Prufrock's Page

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Page 3-bashing

"On all week days, major newspapers such as the Times of India, the Hindustan Times, and Asian Age are full of reports of parties at five-star hotels and fawning profiles of fashion designers, their eating or dieting habits, their favourite vacation spots, champagne, colour, dog and so on. The colourful prose of fame and glamour frequently spills over to the front page when an Indian woman wins an international beauty pageant or a Bollywood starlet walks down the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival..."

In The Financial Times, Pankaj Mishra clucks his tongue at the state of Indian newspapers, touching upon the rise of middle class aspirations after liberalisation, pointing out that such reportage keeps "out the bad news so that newspapers become the echo chamber where a privileged minority hears only its own voice." (Yes, he manages to bring V.S. Naipaul into this piece, too.)


  • While there is much truth to Pankaj Mishra's criticism, his arguments seem to be a touch too strident. I agree that increasingly for people including myself every visit to the online version of Times of India is out of a desire to read gossip. However, I do check out The Hindu, The Telegraph, Outlook, etc, for serious news. The point is, there are Indian newspapers and publications that are not by any means frivolous; they are not afraid of publishing "bad news" either.

    By Blogger Ananya B, at 8:40 AM  

  • It's interesting that you bring up Mishra's obsession with Naipaul. I agree that Mishra's completely taken by Naipaul. He's written two book introductions for collections for Naipaul's essays; and appears in every article that he writes. Actually, I have a little bit of an obsession with Naipaul myself; have been reading his travel books for the last two months. My interest really is in the difference in what he says in his interviews and what he writes.

    By Blogger Hari, at 2:05 PM  

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