Saturday, 5 April 2008


There's one thing deskies in our newspapers must be made to do regularly...
Poor chaps are so burdened expanding photos with grinning politicians or cropping over-sized celebrity busts to ensure that they stay within the regular three column slot, that they rarely ever read newspaper, barring the pages they slog through. But to be fair to em, lets not blame deskies alone. A lot of editors (both vernacular and otherwise) in Goa spend a lot of time, picking up celebrity photos and articles from the web for the leisure /entertainment page every day.
Tires them out, we guess.

This particular page we have reproduced is the end product of rank ignorance.
How can any newspaper desk worth its salt, allow a three column pic of Mallika Sherawat hoisted over a hstory on Baba Amte's demise?

We tried hard to come up with a few reasons why the desk could have taken a call to bury Amte under Mallika, on the day the former died...

-- Mallika oooohh!
-- Amte who?

-- Mallika heaving is a much prettier sight. Boy... look at her cheeks glow...

-- Say, how good can a shrunken, dying man look anyway

-- Hey its Mallika with clothes on, How often do you get to see that? Its unusual, its news!!!

-- Amte and that two bit khadi jacket of his. Couldn't he ever think of anything else?

-- Mallika has assets

-- Who asked Amte to give his away?

Ashley wake up boy... or should we ask Margaret Mascarenhas to get you to smell a cup of coffee or something?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better still, check innocent birthday greeting pics of infants above lewd movie listings in The Herald, almost everyday.

5 April 2008 at 08:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

penpricks have hit total bankruptcy and that is exposed in this lame post!

5 April 2008 at 10:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pen Pricks, have you suffered "A Kaleidoscope of Colours" by Odette Mascarenhas in today's Navhind Times Zest?
Check it out. It's a feast of grammatical mistakes, factual errors and horrendous writing. In fact it would make a great proof checking test for readers to spot the number of typos in there.
And if that's not all, also check Gourmet's Delight on Page 3 of the same supplement. The food review is most insipid. Odette at work again. "The flesh is meaty.." takes the cake! I believe this writer conducts workshops and has written many books, some of them for children. God help us!

5 April 2008 at 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashley must have been bowled over by Malika Sherawant. For the first time he must have seen Malika Sherawat with clothes on.

Oh Boy Ashley.... Wakup guy... I know its crunch time at GT when you are at the desk.

Please remember what history is important or mystery in Malika Sherawat's life.

5 April 2008 at 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, Odette is a disaster waiting to happen with someone else's school kids.... all that crap about working in Taj et al.... Odette Mascarenhes: Branded Lame

5 April 2008 at 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TOMCAT has never been to school.

On yesterday's Herald he writes in paragraph 4, "The problem with our MLAs, it seems is that they were never too god at their number work in school" (notwithstanding the typo error -> 'god')

The very next paragraph reads "And seven plus 14(BJP MLAs) makes 20. As any school kid could tell you..."

7 April 2008 at 06:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sensationalism, media competition blew up Goa's Scarlett murder case
Panaji | April 06, 2008 11:45:05 AM IST

Over six weeks after her death, British teenager Scarlett Keeling, believed to have been murdered on a Goa beach, continues to make news as few other cases involving tourists and crime in India have done.

The 15-year-old was found dead, almost wholly naked, on Anjuna beach in North Goa, on the morning of Feb 18, sending the media in the UK, in Goa and across India on a tizzy to follow up a case that has links to sex, drugs, crime and, allegedly, even the local mafia and political connections.

"It was the sort of story where editors urge their reporters to keep turning up angles, to feed popular interest.... The Scarlett Keeling story has gone off the pages in some newspapers, but not all," said the media critique site, in a comment titled 'Living off Scarlett'.

One prominent insider in Goa's tourism circle hinted that all the negative publicity hitting Goa could be the result of a "conspiracy against Goa."

Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat took off on a similar track. Kamat said: "I don't know if there is some motive or some lobby working to blow up the case and malign an important tourist destination like Goa...."

But while the media blitz has been inexplicable to some observers here, the conspiracy theories about the publicity is far off the track.

Never in Goa's living memory has a single case warranted so much of a media blitz, as did Scarlett Keeling's. Even three weeks after the girl's death, Google news, the online global news tracker, notched up some 800 to 900 articles on the case, before tapering off.

Ironically, the coverage didn't start from Goa itself. It originated in London, and quickly became a big issue in the British press.

But Goa's media, often willing to take the police version for it and who seldom undertake sustained follow-ups, caught on next with a section of the local press taking an active stance on the case. Latching on to the foreign coverage, and obviously influenced by it, the New Delhi and Mumbai-based press, apart from others, soon descended on Goa.

BBC's website reported: "Dozens of journalists have descended on a corner of India to follow the investigation into the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling...." It spoke of the "media scrum" in Panjim, using a word originating from rugby and whose British usage reflects a disordered or confused situation involving a number of people.

In the first reports - which broke in the UK and in Goa only five days after the girl's death - the British media highlighted the teenager's death on the beach, the signs of sexual assault, and what smacked of an official attempt to brush aside the case.

Soon, questions started being asked about Scarlette Keeling's mother Fiona Mackeown's own responsibility, or lack of it, in leaving her daughter alone in an alien and rough terrain.

From there, the British media mainly doggedly dug up details about who might be involved, and cited names of waiters, eyewitnesses, shacks, drugs and even politicians.

Facing the competitive pressures of garnering the audiences, Indian TV channels swung into detailed coverage too. NDTV's Barkha Dutt descended to the beach at Baga, North Goa, to conduct a Sunday afternoon debate, leaving some Goan audiences dissatisfied with the confused messages from the hurried soundbytes offered by national television.

NDTV's rival national telecaster CNN-IBN's Rajdeep Sardesai, himself of Goan origin, on the other hand, penned a piece, critiquing "an increasingly tabloidish media" and said that "for many Goans, the foreign tourist is a needless intrusion into their community life."

Later, excerpts from the 15-year-old diary, including her sexual details, got splashed across the mainstream broadsheet media across India and in Goa too.

Some journalists voiced concern about the ethics of such a practice, both on the part of the police who released these details and the media which quoted salacious details from it.

At least one lawyer, who has taken the brief for the accused, has joined the media debate, by writing a series of articles, some of which got published in the newspapers here.

Public opinion was sharply divided over who was "at fault" in the case. Some sections of the British media were blunt in castigating the girl's mother, an alibi which both politicians and police in Goa quickly latched on to.

But the conservative politics of some British papers, the class and hippy-like background of the family, and possibly even their Romany gypsy roots could account in part for such approaches.

Other questions were raised. Kashyap Sinkre, who runs The Sincro Hotel at Fatorda, said: "Who is Adv. Verma (the lawyer of Scarlett Keeling's mum)? What is he doing in Goa if he claims to be a Supreme Court advocate? Why is Scarlett's mother Fiona staying at his place?"

Give that there are four to five dozen foreign deaths in Goa each November-to-February peak party-and-drug season, wasn't the media blowing just this one case out of proportion?

Though the number is high in itself, Goa's tourism-related deaths aren't significantly higher than those of, say, Thailand. Figures from London say 381,000 Britons visited Thailand and 224 of them died. To make matters worse, nearly half of tourist deaths are not natural or accident-related.

The Times of London argued: "The problem for Goa is the same as the difficulty faced by other tourist destinations 'discovered' by the young and the adventurous and trading on their fashionable, hippy associations. Ibiza, Bali, Gambia and parts of Thailand are all places where the prevailing hedonism attracts a large number of free-spending tourists but runs counter to the more conservative views and mores of the host country."

But the media, both international and domestic, decided to make an icon of Keeling.

In the Scarlett Keeling case, the girl was young. There was also the sex-drugs-crime-corruption links to the case, which only arouses the reader's prurient interest.

"I'm tired of writing on this case," confided a local reporter who was one of the first to focus on it here.

Added "The story is now moving on, as it should have done long ago, to focus on the drug trade and rising crime in Goa. But the focus comes from the victims' mother's fresh allegations, not from newspapers deciding that the reasons for the decline in Goa's law and order climate needs probing."

Sensationalism, enhanced by somewhat unhealthy competition among the media, and the new trends in the tabloidisation of news, clearly has more to do with the way the media focussed on the case.

(Frederick Noronha can be contacted at (IANS)

7 April 2008 at 10:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frederick tell us something that we don't know? Instead of just adding another piece of trashy summarization on the S. E. Keeling case that we all outgrown. Theres a gazillion other summarizations on the case and you are just adding on to the trash.

7 April 2008 at 22:07  
Anonymous Tomcat said...

Good one, Anon 07 April 2008 06:51

I have just decided to pad my silent way to school.

8 April 2008 at 20:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just forget the mistakes, makes good reading

11 April 2008 at 11:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hot hot hot is she that hot still? But raul is so fat

24 April 2008 at 21:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Raul related to Joaquim Alemao? Man they look like twins!

25 April 2008 at 01:55  

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