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#FutureProof: $4/unit is worth thousands of stories, but a $400-bn deal isn't

23-May-2014
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#FutureProof: $4/unit is worth thousands of stories, but a $400-bn deal isn't

As may be recalled, in March this year, #FutureProof had predicted the uncertain fate of the @PMOIndia Twitter handle  (#FutureProof: Whither @PMOIndia handle on Twitter in May?).

We followed this with another piece (#FutureProof: @PMOIndia is dead. Long live @PMOIndia handle!).

Before long, the central idea of our two pieces has already waltzed to Page 1 of The Economic Times – #handlegate is what the nation’s most influential paper and others employed to describe the botch up that outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Twitter minders engineered.

Arnab Goswami even held a ‘News Hour Durbar’ on the subject.

But far from feeling pleased, why do I feel numbed in horror? Without meaning to be conceited, what we wrote in these columns was pretty basic stuff.

Far, far more important stories don’t seem to sink between the ears of our best journalists.

Take the epic $400-billion gas deal between Moscow and Beijing. From The New York Times to Reuters and The Financial Times, the sheer size and audacity of Vladimir Putin’s enterprise has fascinated the world’s media. Here’s a man challenging Brussels and Washington by opening an alternate market for the next 30 years. But our desi boys and girls are too busy serving Arvind Kejriwal’s tryst with Tihar.

For those just a little more inclined towards sparing a thought for geo-economics, our arc of coverage stops at Male agreeing to attend the Modi Coronation.

How little do we in the media bother to brief our subscribers about a changing order right outside the nation’s door step? When we do talk of the changing order, it isn’t a big picture on Beijing insuring itself for 30 years of clean fuel. It is tasteless rating claims that occupy our imagination.

I belaboured the gas example because just till the other day, every claim of lawyer Prashant Bhushan on the subject, without independent verification, passed muster in every channel and newspaper. If gas is indeed such a popular subject among Indian audiences, why deny the Chinese a few minutes of prime airtime?

I look forward to what our distracted prima donnas want to say in their defence.

The columnist works at the intersect of media, regulation and strategy on RIL. The views are personal. Tweets @therohitbansal.

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