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When will Indian media come of age?

Has anyone noticed the media frenzy in India that began more than a month before the World Cup football began? Has anyone seen that front-pages of all Indian newspapers are awash with soccer stories?
You’ll come across this madness in India only. It’s not the first time that we’re witnessing this madness (there’s no method in this!). We are familiar with this fatuous infatuation with sport which comes every four year.
Unfortunately, India’s football ranking is woefully poor (India currently ranks 97th). I wonder why Indian media has been going overboard year after year and carrying soccer stories on front page even though our country couldn’t even qualify now for the Asian Games.
Aren’t there news worth reporting on front page? Can’t these stories be reported on Sport page? It reflects Indian media’s mediocrity and sheer immaturity.

Times of India front page on July 9

The Telegraph front page

Ananda Bazar Patrika (a Bengali newspaper published from Kolkata) front page

I’ve traveled in Paris when the French Open was underway. I was in New York when the US Open was going on. But, I’ve never come across the media’s such infatuation with sport. Le Monde, New York Times or Washington Post never reported sport news on their Front Pages during the French Open or the US Open.
Those who watched Japan-Belgium tie will agree that Japan had played an unbelievable game. They lost in the dying minutes of additional time. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Japan. A win would have secured the team’s first-ever advancement to the World Cup quarter finals.
But, the next day Japan Times, the leading English paper in Japan, didn’t carry the news of their country’s heroic efforts in the World Cup on its front page. The news was reported in Sport page only.
I wonder what Indian media would have done if India did the same thing. All pages of newspapers would have been filled with sport news!
Look at The Guardian. Even after England qualified for the semi finals after 28 years, the front page of The Guardian didn’t carry the news as lead story.
A nation’s mindset and maturity may be measured on how its media think and what kind of role it plays. When will Indian newspapers come of age?
Are you guys listening? Grow up, Indian media.
Footnote: I was disappointed to see that Indian newspapers didn’t carry the news of Japanese team’s sportsmanship and fair play the way it should. FIFA General Director Priscilla Janssens tweeted a picture of Japan’s spotless dressing room after the defeat, praising the team and their fans for their tidy-up efforts and manners and also writing that the team had left a ‘thank you’ note in Russian for the hosts.
Look at the Indian media. They’ve underplayed such sterling gestures by the Japanese players and fans. Shouldn’t Indian media highlight the news? This should have been on the front pages of newspapers.
We should learn from the Japanese people. We should learn from their dignity in defeat.


Bullets can’t silence brush

As I write this Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that the lights of the Eiffel Tower would be shut off at 8pm (local time). Meanwhile, armed French police have been scouring forests in north east of Paris for the two French-Algerian Muslim brothers suspected of mounting the deadly terrorist attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 persons, including 10 journalists dead.

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Where death fears to tread

I was reading a story in The New York Times. It’s about a place they call “The Island where people forget to die.”
The place is the island of Ikaria in Greece.

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Newsweek closure not a threat to print journalism

I was deeply saddened by the news that Newsweek, one of the most internationally recognized magazine brands in the world, will cease publishing its print edition after nearly 80 years. The weekly current affairs magazine’s final edition will hit newsstands on December 31. The decision to go all-digital underscores the problems faced by newsweeklies, as more consumers favor tablets and mobile devices over print in an increasingly commoditized, 24-hour news cycle.

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Indian media: Sport-fetish Page 1

Watching front-pages over the past two months in countries like US, France, Singapore and China, I have a feeling that Indian media is unduly focused on sport.
Don’t we have other newsworthy items to feature on Page 1?
It baffles me why Indian newspapers are taking up so much of Page 1 space for Euro 2012.
I’ve seen Le Monde in Paris while French Open was underway. But, the paper never carried French Open on Page 1…
I have read New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and even Boston Globe while travelling in the US earlier this month. But never did I see Sport taking up Page 1 space!
When will Indian media come of age!

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