Frank Wilson's Joseph Epstein link got my hands itching. I get two papers at home. The Indian Express has been a habit since childhood and the Times of India for its superior writing. But as I start becoming more active in the blogging community, my reliance on the print medium for editorial satisfaction has been diminishing steadily.
Sample yesterday’s copy of the Indian Express. There is a chief edit on the Ramdev-Brinda catfight, something that is of zilch interest to me and quite out of place with current concerns (what they ought to be, at any rate). Then a write-up on the Metro which I read (and also link to) for an interesting insight into Delhi’s hottest rage. An excerpt from Guardian on text messaging (the IE has made a habit of providing Guardian snippets at the bottom of the main edit page, something that does not speak highly of the editorial team). Side edits about local issues, petty politics which no literary-minded soul would have any interest in. On the op-ed page a quite good piece on Sharon and what will become of the Mid-East peace process after his departure. Then something about China, Gudiya (the curious case of a woman who died recently) and Thomas Friedman’s well-argued (but marred by an impertinent use of “sissies”) critique of the Bush administration’s oil fiasco (again lifted from the New York Times). Better TOI with its one page of genuine editorializing than IE’s two pages of borrowed opinion.
So there. Newspapers need to seriously gird up their thinking loins before the burgeoning and far more exciting (and relevant) sphere of blogging usurps their long-held position. In any case, most of the best articles can be read online much before they appear in their print form. Another point: on the web, you can link to and read from a variety of resources covering the different facets of an issue, thereby being in tune with a gamut of opinion. This unfortunately is impossible with print.
Also, in this age of cutthroat PR, you don’t want to look too desperate. Some papers with their screeching old-world headlines stoke one’s imagination of a frazzled editor sitting behind a dilapidated desk with scores of files looking down at him. Come on now MSM, tie your laces, comb your hair and kick some contemporary a**.