The Times of India or the Old Lady of Boribunder as the sobriquet goes is one of the oldest newspapers in India and the largest selling English broadsheet in the world. But over the past decade this erstwhile newspaper of reasonably good quality has degenerated into a 3rd class rotten tabloid format newspaper.
Im all for marketing, heck thats gonna be my chosen profession but selling editorials and headlines to the highest bidders is pushing on the limits of extreme marketing. Why don’t u just make an Ad mag instead then. At least have the guts to call a spade and spade.A decent newspaper should also allow for critical feedback from its readers. But does TOI do that? No Sir they don’t. Not only do they not take the critical evaluation in their stride but they actually go to the extent of slapping their readers with libel suits to shut their gobs. The most recent point in case being the blog mediaah by one Pradyuman Maheshwari. These incidents will insinuate readers all the more. People from all walks of life have come out in support of Pradyuman ,as is clearly evident from the signing of petition for his cause and hundreds of blogs coming out to support him.
I guess what Vir Sanghvi said in his article in the Brand Reporter is true, the Newspaper wars between TOI,HT,DNA etc have just concentrated on increasing readership at all costs for the sake of attracting more and more advertising. For this purpose they had to make the newspapers so general in its appeal that the masses buy it in large numbers. And sadly those general features are fashion, movies and page 3 parties.
Let hope the TOI can still be saved and prevent it from becoming the The Whore of Boribunder!!!