Sunday, November 05, 2006

Neil Armstrong recently set foot on the moon

The trouble with me is that I read every damned English paper this city publishes (except the Free Press Journal; I can't find it anywhere). And the trouble with me is that some vague headline or photograph or ad just pops out of the newsprint and hits me right in the eyeballs.
Like the one reproduced above, from the November 4, 2006 edition of Indian Express Newsline, Mumbai.
So, what’s the problem, you ask me.
Let me explain.
Like, why is Schumacher in Express Newsline and not in the main paper?
So, we’ll figure it out, I tell my brain. And I read the caption.
And my brain goes all fuzzy when I read about the recent F1 event in Shanghai. Shanghai? Recent?
The trouble with me is that I am a follower of Formula 1 racing. And, therefore, I know that the Shanghai leg of the F1 junket was not held “recently”. Unless of course, you’re like a large part of the population who knows me and believes I’m the world’s biggest nitpicker. Of course October 1 is recent, you say.
No, dear friends at Indian Express, October 1 was a millennium ago. The way the media is evolving, “breaking news” as a phrase is used when something was happening ten seconds ago or is happening NOW, not five hours ago or ten hours ago.
By that measure, “recently” would refer to something that happened yesterday. On a day when the reader is kindly disposed towards you, it might refer to the day before.
And this is something you surely know, friends at Indian Express. And this is something your sub-editor surely spotted. Which means that there was some pressure that forced you to carry the photo despite the said photo having passed the sell-by (or publish-by) date.
So, what’s the problem, you ask me.
The problem is, what’s the difference between what you have done with the Schumi-Dossa photo and what The Times of India does with Medianet?

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