I used to be one of the youngest editors (edited Dinamaan of The Times of India Group in teh late '80s) in the national press. I co-founded Janasatta for indian express as well.
However, when I came to the corporate sector and headed a small management and technology consulting firm in the 1990s, some of my former colleagues told to me to hire a PR firm in case i wanted to get anythoing published. There were journalists who will specially request, as someone known to me as a journalist, to bring things of interest from overseas of values that were not quite common as gifts in the middle classes.
Since I joined a not for profit organization a few months ago, I have seen that often they will carry out stories on our competition that will make strange statements about our activities and teh letters to the editor correcting it will go unpublished. That has been the cse with teh Economic Times, The Business Standard, The India Today among others.
We design and make laptops that are environmentally friendly, can stand teh test of adversity in village India, is designed for learning and is internationally priced at Rs 11,000 a piece but due to customs, shipping, sales tax or VAT and octroi and foreign exchange fluctuations, despite operating at ZERO profit against at least 40% profit for our competitors, India Today published our price to be Rs 4400 and they have not corrected that yet. that deprived at least 6000 children in a school system from a decision that would have helped them get the laptop as the price became suspect.
However, the reader feels that India Today published it.. They do not understand that India Today could be dead wrong. A price mentioned on teh website could not be seen by India today reporter. Two months after we have no resolution from them.
Media is as falliable as any of us. Those running it are humans.. just that often they do not seem to know the damage they can do and sometimes they do it deliberately because someone may have ingratiated them.. Very human, indeed..
Satish Jha President & CEO OLPC India One Cambridge Center Cambridge, MA 02142 T: 301 841 7422 F:301560 4909