Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Could BARC please introduce decibel meters as well? (+ If media depends so much on govt ads, how can it be truly objective?)

01 Jun,2017

By Jaisurya Das


I must confess that I did take the plunge and actually sat down to watch the English news last evening….

Ladies and Gentleman, It is with a feeling of deep remorse that I write this piece today. It is not often that I take such brash decisions but last night was an unfortunate exception. 

I did imagine the news to be an exasperating farrago of audio-powered insights but this was something else.. The channel in question was the one that crawled all over my timelines unabashedly, all because I had a weak moment and liked some damn post on my third cousins ( twice removed ) timeline.

Anyway coming back to the news, it must be amply understood that the English news is all of a new synonym for extreme torture to the auditory canal  of the viewers.

In Aamchi Pune, we have these fancy decibel meters that are used to curb sound levels during the Ganesh festival and they work pretty well in controlling noise levels. But the Ganesh festival is almost inaudible in comparison to the news. At one point I was hitting so hard on the remote, that the damn volume button literally collapsed. Now imagine that happening to your ear drum…

I am seriously considering asking my friend ParthoDasgupta if he can consider the introduction of decibel monitoring as well. As of now, the BARC data is of value essentially to the channels and the advertising community, but this step will be a great boon for the listeners. Check ratings and figure which may be a safe view. 

And, moreover, going deaf isn’t exactly our plan, Is it ?


On that deaf note, may I now invite you to partake in our Q&A session with our readers from Delhi, Pune and Mumbai 


My son is excellent in English and has a fair degree of maturity as a writer. He has won several competitions in written and spoken English. Recently he approached a leading newspaper here in Delhi, and they virtually shut the door on him saying we only take graduates. While every organisation can have its own rules for employment, don’t you think publications should relax their rules in special cases?

I understand your dismay at the hiring process followed by media companies but i have reason to disagree with your demand to relax such rules.

Every company, be it media or otherwise, must necessarily have a base qualification for it’s employees in the best interest of parity. It is virtually impossible to leave this discretionary and a graduation degree is just the base of the pyramid and the first level of cut-off.

I accept the fact that talent needs no academic qualification but it is important to understand that you need to have a screening process in place and such entry points must be adhered to. While I have no doubts on your son’s capabilities in content writing, my advice would be to have him complete his graduation in order to qualify for the jobs that exist in the industry.


Sir, if the media depends so much on government advertising, how can it be truly objective?

What gives you the impression that media is greatly dependent on government advertising? In fact government advertising ( tenders, public notices and DAVP ( Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity ) only account for large volumes but do not yield any sensible revenue.

Yield is the true measure of revenue earning strength of a publication or media company and routine government advertising only brings down your net yield since they all come at highly discounted rates.

I do not imagine any successful brand depending on government advertising as it’s main source of revenue; doing so would only be detrimental to the stability of the brand in question.

Being objective is a different subject totally and that is greatly dependent on how brazen or diplomatic your editorial stance is. I honestly do not believe that government advertising can change the fortunes of a media company despite the seemingly large chunk of business coming in from this segment.


I am interested in a career in photography. Do you think it’s wiser to do a bachelor’s in photography here in Pune, or should I join a BA in humanities or liberal arts? What would you advise?

If you are serous about photography, a specialisation would only add to your employability. While a great portfolio can land you a job, a degree in the subject can help clear a few levels vis-a-vis a regular graduate who is a keen photographer.

Most of these degrees are as good or bad as their use at your point of entry; post this, it’s an open battle ground where craft takes precedence over everything else.

If you have decided to make photography your career then go ahead and pursue it academically as well. If not anything, you will enjoy these years and it will only add to your fundamental creativity..

I wish you all the very best !


And now, if you will excuse me, I have an urgent date with my neighbourhood watering hole… Cheers and so on.. Please do take good care of yourself and drink responsibly. Till we meet again, Sayonara and God Bless ! 


Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of more on his work visit The views expressed in this column are his own


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