To read part 1
The Man from Madras Musings posted on social media his irritation with the formatting of the newspapers and found several people echoing his views. Some, however, differed and wanted to know if what MMM was suggesting was that newspapers ought to eschew all ads. Can any paper survive that way, asked these people. One person went to the extent of saying that MMM ought not to cast stones for, after all, is Madras Musings itself not dependent on ‘dole’ (his words, not MMM’s)? Others began to go in to mathematics, wanting to explain to MMM that a paper sans advertising would be so exorbitant in cost that nobody would be able to afford it. As it happens, all of these people got the wrong end of MMM’s argument.
None understands better than MMM the importance of advertisements for a newspaper. After all, he began life selling space in the advertising industry. And, no, he does not want our dailies to sacrifice their income. He also realises that this being festival time, this is when dailies can maximise their ad income. All that he asks for is better formatting. Can readability not be kept in mind while planning the ads? Would that be too much to ask? After all, it is the readership that brings advertisements to a newspaper and not the other way round.
They ought to also consider the afterlife of a newspaper. There is, of course, the waste paper market which screams with joy every festive season as the dailies bloat in weight. So does the newspaper subscriber, for he/she gets much more in disposing the sheets by weight than what he/she paid for by way of subscription. But what of the other market – that of lining cupboards with newspaper? Where will these users go if the papers came in varying widths and lengths and sizes? Surely there ought to be some consideration for such users as well?
Talking about advertisements, MMM, wonders if you have noticed. The Spear-Wielding-Six-Faced-God’s Stores in T Nagar nowadays releases full-page ads with what he presumes is the son of the proprietor as its model. It is time someone advised them to find an alternative. MMM is all understanding about parental love and all that, but in business a certain amount of objectivity is essential. The famed Stores would do well to invest in a mirror for the heir, and daddy dearest, to look into.