01 August, 2010

The Common-Wealth games 2010, New Delhi

The common-wealth games has helped make a lot of people rich and might help India make a gigantic fool of itself.  Depending upon which paper or newschannel you pickup and time of day and day of week, the amount of money used for the commonwealth has been anywhere between 5000 to 40000 crores and initial estimates have been from 400 to 1600 crores and the number of times the spend has gone up is between 8 and 17.
There are all kinds of deadlines, none of which are met usually. The deadline for project to go into testing, the deadline for the project to be handed over from the MCD to the IOC to the CWG are all there for us to shake our heads about. The TOI reports that none of the quality checks (not even one) for a series of stadiums seem to have been done properly. They further report that the external agency retained to do the checks seem to have managed doing them without ever visiting the facilities being developed.

For some reason today, I want t register my cribs about the TOI also.

On any given day, the morning paper (Times of India) has most of the below topics -
1. Stories on commonwealth games related delays and corruption
2. Stories about rain related problems and the obvious corruption and apathy of the MCD
3. Stories about Pakistan and the US and India. If they have nothing on terrorism, then they try to write about 'Aman ki Asha' . To my mind, this is a P2P publicity initiative designed for socialites who are bored of appearing on page 3 in the Delhi times and now want to get some footage in Lahore.
4. The TOI has a new paper called the 'Crest' - I might be wrong but for the life of me, I can not be sure about the name even though there is a light green shaded section every few days on the goodies which are going to be published in the 'Crest'. It is a paper which is supposed to get us to the bottom of the news and give us real analysis - I wonder if I am naive in believing that any daily newspaper aspires to provide that for its readers.
(I checked on Google - somewhat hard to find, but the name is Crest)
So they say that the Crest is not a paper, it is "a journal that allows us the luxury of the 2,000-word piece that’s as rich in style as in substance. One that is serious and stimulating, but quirky and enjoyable too. A paper where good writing heightens the joy of reading."  

5. Apart from the types of news stories, there is a section embedded in some stories called 'Times View' (Again, I don't vouch for the name). The section is usually a set of issues or questions which the user should be asking which are relevant. It reminds me of a  'Tool tip' in Microsoft Excel. The auto help feature has long held its position in the list of the first few things I turn off when on a new PC. The tool tip inside a news article makes me feel as if I am reading the News for Dummies.
6. There is another section inbuilt into a lot of news stories in the TOI. It is that part of a story which reminds users how they read it first in the TOI three weeks ago. Or how the government has responded to the TOI story and then taken steps. Or how the TOI's coverage led to a simultaneous public demonstration and is now leading to a windfall of justice. I think that the paper tries to remind its users that through its pages, they are part of something bigger - an unstoppable juggernaut of a central vigilance commission. News maybe not, but emotive marketing - right on!!!

7. I have always read dated stories in the TOI. Let me clarify. Not all stories are dated, but there have always been stories (Especially from foreign lands) which can be read on Google news today and will appear in the TOI day after tomorrow. 

Well even I read the TOI every day, but only because the HT and the Hindu though more serious as newspapers manage to get boring. I guess it is a sign of the times. Boring is not cool. Not cool is out.

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