Six things I can’t stand in Indian journalism

Here are my top five of annoying things Indian journalists constantly do:

1) repetition

Here’s one very typical example by the news agency PTI: “Actress Parineeti Chopra who is often known as one of the most bubbly actress in Bollywood says she finds the title ‘Bubbly’ very disrespectful. ‘When people call me bubbly, I find it very disrespectful.'”

Yawn. I’m not stupid, ya? I already understood it when I was reading it for the first time.

2) not giving any background

Often, one can only understand an article if one lived in India for at least ten years and had followed the news on a daily basis.

Because there is no explanation given what a person did who’s execution has been stayed, or why a court ruling is so important,  or what impact a decision by the ministry could have, or why this statement by a particular politician is deemed important… – just to give some random examples. This list could go on forever.

3) lack of creativity

Seems hardly any scribe can live without the phrase “when asked if”. For example here in the Indian Express:  “When asked if he would like to take up any particular profession after retirement, he said: ‘Maybe, I will become a journalist. I like this profession.'”

I mean, can you not just use indirect speech? Or use some of the grey cells to find another prelude to the quote? This is so cheap.

4) no names

Sometimes it is the “Times News Network”, sometimes a “Special Correspondent”. I do understand there are sensitive issues when the author should better not be named. But seriously, above an article about a press conference?

5) ads

Often, the whole front page is covered by an advertisement. And the second page as well. As is half of the third page. And then page five again. And so on.

Are paid news not enough?

6) on TV: saying that they ask a question

“My question is this…” or “I just want to ask you a question…” or “My simple question to you is:” (that’s Arnab Goswami of Times Now), or “I’m asking you this:”

Yes. Do. Just do.

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Where is the news?

I somehow got accustomed to the fact that the front page of many Indian newspapers often is occupied by a full size advertisement. The second one, too, of course, screams some brand name in colour, so the third page (or at least the upper half) carries the most important news (or the ones most money was paid for – see for example here). But today I found also page four and five covered in ads. Except for one little news item that stood its ground.

Maybe this was meant as a riddle. Who can spot the article?

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