Saturday, December 4, 2010

Best newspaper

Which is the best newspaper in India?

I wish Tehelka was a daily newspaper. But it is not.

So there is only one choice for the answer: The Hindu.

But it is far from being the best. In fact, the newspaper is a follower of freedom of speech only when it suits themselves. That, if we can say newspaper stances are defined by their editors, which I believe is true in this case. N. Ram loves the binary. He loves to create stories of black-and-whiteness, about the great lives people in China, Tibet and Srilankan camps for the Tamils are having. That no one in the establishment of these places can do anything wrong, and if someone reports otherwise, it can only be propaganda.

But the free speech policy of Hindu is visible in its approach to comments in its Internet edition. No comment with any sort of criticism is accepted - I mean extremely civil comments of the type - "your editorial does not consider this aspect of the problem". However, if your comment is of the admiring type, "kudos to The Hindu...", it appears without much delay.

May be its not much of a newspaper policy. May be it is that the guy who moderates the comments is being lazy about it, and rather than cause problems by getting into the detail of what is a right criticism and what is not, he is merely shutting out all criticisms. And perhaps no one else in the newspaper cares about this. And hence may be I am finding a higher truth in something that can be attributed to stupidity.

But whatever be the reason, as an upholder of free speech The Hindu should be most open to criticism, especially civil criticisms, and it is currently not doing it at least in its Internet edition.

Also, observing responses of several newspapers around the world (for eg: towards the recent Wikileaks leak), I feel The Guardian is the best newspaper around.

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