Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are subs a disappearing breed? Is that why there are so many typos in our newspapers? Also: How do Times group journalists deal with Medianet?

Here's Meenal Baghel, the founder and editor in chief of the Mirror (Mumbai Mirror, Bangalore Mirror, etc.), responding to a question on why the Mirror has a number of typos:

I think there is a very real problem with journalism today, and it’s not only limited to Mirror. The problem is that the deskie is a disappearing breed. And it’s going to be a big challenge over the next few years. Also, there are very real problems we are facing, and these are going to change the profession drastically. It’s so rare to find people who want to come into journalism because they want to be journalists. For example, when you ask people, ‘Who edited this copy?’. Invariably the response will be: ‘I looked at it/I glanced at it/I skimmed through it.’

And here's the Q&A concerning Medianet:

Being a hard-edged journalist, how do you reconcile with something like Medianet?
That’s easy, because we don’t have Medianet in Mirror.

But it’s there in your group.
It doesn’t affect my life, so I don’t care about it.

You aren’t asked to carry plugs?
No. And it’s one of the things that has pleasantly surprised me. They have maintained the Chinese wall from the start.

They have left you alone?
Yes. And there’s another reason. Mirror is a small paper in the group, so it’s not necessarily the focus. We are a small cog in comparison.

Have you ever been asked to drop a story?
(Pauses) Not drop a story. I think what one learns over a period of time is that you have to pick your battles. I’ll give you an example: If there’s an entertainment story which is coming right ahead of the Filmfare awards, where somebody is going to be performing, and I have a damaging story on that person, would I delay it by a few days? Yes, I would.
  • Thank you for the alert, Nilofer D'Souza. 

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