Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: On Upma as ‘Breaking News’ + More scope for commercial art in publications or advertising?

22 Jun,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Something is monumentally wrong with the current definition of ‘Breaking News’


Welcome back, Ladies and Gentleman to a fresh new incisive edition of Dear MxM, India’s numerouno sounding board for the fraternity. The real point here is that I seemed to have lost the plot and that is not good news, what with my decades in this funny business of media.. 

Till about an hour ago, I believed ‘breaking news’ and such ominous tags announced an important piece of information that made a difference to some of us, if not the larger interest of the country, world as the case maybe… 

But I was obviously wrong.

A national news channel that often features some brilliant minds had the amazing confidence to tweet a Breaking News alert of their coverage on…hold your breath!  

“Upma must be made the national dish” ! Yes, an actor said this but is this really a news break? 

Am afraid after seeing this, I am at a complete loss for words and find it extremely difficult to say very much more in this brief introduction to this weeks Q&A. 

Readers are this recommended to take my responses to these questions with ample seasoning… 


Sir, I am very interested in commercial art, and while I believe that working with newspapers and magazines is the ultimate high since there are challenges every day, I am told that the money and brighter future is in advertising. Please advise what I should do.

I wouldn’t entirely agree with you on this. It really is organisation dependent more than industry.Several media companies also pay handsomely though not at entry level. It also greatly depends on your area of specialisation i.e. graphic design, packaging design, web design etc. The institute or college that you have graduated from also makes a significant difference at the point of entry.

Hence to generalise would be incorrect. I would urge you to decide your port of call depending on the exact nature of work you wish to do and then zone in on shortlists.

I must however add that advertising agencies may give you more creative expression than newspapers and magazine who most often work with standardised style sheets and brand design.


I am in Class 11 in Bengaluru and want to pursue a career in sales. I don’t know whether I should look at advertising sales or sales for other goods or services. How can I decide on where I should look at?

For now, just look at your books at junior college. Why are you worrying about all this in Class 11. You have a long way to go before you graduate and hence it isn’t sensible to waste your time on deciding which segment is better for a sales career.

Get your scores going, complete your graduation and then decide. There is enough opportunity in both these industries and hence just focus on your academics young man !


My girlfriend and I work in the same ad agency, and are planning to get married. While the office doesn’t have any rules on married couples working, I think it’s healthy that we don’t work in the same place. What is your view – on the concept of a husband and wife working in the same organisation?

Personally, I don’t think it is a great idea though I have seen several cases such even within my own teams. It is fine as long as you are not in the same segment or function and there is no official interaction required beyond the regular coordination.

However, it isn’t always sensible considering the fact that irrespective of what anyone believes, there is always a bias that creeps in and more so if the two of you are at different levels in the hierarchy.

I have seen this kind of a scenario working well too so there are always exceptions to the rule if you still believe both of you must stay on.


For now, I must move on and hence it is time to wish you all a super weekend and much good cheer. Do take care of yourselves and be good!  Till we meet next time then, 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 For more on his work visit The views expressed in this column are his own.


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