Times of India hypocrisy

Nitin Pai, via email, points me to the Times of India‘s explanation for why they have redesigned their new website. I have two questions:

1] Why could it not have been written by a proper journalist instead of a PR/marketing man? Do its readers not deserve to hear from the editor himself?

2] Is the excerpt quoted below supposed to be some sort of sick joke?

We have also tried to address your constant complaint on juxtaposition of ads and content. These now appear in clearly demarcated zones. (My emphasis.)

I’ve just made a quick phone call and verified that Medianet is still thriving, and ToI‘s practice of cheating readers by selling editorial space, without any indication that a piece or photograph has been paid for, continues unabated. So isn’t the hypocrisy stunning?

Sudden insight: Maybe Bhaskar Das wrote that press release!

Update: Sanjay Sipahimalani writes in to point me to “The You Decade” by Christopher Hitchens, in which he writes:

A room-service menu … now almost always offers “your choice” of oatmeal versus cornflakes or fruit juice as opposed to vegetable juice. Well, who else’s choice could it be? Except perhaps that of the people who decide that this is the range of what the menu will feature. Fox TV famously and fatuously claims, “We report. You decide.” Decide on what? On what Fox reports? Online polls promise to register what “you” think about the pressing issues of the moment, whereas what’s being presented is an operation whereby someone says, “Let’s give them the idea that they are a part of the decision-making process.”

Immensely pertinent when you read that ToI release!