Thursday, August 09, 2007

Reporting at its best

I have been a reader of Times of India for the past 15 years. The early part of that time was spent in general admiration of a good newspaper that brought about the views of the Post Liberalization phase of India. Then came along a period when TOI was not making such a unique impact, but still there seemed no reason to change.

Of late, TOI has pretty much been downright gibberish. I regularly read the front page, the business and sports pages. Every day, I end up finding multiple spelling and Grammatical mistakes. I was joking the other day that if I marked a every mistake in the newspaper and kept a record of such 30 days, I might as well present it for a chance to become TOI's editor.

Yesterday, for instance, they chose to put "A pair of Pathans for Indian Cricket" on the home page. Now, it doesn't make any sense. For one, it was hardly interesting news. While Irfan Pathan has been consistently failing recently, Yusuf Pathan has been pretty much unknown and both of them playing together cannot possibly be compared to, say, the crisis in Pakistan or other more pressing issues. But no, there goes TOI glorifying "Pathan Pair".

Anyhow, looking out for alternatives, I bumped into this Rediff article about cricket, specially the upcoming third test. The article mentions that India has won only one series in England, that too in 1986. Where did the 1971 series go? Oh, that! The reporter adds that India ended up losing the series 1-0 as England squeezed through to 173. Now, what are we talking about?

To say that the article was horrible is demonstrated by the comments posted on the pages. Copying verbatim:

"While mentioning the 1971 Oval test the writer says above 'England managed to squeeze home by six wickets, chasing 173 for victory to clinch the three-Test series 1-0'. It was India that won the match with Abid Ali scoring winning runs after Chandrasekhar bowled England out for 101. Who can forget his match winning spell of 6 for 38? Please make sure to put correct information."

and

"There is another incorrect information. It says that the only series India won was in 1986. The fact is India won 2 series in England, once in 1971 and then in 1986. This reporter does not even know the facts and writing as if he is the expert. What kind of reporting is this?"

Oh, by the way, it took me less than 5 minutes to figure out the records on India England series played in England with India having won.


ps: I have to start finding a new newspaper. Any suggestions.

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