Crank’s News: Survey says you will not read this

Plus: A leave letter that made it to the news pages

New Delhi: In some happy news for journalists, it has been found that if on working days people don’t have much time for reading newspapers, then on public holidays and weekends, they have a lot more time, which they cannot be bothered to waste by reading.

‘The net result is newspapers can continue with the kind of s%@# they are publishing now because no one, under any circumstance, reads anything,’ a survey undertaken by the newspaper industry has revealed.

The survey, quoting a respondent, said that even if newspapers published the leave letters of reporters and correspondents people wouldn’t notice.  But when asked how can he be sure that the newspapers have not done that already, the respondent sheepishly agreed that it was indeed possible that such a thing could have happened before, especially if you are talking of ‘Editorials’ and ‘Open-Ed’ pieces.

As an aside it should be pointed out that ‘Editorial pages’ are those sections in a publication that human gaze seldom falls on. In the newspaper industry, those who write the editorials are among the highest paid. Why pay top money to something that is not read at all? Well, those in the newspaper business have never asked this question, but still wonder why the industry is in the doldrums (By logical reckoning, the person in charge of TV and cinema listings pages has to be paid the highest).

Coming back to the survey, it further said that it is a fact that the circulation figures of weekend and holiday editions of newspapers are higher than they are on normal days. ‘But more circulation merely means that there are officially more people not reading them. And more pages means there is more choice for people to ignore,’ the survey added.

One person, interviewed as part of the nationwide survey, was quoted as saying:  ‘The newspaper industry must take the cue from the television news channels, which on holidays have become full-fledged music and cookery show channels.’

He added: ‘I love them.  One, you finally have something to actually watch on news channels. Two, it takes us back to the high days of television in India. I mean, to the days when Chitrahar ruled the roost.’

Going by current trends, if the Prime Minister or the President were assassinated on a weekend, news channels will break the news only on Monday morning, obviously loath to cut that three-hour show on the songs and tunes of Himmesh Reshmaiya, titled: The Man Who Has A Nose For Music.  And the one on Bappi Lahiri: Worth The Gold In His Weight.  And the one Pankaj Mullick: A Singer We Ourselves Don’t Know Much About But Are Featuring Him Since We Have Caught Hold Of Visuals Of Some Of His Songs.

But, to be fair to the news channels, there is nothing wrong in them having become full-fledged music channels and started beaming music and songs during the weekends. For, it’s nearly five year since the designated music channels like M-TV and V-Channel aired any.

Meanwhile, Crank’s News has scooped a leave letter that actually got published in one of the newspapers.

Dear whichever colleague is reading this,

I understand that I should have addressed this letter to the boss. But, you know, when it comes to weekends, he is the one not seen in the office more than any of us.

I will not be making it to the office today and tomorrow. So don’t wait for my piece. Ideally, a large picture of Katerina Kaif in a spandex outfit two sizes smaller than the one that her body actually requires would go well in the space allotted to me. But we did that last week. We cannot cheat our discerning readers. Opt for Deepika Padukone in a mini-skirt this time. But hey, this is important: Don’t google for the images. Many of them are Photoshopped ones. (Pssst: If you want to see any of those photos, it’s stored in the file ‘Editorial’ so that no one will open it).

I understand that I could have conveyed my absence over phone itself. But by sending at least this letter I have given you something to fill the pages with. Or else, you will have to make do with the speech of the Prime Minister at the United Nations. For the record, it was the first time in the history of the world body that total peace was ensured at its headquarters with everyone around totally asleep thanks to the speech.

By the way, why are you in the office on a weekend? Did your girl friend ditch you? OK, I understand how you must be feeling.  Luckily for you this weekend CNN-IBN is breaking news with the ‘bewafa’ songs of K L Saigal: Broken Heart Through A Broken Nose.


One of your many colleagues not in the office now

(Disclaimer: Don’t read this. We don’t want our survey disproved)