New Delhi. In a sensational development, Mr. Shankar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of a national daily, The Indian Mail was fired from his job today because he put the Rafale deal signed by Prime Minister Modi on his France visit as the front page headline.
Though the official reason given was a more sterilized version stating that the Editor-in-Chief had parted with the paper due to differences in editorial orientation, everyone who is someone in the industry, their wayward wives/girlfriends and their political boyfriends confirmed that the firing happened due to the unforgivable misdemeanour of giving space to an issue of so called national security instead of conventional, time honoured policy of publishing news which was produced in-house.
An associate editor spoke to Faking News on the condition of anonymity and said, “Mr. Gupta had unconventional ideas about giving importance to news that are deemed unnecessary in our industry. For example, twice in last one week he insisted upon providing headline space to the Indian rescue effort in Yemen and then again to the Mudra bank. He cited the some funny reasons like foreign countries’ press covering the first and the massive impact of second on Indian job market but better sense prevailed both times. Unfortunately, in this instance he did not listen to any of us.”
Another editor from a competing newspaper was more forthcoming, “Where was the bloody need for giving prime space to news? And who gives a damn to the issues like economy, jobs, health, education or even terrorism, foreign relations, national security anyway? He could have published anything, quoted anything, even what was never said, meant or intended. He could have even used an old statement of a minister and published it as latest revelation. Retractions are anyway published on obituaries page and nobody reads them. What an idiotic end to what could have been a great career.”
The editor in question, however, had his own version to tell, “I understand the importance of upholding secular, inclusive values and I had the list of our bulk vendors, the worthies who provide raw material for our production on a daily basis, on my desk all the time. That day, surprisingly, none of the worthies made a comment. In fact none of them had said anything for an interminable long period of two days or 48 hours. We were frantic, waiting for important bytes but nothing came. We searched twitter, facebook, whatsapp and even our local SMS groups but found nothing. Nada, zero, zilch!
Then we even sent SMSs like, “Are you going to continue in this religion?” or “Would you like to abuse anyone, today?” but no response! From anyone!
Later when I found that our photoshop artist had also taken an unplanned leave and now we could not even create a picture on a broken window pane or even a graph on vegetable prices, I knew it was a conspiracy!
And the claim that I published the news on front page too is completely wrong. It can be verified that the front page as well as second one covered Big Bazaar and pages three & four covered reality companies. The news in contention was published only on page 5.”
It needed a social scientist to put things in perspective, though. Speaking to Faking News Mr. Vishnu said, “An important strain of change in information universe has been missed by most experts. The primacy of news in the hierarchical order which was unchallenged once, like Brahmanism, is now on the decline. Now Azam Khan’s buffaloes have same level of opportunity to make it to headline as a war in Gaza has, the size of bedroom in which Asaram slept competes with a debate on India’s strategic interests in Central Asia and slap on the face of municipal corporator can beat the formation of BRICS bank when it comes to being featured on breaking news.”
But a reader of The Indian Mail had the last word, “Half a kg of newspaper is delivered at your doorstep for Rs. 5 and half kg of old newspaper gets sold at Rs. 4. Do you really expect news for the one rupee that you spend?”