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Posts Tagged ‘reporter’

Sub-editors are not always those creatures whose English can be termed ‘impeccable.’

Once, a sub-editor overlooked a reporter’s heading that read: JAYALALITHAA DISTRIBUTES AIDS.
Luckily, we changed the heading before it went for printing, but not before there were many off-colour jokes at the expense of Jayalalthaa and the reporter.

And then again there was the sub, who forgot to check whether ‘actress Lakshmi tucked the sari around the temple idol (a news article which was published many years before, which our professors always used to recount to us) or ****ed the sari around the temple idol…..
Apparently the newspaper had to make an out of court settlement, as the rumour goes।

This was one of the really nice ‘LETTERS TO THE EDITOR’ News Today recieved, that made our day.
Letter reads:

Sir,

Nice to know that Jayalalitha has decided to fast on the Cauvery issue. She really requires to trim her sumo-wrestler physique!

P.H. Chandran,
Mumbai.

And then this really superb copy that came down the wires:

Bush’s recipe for a win: Leave before the job is done!

US President George W Bush has added more gems to his long list of unintended gaffes.
Remarkable among them, Bush: The fiscal year ended on February 30

Rachel Chitra

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A case has been filed: Its a normal day

The Anna Nagar K4 police station has registered the case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)….: The reporter has a word count and he’s falling short

A case has been filed. Further investigations are on: The sub-editor need a few more words for the story to align

Police are on the lookout: All constables in the station have been informed about it

Police have spread a dragnet: All city police stations have been faxed

Asst Police Comissioner ….has been deputed to handle the case: They’ve got orders from the top brass that this case is serious business

Police teams have been formed: A ruse to get the names of all the guys working on the case into the pages of a vernacular newspaper

The policeman was injured by the accused: They need something to accuse him with, so the policeman conveniently gets injured

Encounter: Police let the accused escape to shoot him down

sexually assualted: The police know its a rape, but they’d prefer to downplay it

The victim had many boyfriends: Its easier to close the case, if you can blame it on the girl

A mysterious death: We’d like to create a little hype, to get a little credit

The victim ‘claimed’: The reporter prefers the police version

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If you’re a working journalist, whose ambit is Chennai, the first mission of your life should be getting a placement in the Times of India. The TOI, which has been promising to come for many years, has finally got bored with the hype of arriving and decided to get the irksome job of getting to Chennai done and over with.
So landed TOI HR personnel, machines, baggage and all…..And no they did’nt advertise. Advertised recruitment drives are for measly papers with a circulation of less than 1 lakh (by the way this should not be construed as any hit at the New Indian Express, Chennai). For the TOI, advertising is more elite – only word of mouth. Or maybe the word of mouth stuff is a discrete cost cutting measure.
Anyway, the average TOI Chennai aspirant had to try his luck at the great, grand TOI. And applying for a company in the conservative circles of Chennai is not as easy as you think. First thing one has to get leave for the interview. And for that one has to be good at inventing stuff. “My grandmother is sick. She’s on her deathbed.” “Im suffering from writer’s block, tennis elbow, hepatitis, or even better mental depression…” are just a few excuses to give to the boss.
But for all you know when the boss is scolding you for taking too much leave, he/she might actually be thinking; “Will I get the job in TOI? What If I don’t? I’ll have to explain why a whole lot of people stampeded out of my office. And what if I meet this guy in the TOI office during the interview? Or even worse this loser gets the job and I don’t?”
So the boss decided to leave you in the lurch and not give you leave in the greater interests of his own career in TOI. Then you’ll have to squeeze in the interview between the hours you were supposed to have been in office.
The TOI guys are going to be here for three days. But its going to be three days of hell for the average TOI aspirant.
TOI aspirant to another reporter in the same beat: “Machan, I have some urgent work. I heard you’re attending the same press conference. Can you tell me what happened later?”
Another reporter: “Machan. I wanted to ask the same thing. My wife is not feeling well. So can you tell what happened there…”
(Deep silence. Mutual suspicion)
Both TOI aspirants hang up.
End result: All dignitaries will have to face empty chairs for the next three days in press conferences, business lunches and all the other events for which people want journalists to grace the attention.
And those who don’t want to be part of the TOI herd are dismissed as people who have to a) take up permanent residenship in Kilpauk IMH b) neurotic c) have enough money – damn the filthy rich and the cover-taking journalists or d) people who want to apply to TOI later after they get their annual hikes and increments in their current office.
(I suddenly realised I’ve used more than 14 TOIs in the post. Just shows the overall TOI fixation doesn’t it?)
Rachel Chitra

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