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Reporter’s Diary: Taking a beating as a journalist & common (wo)man

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Reporter’s Diary: Taking a beating as a journalist & common (wo)man

As I begin writing my Reporter’s Diary for this week, the issue uppermost on my mind is Justice Markandey Katju’s remarks about journalists being of low intellectual calibre. While this is certainly not true, it is necessary for journalists entering the field to have a more solid grounding about the industry and the beats they cover. In an age of instant, 24x7 news, the very definition of ‘what you ought to know’ has changed. Many a time, at conferences and other forums, there is a complete generation gap between a question and an answer.

That said, what about the Planning Commission, which earlier came out with a BPL cap of Rs 32 per person per day for food, health, and education in urban areas and Rs 26 in rural areas? What can be said of the decisions of a body with such eminent economists, coming out with such unrealistic figures? Another blow to the ‘common’ man came in the form of the increase in petrol prices last week by Rs 2 (Rs 1.80 is like Rs 99, a psychological balm).

In other news, e-commerce portals are going strong – receiving considerable funding, seeing rising conversion rates, and offering customers great deals in the convenience of their homes. Flipkart, Dealsandyou, Myntra, Koovs, Yebhi, Yepme – the list runs long. Many lifestyle brands are also launching their own e-commerce portals to cash in on the trend. Another observation is the increasing affinity that brands are displaying towards digital media for advertising. While TV still remains the dominant medium due to high recall value, many brands are allocating a higher percentage of ad budgets towards advertising across websites and through social media channels, the main reasons being easy access to the web through smartphones and a large percentage of their TG spending most of their time ‘connected’. The ‘digital revolution’ was one among several topics discussed at AdAsia this year (which I, incidentally, missed, but as a result, got toattend the Metallica concert. No comments on preferences though.)

Two thoughts towards the end – watch out for the article next week on expectations of the industry from the newly formed Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI), and enjoy the weekend with Tintin.

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