Journalist Satiricus thinks journalism is getting curiouser and curiouser. In the outdated past a journal or newspaper was basically a consumer product in the sense that it had to sell its copies. But now we have progressed. An admirable index of this progress is that journals on sale have now been replaced by journalists on sale.
Satiricus recalls that not long ago, when the children'sfood MNC Kellogg first introduced its cereal product in India, a very senior journalist had written a full-length piece in praise of it. Since then, he has seen newspapering becoming an incidental activity of the advertising business. So he was not exactly astonished—although admittedly slightly taken aback—to see a big advertisement in Indian Express advertising its new, foreign-based columnist Fareed Zakaria as ‘one of the 21 most important people of the 21st century’.
Wonderful! And Satiricus supposes that this automatically makes Indian Express one of the 21 most important newspapers of the 21st century. That in turn should mean Indian Express took one of the 21 most important steps in progressive 21st-century newspapering when it ran full eight-column advertisements above eight-column front-page headlines for the big news of the day.
But then, what, after all, is big news? The big news is that even in India'sbiggest newspaper a big advertisement is bigger than the biggest news. If you find this hard to believe, ask the Editor—rather, ask the editorial employee of the advertiser.