I may have issues with The Times of India’s reporting style, but I continue to buy the paper, along with Bangalore Mirror, The Hindu and a Tamil paper. I don’t get the time to read them all, every morning – at least on weekdays – but the rest of my family does.
This morning, I have a serious issue with The Times of India… over a cartoon. The cartoon in question is an ‘animated sequence of events’ in the Pallavi Puryakastha murder in Mumbai.
I saw the print edition in Bangalore. The sequence of events seems to have the correct text, but, in the 5-box animated drawing, boxes 2, 3, 4 and 5 seem completely disconnected with the text.
Box 1 refers to Pallavi calling the guard, to notify a power problem. So, the picture of 2 people on phone seems correct. But the other boxes have drawings that seem to be lifted from some other murder.
Box 3 is the worst – it actually shows a woman in limited clothing, in a pool of blood! The text below is, of course, totally different (click on the image below for larger version).
I checked a few other editions of The Times of India online, via epaper and to my shock, I found that the same illustrated sequence is completely different, and actually in sync with the text, in the Mumbai edition. It seems like the paper had a very different intent for its readers in Bangalore and Chennai alone.
One possible explanation could be that the local editions in Bangalore (and Chennai) were asked to recreate the animated sequence themselves and not depend on Mahesh Benkar’s (as credited in the Mumbai edition) illustration. But the illustrations in Bangalore (and Chennai) do not carry any credit.
But, if the paper can share the text (below each box), why can’t the illustrations be shared too? I really wonder who took the call the consciously change the illustrations to something so incongruent and, in a way, sensationalistic?
Another minor point to note: the last box’s text ends with, ‘Mughal pulls out the knife an slashes her throat’ – in the Mumbai edition.
In Bangalore, it says, ‘Sajjad pulls out the knife an slits her throat’. Slashes vs. slits may seem like an editorial call, but the reason could be the reporting of another murder in Bangalore-Â in JP Nagar, of an elderly couple, where the murderers had slit the couple’s throats. Wonder if this influence carried over to the illustrations too, though it still does not explain why the illustrations are so absurdly disconnected.