Sunday, January 8, 2017

If newspapers die, what would happen to allied media fields? What would happen to, say, PR and advertising?


Hindustan Times is shutting down its Kolkata edition as well as its editions in Ranchi, Bhopal, and Indore. Details here.
One of the reasons could be a decline in circulation followed by a decrease in ad revenue.
Young people (including media students, some of whom get as much as Rs.5,000 a month as pocket money) refuse to pay as little as four or five rupees to buy a newspaper. Could this be the reason for a decline in circulation?

I urge you to consider what would happen if newspapers and magazines all over the country were to suffer the fate of HT's Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhopal, and Indore editions.
If newspapers die, what would happen to allied media fields? What would happen to, say, PR and advertising?
What would happen to journalism?
Do use your imagination to consider what would happen to your career in the future.
And please think about buying at least one newspaper every day. And persuade your friends to do so too.
Best wishes,

UPDATE (January 17, 2017)

Death of a newspaper: Read this piece on The Hoot, which describes how HT's Bhopal edition was "slowly stifled before it was shut down earlier this week"  A requiem for the Hindustan Times, Bhopal.

UPDATE (January 19, 2017)

There is already blood on the floor of one of the last bastions of print media in the world. Major national dailies are shutting editions, laying off staff, slashing costs, and freezing expansions and investments. Smaller papers have been doing this for the last five years. Worse is to come if taxes are raised under the GST regime, if the damaging two-month impact of demonetisation persists in this quarter and the next, and if the government does not at least part-discontinue the wage board.

That is an excerpt from a hard-hitting edit in The Times of India today. Read the column in its entirety here: Indian newspaper industry: Red ink splashed across the bottom line  Hard-hit by factors beyond its control, print media needs reasonable tax and labour policies.

UPDATE (January 30, 2017)


Friday, January 6, 2017

Can you write a three-word intro? Do three-word intros work?

Here is the three-word intro Sam Borden wrote for a golf story in The New York Times:
It was in.

To understand why it is a great intro, you will need to read a little bit more. But don't take my word for it. Instead let a master, the man I consider my journalism guru, Roy Peter Clark, guide you through the story's spectacular structure. Here is Clark's post: Want a lesson in focusing your writing? Read this hole-in-one lead.

PS: Marvel too at the nut graf in the original news report  again, just three words.

  • Learn more about Roy Peter Clark: The power of writing. Commits students can also borrow from our library three wonderful books written by Clark: Help! for Writers, How to Write Short, and The Glamour of Grammar.
  • On New Year's Eve, Roy Peter Clark retired from Poynter, a legendary journalism institute. His first piece since retirement was published six days later: 40 things I learned about the writing craft in 40 years. There are so many great points on the list, these three especially:

8. Tools not rules: We could think of writing as carpentry, learning how to use a set of tools. Rules were all about what is right and what is wrong. Tools are all about cause and effect, what we build for the audience.

9. Reports vs. stories: Reading scholar Louise Rosenblatt described a distinction I adapted to journalism: that reports were crafted to convey information — pointing you there. Stories were about vicarious experience, a form of transportation — putting you there. 

19. Emphatic word order: The journalist with news judgment decides what is most interesting or most important. That judgment can be conveyed in word order, placing the key words at the beginning or end. Not “The Queen is dead, my lord.” But “The Queen, my lord, is dead.”