Wanted: a mast, mast Mid-Day

16 Sep,2011

Pradyuman MaheshwariBy Pradyuman Maheshwari

We’ve been promising a review of Mid-Day. It would’ve been unfair to do one by just appraising a single day’s edition, so we thought of doing that over the last 10-odd days since the paper went for a new look.

First off, a couple of disclosures. Okay, let me use the ‘I’ instead of ‘We’. I worked with the group for seven years (1993-2000), was a shareholder for a bit and I take great pride in the rapid strides that current executive editor Sachin Kalbag has been taking in his career.

 

 

Yet another disclosure, I was invited to write for the paper’s new-look, but declined the offer because of a Medianet-like scheme that Mid-Day runs for part of the paper.

But let’s get to the relaunch. I’ve always perceived Mid-Day as a Mumbai institution, with the paper celebrating the city and reporting on what’s happening in here. At first, it lost its constituency of the society circuit to Bombay Times and over the last six-odd years, Mumbai Mirror has been steadily eating into Mid-Day’s dominance on civic and Bollywood news.

The Medianet-like practice that the paper started was the final nail on the coffin. When I spoke to former owner Tariq Ansari for an interview with Impact last year, he said he was against the concept but was forced to given commercial considerations. Well, a couple of crores of revenue is good to have, but all of it at the cost of integrity?

While The Times of India group clearly says that Bombay Times is an ‘advertorial entertainment promotional feature’, while the statement upfront is a step in the right direction, it’s not enough as it ought to make a very clear announcement of what it means on its main Times of India page as well as on Bombay Times. I’m sure not many have noticed that small line under the Bombay, Delhi etc Times mastheads

Back to Mid-Day, I believe it must reinforce as identity as a Mumbai paper. The Page 1 story must be ‘Bambaiyya’ in content and outlook, the feel ought to be tabloidy and the stories must have punch. I would like to see the Mate and snippety Diary back on Page 3. Or at least Page 2.

Despite an edit page and some pretty good (and serious) content, Mid-Day was always known as a timepass read. Sachin was around in Mid-Day those days, so he should know.

Agreed the look-and-feel has got to be more contemporary, but if it wants to create the same magic as it did until a few years back, it’s got to get its masti back.

Why jail only for political paid content

Beware, media barons and editors accepting money for publishing editorial content. While the election commission can do precious little about the corrupt practices of media entities carrying content in lieu of money and not clearly tagging it as an advertisement, it’s heartening to note that all those who are doing it for politics will be put behind bars for 2 years.

Now, what about those doing it for lifestyle products? Shall we count the years?

Read: an IndianTelevision report

What’s a piece on the Campaign A-List doing on MxMIndia.com?

If you’re surprised why the MxM anchor has Everest Brand Solutions president Dhunji Wadia telling us why it’s great to be on the Campaign India A-List, don’t be. It’s not that he put my name on the mail instead of the Campaign editor’s. We asked him to write it. He did that in record time, in between meetings. (Read Dhunji on the A-List)

Here’s my take on the issue: MxMIndia is media-neutral and would like to write about every media entity. We will write about all the activities of even those who consider MxMIndia it’s rival. For in my books, no one is. I’ll be happy to cover the activities of all business publications and the media trade publications. This includes the Campaign A-List, the afaqs events, the exchange4media group events etc etc. That is, of course, if an MxM reporter is allowed in.

Buzz me if you have a story to tell. Confidentiality assured. There are various ways you can reach me: pradyumanm[at]mxmindia.com, 23050B5D, Gtalk: pradyumanm[at]gmail.com, @pmahesh, 98338 76278

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2 responses to “Wanted: a mast, mast Mid-Day”

  1. Subir Ghosh says:

    Now that you mention, I have finally noticed the ‘advertorial entertainment promotional feature’ bit. At least, they are so honest!

  2. I don’t understand by Media-net like practice?

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