Friday, 5 June 2020

Heart-Breaking Gimmick

Updated: August 7, 2015 6:35 am

India that is Bharat

JOURNALIST satiricus is in mourning. “The newspaper is dead.” That was the (heart-)breaking front-page news in the country’s biggest newspaper the other day. Satiricus is so sad. How he will now miss his daily dose of fiction! Where else can he now longingly look for such precious pieces of borrowed wisdom as articles reproduced from British and American newspapers learnedly discussing how drinking milk is injurious to health and/or revealing that “stan”, the suffix in the name of many Muslim countries, is a Persian word? As a journalist Satiricus takes pride in claiming that he is an accomplished ignoramus. But there is a but. In the midst of his mourning this curious cuss cannot help wondering—is this front-page, full-page declaration of death just a gimmick to sell more copies? Why else would it be followed by many more front pages carrying on a funeral campaign? Does this curious campaign really mean that this newspaper is a product that is desperate for customers? But if that is the case, why adopt such a sorry way to sell when there is a sweet way to sell? For instance, this daily devotes a daily page to a piece from the

British journal The Economist, which is also currently desperately looking for readers-cum-customers. So what is it doing? It is selling ice-cream! According to a report in the Guardian, the Economist is handing out ice cream in London to attract more readers. There is even a picture in the papers showing the Economist’s ice-cream vending cart.

How sweet of the Economist! Why not emulate its tasty technique? So how about a Vanilla slab for Satiricus, Mr. Editor?—And top it up with some succulent secular chocolate sauce, if you please, okay?

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