30.11.09

In Which I Skewer Incompetent Reportage

My expectations of the Times of India (TOI) on most days, are pretty low. I've called it a tabloid disguised as a broadsheet staffed by idiots and twits with questionable journalistic ethics before, and that opinion still holds good*. Most mainstream media in India, in my experience, have no idea how to deal with the existence of blogs, or how to report on them, or any form of technology-related new developments really.
Which is why the Tabloid of India's attempt to show that it is indeed with the times is not only badly botched, but flat-out laughable. The article in question was a piece about fashion bloggers, which ran in the TOI's weekend edition in Bangalore last Saturday. Leaving aside the supposed tendency to 'narcissim' of people who 'are trying to inspire by 'mixing and not matching', I found it astounding that, in a piece that made constant references to about five different blogs, not a single url was mentioned. It's all very well to tell your readers that the fashion features director of Vogue India blogs, but where the fuck at? It's the online equivalent of, IMO, writing a restaurant review and leaving the address of the restaurant completely out of it. In addition to which, not all the blog authors mentioned are even based in India- the writers of High Heel Confidential write about Bollywood outfits, but they're US-based.
This goes above and beyond the incompetence of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in their blogger coverage, as pointed out by LLG a couple of months ago. In that case, the WSJ failed to mention blog names and blogger handles in a piece that was about blogs, and both papers made glaring factual errors. The TOI just went one step further by leaving off the urls. I'm happy to know that there are other Indian fashion blogs out there, and it's good that they're getting attention. I just wish the bloody TOI had done its job properly (always a pointless thing to hope for, I've found).
*following an incident at a book launch some years ago. The book in question was edited by the mother of one of my friends, and was an anthology of the work of a dead author. At the event, S (my friend) was cornered by a reporter who wanted to know if she could get an interview with the author.
S: Er, it's a posthumously produced work.
Reporter: Yes, but can I get an interview with the author?
S: *has a hunch, decides to follow up on it*
S: Are you with the Times of India?
Reporter: Yes!

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.