot of only half of the home page – the bottom half had several such pieces of news and pictures that wouldn’t suit my sensibilities and those of this blog.
Anyway, the point is, I once looked up to this newspaper, and now, I can barely look at it without feeling annoyed – what with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and racial glitches (replacing the phrase ” South Indian” with “Southie”? – What is that!) that make me want to appeal to them, that if they can’t afford paying a proof reader, I would love to volunteer to do it for them! And I don’t even want to get started on the kind of hot news (read Bollywood gossip, Page 3 trivia on most pages, and so on) they publish! This is why, when they released an advertisement with soft intonations insulting the newspaper The Hindu (you can find it here ), I was mildly irritated. But The Hindu came up with their response – three even more fiery, in-your-face advertisement clips, which were fascinatingly accurate and bang-on target!
Here are the links:
Now, I don’t know how effective these ads are, but I do hope they make the TOI people see some sense, and give us back the newspaper we loved so much a few years ago!