Saturday, April 23, 2016

The joy of being greeted by your student on World Book Day!

I was delighted to receive this e-mail from Sharanya Shivakumar (Class of 2017) this morning:

Almost immediately I sent her my reply:

Happy World Book Day to you too, Sharanya. I can't tell you how happy I am to receive this e-mail from you. :-)

Of course, I have read Kane and Abel. It was first published in 1979, so I think I must have picked it up in my final year of college. I'm sure I liked it, because I was a huge Archer fan at the time, but I have read a few thousand books since, so I am not sure now exactly what I felt when I put it down for the last time.

You finished it in three days? Wow! I am impressed.

My favourite book? Rabid book-lovers can never have a favourite book. I can, if I put my mind to it, name a few hundred which I absolutely enjoyed reading. :-)

Right now I'm re-reading Wolf Hall. I first read it a few years ago (and even purchased a copy for the college library) and I thought it was a magnificent portrayal of Thomas Cromwell, the man who worked behind the scenes for Henry VIII (he of the six-wives fame!). I love books dealing with history  fiction as well as non-fiction  and I am re-reading this one because my wife and I have been watching The Tudors on Netflix.

Wolf Hall has been made into a TV mini-series. Sushant has downloaded it for me and I'm looking forward to watching the book come alive on the small screen.

At the moment, I am on Page 463  only about 200 pages to go. After I am done, I'm going to re-read the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. (Both books are so, so good, author Hilary Mantel was honoured with the Booker Prize. She is the first woman and the first living British author to win the prestigious literary prize twice.) And now I'm waiting for the last book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. I am hoping it will be published this year.

Oh-oh. When I get started on reading and books, I don't seem to stop, right? :-) *Stops typing now*

I am bcc'ing this to your classmates for their edification. :-)



ALSO READ: Good readers make good media professionals

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Every writer needs an editor. Or, why subs are worth their weight in gold

I am a huge, huge fan of Poynter. In my opinion, it is the No. 1 journalism site. Which is why there are numerous pieces on The Reading Room that refer to articles that were first published on

The most recent Poynter post is a brilliant example of writing that not only promotes good journalism but also offers a new way to think about some of the processes involved in putting together a good story. The post, by Alison MacAdam, is titled "Journalism has an editing crisis, but we can do something about it".

Unfortunately, the column is also a good example of the time-honoured dictum: Every writer (including Alison MacAdam) needs an editor.

Here are the comments I posted after I read the column this morning:

Ramesh Prabhu  4 hours ago In India, too, there is an immense lack of strong editors. Which is why I tell my students (I teach journalism at a media college in Bangalore) good subs, or copy editors, are worth their weight in gold. Having said that, may I point out an editing error in this piece? "We now create far more content that any reasonable human being could ever read..." should have been edited to read "We now create far more content than any reasonable human being could ever read..."
Ramesh Prabhu  4 hours ago Also, "...we’re 'creating content' for 25-34 year-old women or Latino millennials" should have been edited to read "...we’re 'creating content' for 25- to 34-year-old women or Latino millennials." Suspensive hyphenation, anyone?

I'm not the only one who has spotted errors in the article:
MM Greene  Hugh Vandivier  8 hours ago Don't forget the three misplaced cases of "only." Look, editors exist!

N.B: Don't let the editing issues detract from the sound argument Alison MacAdam is making on behalf of editors. You can read the post in its entirety here.