The Times or The Trash

I am petrified of opening news websites at work. I was very used to reading TOI in India, everyday, for almost an hour and half. Even during engg, I would go home over the weekend and take out the week’s newspapers and read all of them for almost 3-4 hours till dinner.

After coming to the States, I had to depend on the e-paper which was convenient, since I could read Pune Times too. Although, it is embarrassing to admit it, but the best place to read Pune Times/Pune Mirror(paper copy) is the Loo. 😀 But then they started charging for the e-papers and so only medium that remains is the website.

Now, I feel the entire website belongs to the sh*t pot! If you are at work and you open the news websites, anyone who peeps is going to think you are on some gross adult website. Right next to the leading news of the day, you have videos and pictures titled ‘hot celebrity flashes her whatever’ or ‘watch the steamiest scene in so-and-so movie’. Next to the scroll bar will be some ridiculous article about what the current Miss India suggests as a latest bikini trend. Like, really?!? If you scroll down to see the sports section, you risk displaying pictures on the screen that are titled ‘vote for the bunny of the day’ or something even worse. Seriously, what is wrong with these website owners! It is impossible to catch up on serious news when the major headline jumping at you is Ranbir-Katrina-Deepika-Ranveer did/said something, for the 84786th time.

I miss the days when you could catch up on good articles that screamed of excellent journalism. I used to love reading the editorial page with the editor’s view and the for/against debates on some topic. A Jug Suraiya or Swaminathan article was a treat while having the Sunday morning patties from Hindustan Bakery. Several times, I have opened an article or an interview after reading the headline, and it turns out to be something totally different! I am not even mentioning the sorry excuse of journalism where one tiny sentence becomes the title of the interview which turns out to be absolutely nothing about it. . Now the good articles have all reduced to a small little section that you have to look for between ‘hot tollywood nav*ls’ or ‘wardrobe malfunction’ articles. Poor dear Manmohan Singh’s very Yeti-like rare speech gets lost in the mass of the naughty videos vying for attention, right when the website is loaded. I was discussing about some new iphone tech development with a friend once and I opened the website to show him the news about it. Much to my embarrassment, he glanced at the Lifestyle section underneath the Tech news that was full of articles that I definitely wouldn’t want him to see in front of me. :-/

Sigghh… I really hope they do something about their website. It was once a leading news establishment in India and several people loved the newspaper. They need not resort to mass entertainment to satisfy the creeps to grab more eyeballs. There are plenty of people who want to just read the news, in peace, at work, in public without getting embarrassed. I do not want a situation where my kid will be asked about the latest Indian foreign policy and it will say that ‘hot moments of the year 20xx’ was way too distracting to even open the policy article.

Can we please have our regular plain, old, simple, vanilla news back??