Wednesday, 12 September 2007

THE BIG ONE -- 'CASH FOR EDITORIALS'

PREMISE

The purpose of this story is not to defame any particular individual or institution. Penpricks’ motive is to expose a shameful practice in the media, which has been going on for a while, albeit behind closed doors. During the 2007 assembly elections, journalism in Goa hit a new low with the Herald, and the other Goan English daily The Navhind Times, consistently publishing political advertisements under the garb of news reports. Such stray cases of journalistic impropriety have occurred before. But, never has a newspaper so unabashedly systemised such unethical trends. This outrage in fact, became the cornerstone of this investigative story. And to trace the extent of journalistic degeneration in a newspaper, became our only motivation. But there was still one brook we had to wade through, before plunging into this torrent. How do we define the extent of this degradation?

After some deliberation, Penpricks arrived at this conclusion. (We are putting down our thought-process on paper, so that our readers know the logic behind this investigation) An editorial was and continues to be the soul of a newspaper. In the age of commercial conquest of news-space, the free-flowing column on the extreme left of the editorial page still continues to be the sanctum sanctorum of a newspaper. It is still that organ in a ravaged journalistic carcass that’s shudders sometimes, to let folk know it’s still alive. An editorial today, still lends a saddened reader, a shoulder, a harried reader, hope and at times cracks a whip at outrage. Would any newspaper mortgage/sell an editorial to an advertiser? Is the soul still sacred, or is it already on the advertisers shelf? This is what we found out…


Editorials in the Herald are for sale… at a whopping Rs 3 lakh per piece.

Penpricks posed as business consultants and booked nearly a dozen editorials for Rs 3 lakh per piece for the tourism-frenzied months of October and November.
Penpricks posed as Manoj Rastogi, business manager of a fictitious Delhi-based vacation-marketing company called ‘Acer Consultants’, which was interested in writing and placing six commercially-driven editorials as part of its Rs 35-lakh advertising campaign in Goa.
Penpricks has been in email communication with a senior member of the Herald business development team Mr Harry Mann since August 28. Herald finalised the deal for the sale of editorials (at Rs 3 lakh per editorial, makes it Rs 18 lakh for six editorials) on September 5 with this email from Harry Mann. As part of the deal ‘Acer Consultants’ would write six commercially driven editorials for publication in the Herald, for which Acer Consultants would pay the newspaper Rs 3 lakh each for every editorial published.

(excerpt from Harry Mann’s letter)

From: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail
/compose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff1
54ef48a7dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=ere
p%40oheraldo.in

To: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/c
ompose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154
ef48a7dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=acerc
onsultants%40consultant.com

Subject: RE: ATTN Mr Mann
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 17:19:45 +0530

hi . yeah its a close deal already.. but please we need to keep
this deal between us !i mean between herald and your company . im
okay with the deal 3 lakh per release and plus the commercial
space.. you can issue check to us adress to herald publication pvt.
are you intrested with our tv also and our web ? il work with your
budget sir.

In return for ‘Acer Consultants’ placing of these half dozen commercially driven editorials and display ads, Herald also threw in another incentive to ensnare the client. Mr Mann assured us that we could use ‘free of cost’ the “By Herald Reporter” byline to publish any publicity and promotional matter we wanted.
Here’s an excerpt from an email by Mr Harry Mann stating the same.

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 18:58:04 +0800 About the write ups, i can give you free of charge in putting
articles to help you in enhance your business here in goa under
the tag of "BY HERALD REPORTER". as a part of the package ..i can
give you one month two write ups everyweek .. if you want more
just let me know.

Not just this, we even sent a sample editorial to Herald’s representative. The editorial dealt on Tourism in Goa. We have clearly stated in our emails (we shall upload the emails gradually in the coming days) that all the editorials which the fictitious company would write and then publish in the Herald would be profit oriented i.e. crafted in such a way so as to earn the fictitious company, profit. We also made it absolutely clear that it was nothing else, but advertising. Look at how Herald responded to the editorial we had sent as advertising matter. (Look out for the part in bold)

From: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/com
pose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154ef48a7
dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=erep%40oheraldo.
in

To: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/compo
se.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154ef48a7df
ef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=acerconsultants%4
0consultant.com

Subject: RE: ATTN Mr Mann
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 18:24:48 +0800

hi sorry for the late reply i was with my 5 clients today .. by
the way the sample letter is a good ONE BUT THE impact is not so
strong as our editor says, if you allow us to ad up something in
the write ups
.. we are okay with that... same title but there is
something additional in your wirte ups..after if ready to release
will call you or will give you schedule ..... if your okay with
this arrangement will go for it ... and for the second write ups or
the rest of it, you can also send it to.

We have to tell you how ‘good’ Herald was at the negotiations. Midway through our talks we received a mail from Harry Mann, which said that in Herald the editorial space was not for sale. (excerpts)

From: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/
compose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154
ef48a7dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=erep%4
0oheraldo.in

To: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/com
pose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154ef48
a7dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=acerconsult
ants%40consultant.com

Subject: RE: hi...
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 18:58:04 +0800
erepresentative
HERALD PUBLICATION PVT. LTD
0832-242-2859
hi
im so sorry we wont allow anyone to make a write ups or choose in
your own choice of topic in our editorial clm which is in the left
side ... but as i said we can give you the center page of the
editorial page at least 1000 words .

At this point of time during the negotiations, we had offered Herald Rs 1.5 lakh per editorial. But Mr Mann on behalf of the Herald appeared to be bargaining hard. We hiked our price on offer from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. (excerpt from the mail we sent to Mr Mann)

From: Acer Consultants [mailto: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/compose
.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154ef48a7df
ef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=acerconsultants
%40consultant.com
]
To: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/com
pose.mail?compose=1&.ob=fe612f4dbaff154ef48
a7dfef15259ef00fff26b&composeto=erep%40oher
aldo.in

Sent: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 10:35:09 -0500
Subject: ATTN MR MANN... URGENT
Dear Mr Mann,
I was frankly a bit taken aback by the response.
The editorial aspect is very crucial to us, because we understand the impact edtorials have on the readers. Its for this impact that we are willing to shell out a very high premium for placing a few editorials in your newspaper that would enhance our business. We have offered you 300 per cent permium of your advertising rates. We are filling to offer you 400 per cent or about there.
In sheer digits we are willing to offer you up to Rs 3 lakh per each editorial in the month of October. We are interested in a maximum of 4 tourism related editorials in the months of October and November.

And pat came the response. Mr Mann claims in his mail that he spoke to the editor about the deal and showed him the sample editorial we had sent him and that he was fine with it. The newspaper ‘okayed’ the deal.
The cherry had popped.
Guys… we reproduce here, the email from Mr Mann that clinched it for us.

----- Original Message -----
From: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/
compose.mail?compose=1&.ob=4a3524b9f12a9e1
7045f0b516fc9a6d6f0728952&composeto=erep%4
0oheraldo.in

To: http://mail01.mail.com/scripts/mail/co
mpose.mail?compose=1&.ob=4a3524b9f12a9e170
45f0b516fc9a6d6f0728952&composeto=acercons
ultants%40consultant.com

Subject: RE: ATTN Mr Mann
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 17:19:45 +0530

hi . yeah its a close deal already.. but please we need to keep
this deal between us !i mean between herald and your company . im
okay with the deal 3 lakh per release and plus the commercial
space.. you can issue check to us adress to herald publication pvt.
are you intrested with our tv also and our web ? il work with your
budget sir.
i handle your account and il help you to promote your business here
in goa . il invite you also in our cafe talk and you can talk about
your business.. just ley\t me know if you need something more,,,,
REGARDS
MR MANN
erepresentative
HERALD PUBLICATION PVT. LTD
0832-242-2859
9923112206 - Mesha
9823113530 - Iranna
9975534536 - Joan
9975534535 - Harry

WHY WE BELIEVE THIS STORY IS SIGNIFICANT
The bottomline here... A newspaper has sold its soul. The 60:40 editorial:advertising ratio has long been junked by tie-choked management graduates. The editorial has always been the last line of defence in any newspaper. This code has been violated. There’s more. An editorial reflects the stance of a newspaper.
Penpricks’ investigation has proved that this adage is now mincemeat. Herald’s acceptance of the fictitious Acer Consultants’ deal to publish commercially driven editorials negates the raison d'etre of the venerated editorial.

WHY WE DID THIS STORY
The watchdogs of democracy have turned on to the very people they are to defend. Last assembly elections in Goa saw these very watchdogs salivating for advertorial tidbits thrown by major political parties their way. Penpricks was in fact, birthed in these revolting circumstances… if you check our archives, you’d see one of our first posts dealt with corruption in the media during the run up to the elections. This story is a sign that Penpricks is slowly finding its feet and has now uttered its first syllable.


HOW WE DID THS STORY
Penpricks
went undercover posing as a business consultancy firm named ‘Acer Consultants’ based in Connaught Place, New Delhi, interested in starting an advertising campaign on behalf of its clients. We positioned ‘Acer Consultants’ as a multi-national firm worth Rs 15 crore that specialised in marketing vacation packages. We approached the Herald on August 28 as Manoj Rastogi, business consultant for ‘Acer Consultants’ using the email ID acerconsultants@consultant.com.We asked the newspaper for a package including display ads, ‘promotional write-ups’, ‘editorial space’ and asked them for their editorial policy. One Harry Mann from Herald’s Corporate Development wing responded and started the negotiations. We asked Mr Mann point blank, if the newspaper would allow us to write and place editorials ‘benefiting our business’ for a price. We suggested that we would pay a 300 per cent premium on advertising rates for each editorial the newspaper allowed us to write. A tough negotiator, Mr Mann replied saying, the newspaper does not allow advertisers access to the editorial slot. At the same time, the email from Mr Harry Man claimed that he would allow us to publish promotional and advertising matter under the “BY HERALD REPORTER” byline, ‘free of cost’!!!
This was the sort of theatre of the absurd that we were dealing wit. This obviously was a bargaining ruse forcing us to up our rates and we did.
The deal finally closed at Rs 3 lakh per editorial. We assured them that we had six editorials lined up to be published in the newspaper. Editorials that we clearly stated, would benefit our business. The conversation which we have on email began on August 28, 2007 and the deal was sealed on September 5, 2007.

WHY DO WE HEAR ALARM BELLS
We haven’t met Mr Harry Mann while we were negotiating this deal, nor have we met any representative of the Herald. We are merely an email ID to them. They do not know us. They haven’t seen us. They haven’t spoken to us (barring once on telephone). We have been in touch for barely a week before we sealed this deal. This only goes to show how brazen this malaise has become. Editorials sold across the counter, with a few complimentary bylines thrown in for good measure.

We were only bloggers interested in exposing a wrongdoing in the media industry, but imagine if we had ulterior motives… Just for a moment, imagine us as sophisticated lobbyists on the payrolls of the same gang of crooked realtors, who are trying to push controversial regional plan through. It would have been so easy to buy off editorials and cultivate public opinion.
And guess what guys, we are not the only ones who think something is fishy here. To sign off, here’s a line from Mr Harry Mann’s email, which goes to show that they know they are not indulging in something above board.

“but please we need to keep, this deal between us !i mean between herald and your company.”

We broke our word Mr Mann… but you’ve broken our hearts.

58 Comments:

Blogger Mumbai Journo said...

Hi Pricks,

Please, please identify yourself for such wonder pieces of journalism!

People in mumbai like Pradyuman Maheshwari, the founder of Mediaah, somehow think poor worthless me
is behind such an exercise!!!!

And I have to tell him how different pen pricks is different from goajourno!

Shiv Kumar

12 September 2007 11:44  
Anonymous Concerned Reader said...

Excellent stuff. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but will readily succumb to money. Shame on Herald.

Great job, guys.

12 September 2007 12:13  
Anonymous NowPublicize said...

That is a catch - but the nuts and bolts will not be terribly interesting (or indeed, surprising) to the mainstream reader in Goa who already knows - or at least suspects strongly - that this has been going on.

I suggest that the only way to actually shame these rogues is to publicize the story nationally. NDTV should carry it, CNN-IBN should carry it, also Tehelka, HT, etc. 'Totally bent editorship', it's a decent story...

And of course, every media watchdog (though few exist with any teeth) should censure Herald. These people need to be forced to feel shame, because - as we know - they are incapable of of it on their own.

Not bad, PenPricks. A healthy dose of investigation, which Goa's third-rate media really needs. You have our collective salaams.

12 September 2007 12:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am not very impressed with this so called "expose".
Herald is a soft target. Atleast, this paper has got some semblence of shame and social committment. I would have really appreciated if you guys had taken on the largest selling english paper of Goa. For them only mantra is profits. with this expose, you guys have only helped them to strengthen their monopoly and all their misdeeds.
the problem is you guys can not think beyond herald like a frog in the pond. i am not a great fan of herald. but i think we are catching a fry and leaving bigger fish because they have clout and everyone is scared to touch them.
secondly, no person in his senses would pay even the rate of front page advt for editorial for they are read by very few elit group. editirials have lost its punch and no body takes them seriously forget about making ones opinion reading it.

12 September 2007 12:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent story. But to tell you frankly I don't think anything will come of it.

This 'Harry Mann' doesn't sound like a Goan or even Indian. Sounds more like a German/Austrian. Is he (not his email) a living person? Could this be a 'Sonali Maria' clone?

I for one just don't read editorials. I used to read Gomantak Times' editorials as I had found Sujay Gupta's writing style captivating. Now I don't read GT editorial either although they are better than some of the other english papers.

3 lakhs is very steep. Maybe there are some idiots who would shell out the amount. After all Goa has massive corruption in virtually every sphere. And hence the inflated prices. Poor infrastructure and people continue to suffer from kidney problems in Canacona.

No one cares ...they only see the money!

We live in a culture where money talks and B***S#** walks(or rather thrown at your face). This money culture entered around 1961 in a trickle and turned into raging torrent in the 90's.

50% percent of the industries are closed down, people giving One Time Settlement schemes now hold the purse strings... the list goes on and on.

Your story just might be the one that triggers the people to stand up and say enough is enough. There might be one more story needed, that on the jsutice system... of how opposite advocates are in cahoots to loot their clients. I am very suspicious of lawyers who win all cases and lose none!

All in all this story is a step in the right direction... direction of words turning people into action.

12 September 2007 13:27  
Anonymous NowPublicize said...

Good catch there.

I'd be willing to bet that 'Harry Mann', is indeed the same person as 'Nikhil Joseph' and also 'Sonali Maria.'

In other words, Robbin' Abreu is peddling the editorial space directly! Now that DOES belong on NDTV!

Here's how you find out - simply do an IP check on the emails you're getting. I'm willing to bet that they come from the editor's cabin.

12 September 2007 13:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nowpublicize: How to do an IP check on the emails? They don't include IP any more.

Could you suggest some websites on this issue?

12 September 2007 14:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent story.

Arnab

12 September 2007 14:16  
Anonymous rupesh samant said...

Excellent job. I am sure whoever reads it will have first word uttered in their mouth is ``oh shit.''
We have been taking this shit from herald since long. I presume owner of this newspaper live somewhere on the globe (not in India).
Today we are feeling ashamed because herald had the reputation of being people's newspaper.
Robin Abreau before taking over as the editor of this newspaper should have read about the golden history of this venture. This newspaper led commonest of people.
But now... It's competiting with Navhind Times for being the worst paper in Goa.
I hope Robin is asked to pack his bags and take the first flight to Mumbai where he actually belongs.
Also that Harry Mann should be sent to his native (God knows where.)

12 September 2007 14:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done!

Only problem is you only proved what everybody knows already -- it's like providing details on a corrupt deal by a politician who everyone knows is corrupt anyway.

Now the usual tamasha? Vociferous denials from the Herald?

12 September 2007 14:48  
Anonymous NowPublicize said...

The IP address is still there on email - you just need to 'show header'.

Read this site (among others) - http://www.onimoto.com/cache/50.html

12 September 2007 15:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Penpricks...

A great job indeed...

No words to express my congratulations.

The People's Paper has become a Toilet Paper for Commercial and Industrial Houses.

The Herald Substandard calls it the "Sanitary Napkin".

I hope RNI will take a note of it.

Penpricks... If possible please display the RNI email ID for the readers of Penpricks to past and email their comments to RNI.

Herald should be derognised as a newspaper and should be removed from the stand.

Thank You once again and keep it Up.

Once again a 1000 thanks to you.

12 September 2007 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nowpublicize: Thanks...

But I think the IP is only from the server which sent the mail. Not specifically a particular terminal ... such as from Robin in particular...

The link u gave was gr8!

12 September 2007 16:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey pricks

Vow vow vow... your work deserves a bow...
Herald and only Herald can indulge in such polluted, desecrated and grimy journalism.
What the heck, Mann! If Saint Robin Abreu can rob (i mean edits), why can't he sell his soul, yaar.
Am sure from today noon his undies must be in a twist and he must be choking.

12 September 2007 18:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations !! for the record you have broken.

The Blog Tracker rank at the bottom of this page has reached #549 from the usual #559.
No doubt it is today's scandal that has brought so many readers to the blog.

12 September 2007 18:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff.
Looks like Herald has already sold its soul, buried all the journalistic and social responsibilities and has become a 'money making racket'.
The concern authorities should take stern action against Herald.
I hope your expose gets much wider publicity in Goa and India. The concern investigative journos should also get credit for their efforts.
Keep up the good work guys~~

12 September 2007 18:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when one of the Goan journalist did a sting on Churchill Alemao?
There was this theory that Churchill was a soft target. That the journalist was paid by Churchill's rival to pay for the sting, etc etc.
The same guys are out with the daggers, claiming Herald is a soft target and all that crap.
Hey man (comment 4), your bias is revealing and your one track mind is stinking shit.
PP has attacked the system and not an individual or organisation. That f...... Herald and Harry Mann and Robin Abreu are the jokers in the circus is just incidental.
Hey pricko, stupendous investigative piece. Kudos to you.
You are the man. We need to point out the black sheep in our tribe.

12 September 2007 18:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shmoly! What a story. As a NRI Goan, I didn't know whether to laugh at the awful English from Mr. Mann or cry at the sordidness of this deal. And why is the editor still in his job?? This is indicative of how low politics and other organs of public life in Goa have stooped. Goans, get off your knees!

12 September 2007 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your biggest story has exposed the the two rascals in Herald.
Castrate Harry Mann and squeeze Robin Abreu's b....

12 September 2007 18:23  
Anonymous A said...

great work pricks. proud of you.

12 September 2007 19:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Penpricks,

CONGRATULATIONS !

Journalism (from the days of Narad) is considered as the third oldest profession, with politics being the second.

With this expose, it has once again proved that second and third oldest professions have striking similarities with the FIRST !

12 September 2007 19:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

A GR8 job this...

Exposing or 'heralding' the birth of a crap paper, a crap editor and his crap team....

I'm saying this because there was once a guy called RAJAN NARAYAN who used to be editor of this paper.

Rajan must be truly feeling ashamed.

And Raul... ho ho ho.... forget the shame!!!! He is probably only ruing the loss of Rs. 18 Lakhs!!!

Wanna bet they won't be open to doing this (opening up the editor's sacred space to the highest bidder) again???

As a Herald staffer, I am truly ashamed of myself!!!!

12 September 2007 20:47  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Mumbai journo: Thanks a ton man. But don't think we can reveal ourselves just yet. But thanks for your encouragement.
Concerned reader: The ink in the pen sometimes needs to be bled out. And sometimes the nib rusts faster than a sword na
Nowpublicize: Hey thanks for all those comments. Have not uploaded the one where you said so. But listen, we are dead sure Harry Mann exists. His name sounds a bit alien cause he's from the Philippines. But listen... thanks a ton for fretting and fussing over us ;)
Arnab: Thanks a lot man. For reading and forwarding this stuff to friends
Anon who wasn't very 'impressed': Fine by us
Rupesh Samant: Finally you talk tough ;) Thanks for the words of support man, means a lot to us.
Anon who follows rupesh samant: These things are talked about. We only tried to bring the issue into public domain. So that folks could see exactly how these deals are done and who does them for sure
Anon who gave us a 1000 thanks: Your words pep us up
Anon who goes vow vow vow: Thanks again man... But undies doing a twist... thats a new one ;)
Anon with the 'broken record';) Thanks man...
ANON who mentions Churchill Alemao: Man thanks for taking the bogey off our backs. Its easy to say 'you could have done this' 'you could have done that'... We value the fact that we have at least done something. And thanks for appreciating this factor
Anon HOLY SHMOLY: Keep writing man...
Anon who favors castration: Know any surgeon who these guys can get in touch with? ;)
To anon a: the shortest and sweetest of all comments. Thanks a ton. Keep reading and writing back.
The NARAD ANON: How right you are
To GR8 ANON: Thanks man. We know exactly what you mean my friend. We were shocked when these guys accepted our outlandish proposal. BUt its true. These guys have really sold their soul

13 September 2007 01:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's a good expose... but, only HERALD is not guilty... the former editor, Rajan has written letters during the pre-elections to fringe candidates offering publicity in his tabloid for Rs 25,000/- each...
Keep up the good work, pricks...
--P

13 September 2007 06:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thought, Robin is probably going to end up being the sacrificial goat (if H. management gets round to doing something about it). But the person really responsible is the proprietor. Robin is only doing what the guy wants him to do -- make money by hook or crook.

Similarly, curse Arun Sinha if you please, but what about the Dempos? AS sticks on at NT because he suits the Dempos.

How about some ethics for newspaper proprietors? You can't sack them, more's the pity, but they also need to be penalised. Vote with our bucks, don't buy their rags.

13 September 2007 12:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi pricks
Rahul the Herald Boss by now must have realised that Phillipinos cannot run the Herald as they lack Knowledge and understanding of the goan market nor do they have anything 'Goan' in them. Where Harry Mann the Phillipino is concerned he is an Idiot, a dumb fool who can be taken for a ride as the way you pricks have used his ..... in the expose'. Can the advertising department rely on him anymore Mr Savio... Oh no the Phillipinos have their way in the Herald.

13 September 2007 12:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon who favours castration: You could ask a local pork vendor ;)

13 September 2007 15:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Great job! Keep it coming...

13 September 2007 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be no reaction from Herald. It seems to be business as usual.

Any suggestion as to how to bring about public awareness on the topic?

13 September 2007 16:49  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Anon who signs off as P: We are with you on that. Who can forget that blood spattered cover on the eve of the forthcoming elections that was a virtual affidavit glorifying Churchill Alemao.
Anon who things Robin will be a sacrificial goat: That he will be not. We are pretty sure about that. Poor Harry Mann will be garlanded on Dusserha and led around with a tika on his head
Anon who thinks Philippinos have their way in the Herald: Look... you don't need to be a Goan to sell stuff in Goa. You need marketing sense. In the same breath you don't it's not Harry mann's fault alone, its a collective failure on part of the Herald.
Anon with a penchant for pig-tailed humour ;) : Hey just give us a cleaver, we'll do it for you
Anon who follows: Thanks man
Anon who seeks reaction: Karmanye Vaadhika-raste, Maa Phaleshu Kadachana... Keep slugging bud... Just keep slugging. How to bring about awareness... talk to people... tell them what you feel about the whole issue. Talk to five guys today. Five tomorrow. If a news paper can reach 25000 readers each day, you can reach those many readers in a few years... it'll take a while... there's was a saying in the old American frontier... that a steady man can outrun the fastest horse... over a period of time....

13 September 2007 21:04  
Blogger Jason said...

So the cat is out of the bag. Herald's readership (all the 7 year olds who read the kiddies cartoons on Sundays) will now take a beating.

Just off topic, i wonder why are most commenters anonymous? Everyone wants to be a nobody....

13 September 2007 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason: Did you notice that even penpricks is anonymous... Just emulating their example... I can only speak for me.

Why others remain anonymous... I don't know. Perhaps privacy.

Everyone likes to remain a common man, the aam admi .

What's in a name anyway? :)

14 September 2007 00:43  
Blogger Jax said...

Awesome stuff. Now how do we make sure that this leads to a change in the moral fibre of these half assed newspapers?

It would be a pity if all this leads to is some Tom, Dick or 'Harry' being uncerimoniously booted out.

I am not in India these days... so please tell me that this has become a major issue in Goa...

14 September 2007 07:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on reactions within the Herald? Robin spending most of his time in the crapper? Changes impending?

Or (and I fear this is the case) business as usual?

Come on, Herald staffers, let us know what's going on.

14 September 2007 10:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Vijay D'Souza

Do you really feel like continuing working this this corporate paper again.

Herald is no more a peoples voice, but a corporate voice.

Victor, Varca

14 September 2007 11:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Penpricks

As far as Raul is concerned he is least bothered about what has happened.

He came in Herald as a successor to his father's proprietory business which he exploits to make more and more money by paying less and less to this employees.

If his father was alive today he would have committed suicide looking at the state of affairs of Herald.

14 September 2007 11:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajan Narayan

Are you aware what is happening to your once most loved mistress the "Oh Herald Oh"

You used Herald as a mistress. But today it is sold as a corporate prostitute.

14 September 2007 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashley, Agnel and Roger has quit Herald with disgust.

Time for you guys like Vijay, Franky to take the next step.

This will open up more space for another few more Eunuch from Philipinos to be brought here here.

14 September 2007 11:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Herald management will never learn or understand what the meaning of newspaper.

They only understand what is business.

I hope with this episode, all those dumb assess wake up from their slumber sleep and put their act together.

May the Pen become mightier than the tie-chooked MBA graduates.

Be a people's voice, not the corporate voice.

14 September 2007 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope harry mann does not become a scape goat.
Robin the arse.... will desperately try to save his butt by making harry the sacrificial lamb.
He has done it to a couple of guys in herald.
At least, as I understand he was the main guy who was responsible for ashley's and agnelo's departure.
He does not like guys questioning his authority.
He likes "yes sir" guys.

14 September 2007 12:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey pricks,

Yes, yes, some heads need to roll.
As for me Robin should get the boot first.
Isn't he the guy who agreed to sell the editorial space?
And didn't your expose clearly state that Harry consulted Robin on the editorials?
An editorial HoD who is ready to sell the page 1 for advertorials and giving it a news tag, an editorial HoD who plagirises editorials; is it hard to believe that he was more than happy to sell editorial space for higher stake?
Its all about money, money and more money.
Scruples, morality, ethics takes a walk in the park.
Sad, very very sad. Sad for us journalists and the profession.
Hey Ram, this Robin has taken journalism to the lowest level ever.
Gandi nala ka kida (sorry agnelo I just plagirised your word).

14 September 2007 12:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I request the Goa accreditation committee chairman, Ms Devika Sequeira to please, please throw Robin Abreu out of the committee.
My earnest request also goes to Sandesh Prabudessai, Ashley do Rosario and other of my colleagues in the committee to do all the needfull in that line.
I also request the insipid GUJ, if it is possible, to strongly condemn such unethical behaviour indulged by journalists.
If they harbour any doubts on the authencity of Penpricks, then the least they can do is go to Robin and seek clarification on the issue.
His art on plagirism is well substentiated and documented.
His advertorials experiances is also well documented.
His latest sin is on pp ...
And the Editor's Guild.... think i'll be asking too much from them.

14 September 2007 13:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one time Herald editorial was the most powerfull department, and the editorial staff would resolutely stand for their rights.
Looks like, now all the guys there have lost their manhood.
Probably castrated by Robin. Information tricking from Herald indicates that everyone is scared of one's own shadow.
The last bastion of courage to fall was when Agnelo quit the miserable place.
Penpricks is a swear word there. And if anyone mouths the word he will be on target.

14 September 2007 13:07  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Jason: Thanks for the comment man... I guess 7 year olds will be fine with this. this is far cry from the "PIZZA AND A FUCK" fiasco
Jax: Thanks man... One of the biggest indicators that this expose has become big in the Herald is that there is no overt response
The crapper anon ;) : Thanks for commenting man... Guys from the Herald are pretty stiff right now. Freedom of speech and expression have been temporarily been suspended in St Tome (thats where the Herald office is located)
Anon who speaks of J D Fernandes: Right you are... running a newspaper is really not an 'across-the-counter' sort of business
Rajan Narayan anon: Very very articulate... you summed up the last two decades at the herald
Anon who speaks of eunuchs: Guys... this has nothing to do with someone nationality or a region which he/she belongs to... It is a Goan who owns the Herald, it is a Goan who edits the Herald... and we blame Philippinos? Not done... not done... its a wrong action, not the wrong nation
Tie choked anon: Thanks buddy... Your words lend us strength
Scapegoat anon: Thats a good assessment. You said i before we did...
NALI KA KIDA ANON: With you on that...It really is shameful... the whole episod
Editor's guild anon: Hi... there should be some sort of formal condemnation... We brought this story in public domain. Someone has to take it forward. Perhaps one of our readers... There is documentary evidence in form of emails that can be produced too... Have you even noticed the mainstream media has completely ignored this... Its been picked up by www.thehoot.org... but our chums... Anyway had they gazed at their navels more often, there wouldn't have been a need to start this blog. And the Editor's Guilt.... oops did we spell that wrong? ;0)
The last anon: We know that... we know that... shameful indeed.

14 September 2007 19:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reply to Comment 4

He must be one of those guys who is getting a lost of publicity these days in the crappy paper called Herald.

He is not impressed because he must be also a beneficiary of Herald in some way or the other. Oh I forget! He is on the panel of judges of the Herald Rank and Jolt Awards. Will Air India take a note of this.

Dear commentator, I think you have also targeted a soft toilet paper because in no time you have been getting wide publicity in this paper.

As far as your comment of targeting the largest selling english paper of Goa, Herald claims that it is the largest circulated English Daily in Goa.

You guy is like a frog jumping from one pond to another.

First you were a politician. Then you became a journalist. Then you became a GBA activist. Now you have become a column writer. Oh I forgot a feature writer. You have been also alloted the same place that was supposed to be sold for a price.

Come on dear, appreciate the hard work done by Penpricks.

So, I did not name you. Everyone will understand.

Oh, I forgot your photo also appeared in the Herald as a judge.

Think over it and write something sensible next time.

15 September 2007 19:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 15 September 2007 19:25:

Are you talking about the individual featured on the link http://penpricks.blogspot.com/2007/08/old-wine-name-your-price.html ?

16 September 2007 00:33  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Anon who replied to comment 4: Thanks for the back up mate...
the last anon: no no... he's not talking about the one you think... he's talking about anon 1... right up here... the anon who said this
Anonymous said...
i am not very impressed with this so called "expose".

16 September 2007 01:16  
Blogger schubert said...

thanks guys,
it good to know that atleast someone keeping guard.
i was aloyal oheraldo reader, but after this i dont think ill ever touch the paper again.

thanks once again,

goan

16 September 2007 03:25  
Blogger deepak said...

you may be right , you may be wrong. the same allegations were made against two national papers a couple of years ago. I read , and will continue to read herald because it is essentially anti establishment. i also read Indian Express for the same reason. the other paper in goa , is well a chamcha .

17 September 2007 01:39  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Bravo deepak

17 September 2007 01:48  
Blogger the lost_poet said...

good to see that a few good men are still around...

18 September 2007 23:21  
Blogger Raj said...

How low can you get!!

15 October 2007 08:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised to see the Herald throw ethical reporting out of the window. During the last assembly elections the Herald (and to be fair, the Navhind times as well) carried political advertisements disguised as articles.

Piss-poor grammar and just plain bad writing are one thing, but selling editorial space is immoral, unethical and abusive.

18 October 2007 19:35  
Anonymous PaydayLoans said...

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30 October 2007 22:09  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

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2 November 2007 17:57  
Blogger shirish said...

Excellent job friends.Keep it up.As u must be knowing in recent Gujarat elections also newspapers carried polotical parties adverisements in disguise of news format.they fooled innocent people for a few lakh rupees.it's high time to expose all these folies.Congrates again.

22 December 2007 13:57  
Blogger samir said...

Though the expose is commendable, there is nothing new. The Times of India started that trend a few years back but they were open about it. However they stopped it after protests from readers.

In this day and age media cannot be unbiased - they all have leanings. But the question what should they be leaning towards and why

7 January 2008 09:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are u talking about

everybody knows that newspapers are biased ...this is nothing new ....

....tell us something we dont know ,....and stop spying

20 January 2008 00:37  

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