An IIM-Calcutta alumnus who "currently works for Business Standard in Mumbai" wrote an unsigned - and extremely funny - article on the poaching of journalists. A phenomenon which has been making news for a while now...
Pre-DNA: Jan 3, 2005: Terrible day. I was rudely woken up by a phone call from Boss complaining loudly that I had missed several stories. Boss warned me that I wouldn't get an increment this year. I decided to send my family to our native village because I can't afford to pay the rent.
Post-DNA: July 3, 2005: Great day. I was woken up by a call from DNA offering me a job as Principal Correspondent with a 100 per cent rise in salary. I immediately told my Boss about the offer. He made a counter-offer on the spot, making me Special Correspondent with a 120 per cent rise in salary!
May a hundred DNAs bloom is a fun read, especially if you happen to work in the media. Or plan to. My only question is: why describe yourself in a manner which makes it obvious who you are... May as well have claimed authorship!
The Bigger Story
Poaching journalists is fine but does what they write really 'sell' the paper? To be on the safe side, DNA has gone and kidnapped Marjorie Orr.
There is this theory that she is half the reason for Mid-day's popularity. The other half being the 'page 3' mate.
Well, DNA at least is hoping that's true. Marjorie ben's 'bhavishyavaani' takes up a whole HALF page (of a broadsheet newspaper!). Every zodiac sign is accompanied by a Bollywood star born under it. And Marjorie gets a colour photograph too.
Maybe that's what convinced her to switch loyalties :)
Wonder if this was DNA's 'big idea'? Or was it the choice of purple and yellow for the masthead?? Because it's 4 days since the paper has been out. I've seen two issues and like the rest of Mumbai, I am less than impressed.
Take today's page 1 DNA headline:
Banks flooded, Husains saved, city acts
I really thought the Husain reference could have been avoided. It gives the whole headline a frivolous feeling. He can paint a few more canvasses! 420 people have DIED in Mumbai alone.
The police commissioner in a boat is a picture we've seen on every TV channel yesterday - so it didn't make much impact either.
The Times of India's "Still in Deep Water" was a far better front page. It captured the seriousness of the situation.
Mumbai Mirror put the Hussain story on page 1 (looks like Mirror and TOI at least check with each other to ensure there is no repetition coz I could not see a Hussain mention in TOI at all)
I don't know what the HT headline reads like coz the vendor in Vashi did not have a copy. But the best coverage of 'July 26 and after' - day after day - has been the Indian Express.
Why you should support Express
Yesterday their front page story was on how the chief of the high powered relief committee set up by the CM is actually holidaying in Spain.
Today, they have done a follow-up on the government's relief efforts: On Day 1, state’s food-relief drive falters
The state government’s plan was simple: Transport foodgrains from the four Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns at Bhiwandi, Panvel, Reay Road and Borivali to the 40 ration centres across Mumbai.
But even as thousands waited inside flooded bylanes for the promised relief, the drive faltered—leading to an 18-hour delay—mainly due to last-minute coordination between unreasonable transporters, the FCI and the Rationing Department.
This is what is known as 'reporting'. You go and physically get information instead of asking for it on the phone or compiling TV reports.
IE readers would also be the first to know that what happened on July 26 was a very unusual meteorological phenomenon called Offshore Vortex.
Today's edition also featured an op-ed by Milind Deora 'City as Hero no 1' where the young MP writes about structural changes required. Coming from a person who may be in a position to effect change at some point in time - it was a valuable 900 words.
I for one am going to continue my Express subscription, despite the fact that it's a bit thin and raggedy in appearance, compared to the new kids on the block. And suggest you do too.
Mid-day fights back
Meanwhile, Midday has got itself a new astrologer - Ofer Cohen - who I think should be able to fill Orr's shoes. The brand is always bigger than any one individual or columnist. Mid-day still has a pick-me-up quality about it. Check today's page 1 story: Mumbai's missing,
It features pictures and details of 28 Mumbaikars 'missing' since last Tuesday. A few appear to be unrelated to the rain, but many are definitely "26th July" cases.
I sincerely hope they are in a hospital somewhere, but both you and I know that some of these people are probably dead, their bodies washed away by the sea.
Reading this story is a chilling reminder of just how bad 26/7 was. Maybe Hussain will be inspired and paint a whole new series of Rs 100 crore paintings.