Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inaugurating the Bizarre Newspaper Headline Contest

Welcome to the Bizarre Newspaper Headline Contest. We hope to keep this as a periodic regular feature in coming times, so do keep sending us your nominations (via email please, they get lost sometimes in the comments section).

Today's three categories:

1. Worst Pun in Headline Award

Winner: Express Tribune, reporting in its 'Karachi' pages on the launch of former Indian Foreign Minister and BJP General Secretary Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah at Mohatta Palace in Karachi:

"Singh 'Jas want's us to look into the past for future peace"

2. Surreal Headline Award

Winner: Express Tribune, lead story about wiretapping in Pakistan

"1984?: Finding Orwell in Pakistan"

3. WTF Headline Award

Winner: Express Tribune, reporting about planned commemorations on the third death anniversary of former Sindh Chief Minister Abdullah Shah (there's no link on the website but it's on page 15 of the print edition):

"Ex-CM Abdullah Shah died 3 years ago"

And ladies and gentlemen, it's a clean sweep today for the new kid on the block. The rest of you, you need to pull your socks up and get competing.


Anonymous said...

hahahaha XYZ you rock!!!

Anonymous said...

Has any one read the piece by Amna Iqbal in speaker's corner on the back page? I was going to subscribe to the paper before I read that.

Why is a girl talking about french fries and her lack of hygiene (wiping oily fingers on her keyboard) worthy of the back page? or any page?

Anonymous said...

French fries are awesome. These french-fries lovers' haters are those that can't afford the 25 Rupees asking price. Me? I will just use that money to buy MOOOOORE French fries.

Anonymous said...

The lead even had typos, and TWO of these headlines are by Salman Siddiqui. This guy sure is on a roll.

Also, these are both leads, is Salman the best our MBA types have have to offer?

Anonymous said...

Oh. I was hoping you would notice a Dawn headline on page 2 today (Wednesday) and single it out for some sort of award.
It has a line above that says ' Commercial use of parks' and the main headline is ' 2007 case comes haunting bigger'. Huh?

Btw my bad taste prize of the week also goes to The News (Islamabad edition) on the day there was mayhem in Abbottabad over the Pakhtunkhwa issue. The headline, unbelievably,was: 'A name to die for'

Anonymous said...

ET messed up not just with their headlines but also their text. From their lead story on the Karachi pages:

1. Discussing his book with The Express Tribune, Singh said...

Really? Wasn't this an event, where he just spoke, and all reporters simply jotted down their own notes?

2. Mohatta Place

Surely they knew it was pAlace, not just any other place

3. "Stressing on the importance of understanding of understanding the partition..."

But we didn't understand the importance of understanding of understanding. Did you understand the understanding?

4. Singh received a standing ovation from his audience. When he said, “I’m a soldier in the service of India and I’ll do anything to ensure peace [with] my neighbors,” the audience responded with resounding applause.

Did he get a standing ovation before the statement, or was the ovation part of the applause?

Anonymous said...

Tribune or no Tribune - what all the English broadsheets in Pakistan need are efficient subs with an aptitude for structure, style and form.

Mighty said...

To commenter above: Please recommend some. My organisation would love to hire efficient subs with an aptitude for spelling their own names right!

Has anyone noticed how the 'Pakistan' section on the ET website has a section called 'Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA'? Doesn't the bill need to become a law before we have to do that?
And ironically, in today's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA section, the lead story is:
"NWFP name change controversy thickens"

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

My favorite headline is "Will the real slims please stand up ? " :PPPPP

Anonymous said...

the slims headline wasn't even relevant to the report btw

Disgruntled DT employee said...

Mighty, you'll get decent subs if your organisation starts PAYING its staff. Salman Taseer ki ayyashia khatam nahi hoti, aur staff bhooka mar raha hai. And then you have the balls to crib about subbing. Sharam karo.

By the way, aptitude and ability cannot be used interchangeably. Diligent subbing?

Mighty said...

Dear Disgruntled DT employee:

If you've already left the organization, then I can safely assume that you are not starving to death. (Almost) everybody else on the copy desk is in no danger of starving anytime soon either, because DT is currently populated by freshies, interns and people who know people at DT, in addition to the ones who are just there because they have nothing better to do. And right now, I'm sure you will agree, it is in the best interest of all capable personnel to start ‘standing out’ in terms of their work, if only to advertise themselves to other potential employers with deeper pockets and a stronger conscience.

Everybody there has had to face the fact that DT is probably the least read among the national English dailies right now, and the reasons for that are clear. But the whole market knows there are some skilled people in this dying organisation. Recent hirings and proposed hirings of DT staffers by 24/7, ET and PT testify to that. My point is that even if you want to get out, you’ve gotta give it all you’ve got, because that’s what will set you apart from the 2,400 other unemployed ex-media people who are currently looking for jobs.

Even now, in my humble opinion, DT is one of the ‘best-dressed’ papers around, because that’s the least a decent newsroom can do in the absence of everything else. Substance, depth and impartiality (apart from salaries of course) are what DT’s missing. These are the cornerstones of good journalism, but unfortunately (as is highlighted in this very blog all the time) nearly all other media outlets (read businesses) lack them too. Plus, there’s still worse places to work.

All I’m saying is that we’re good people, do not judge us from the sins of our employer.

P.S. You're right, they're not interchangeable. But I didn't mean ability. We can't afford ability right now. People with aptitude are what DT needs... lots of aptitude and lots of their own money :)

Omar R Quraishi said...

mighty -- you work for DT - isnt that the paper which devoted 23,457,732 issues to shahbaz taseer's wedding and his sister's jewellery show? great editorial decision i must say -- bravo

Roving Reporter said...

ET's team does follow cafepyala... they have replaced khayber-pukhtunkhwa with NWFP in their website. Good job Mighty

Mighty said...

Omar Quraishi sahib...

Think of it this way. If you owned a newspaper and lifestyle magazine and your son/daughter was getting married, your owning of the said newspaper and magazine would be worthless to you if it didn't splash the said wedding until kingdom come.

Although I do appreciate the fact that you've posted with your own identity, unlike most other people on this forum ;)

Anonymous said...

So the commercial, emotional, spiritual value of a newspaper to a proprietor is based on splashing pics of your son's glitzy nuptials on a week by week basis like some Victorian potboiler?

Really rather touching of you to take the Seth's side although it's a bizarre and rather odd editorial policy, wouldn't you say so?

Mighty sahib, is that the rule or the exception for all newspaper proprietors?

If you believe so, then I'd like to point we still haven't seen any pictures of the Montague and Capulet shaadi...sorry I mean the Lakhani/Saigol wedding at Mohatta Palace in either the Express Tribune or The Dawn.

Perhaps they were too busy enjoying the wedding..PRIVATELY.

Mighty said...

Firstly, it's not editorial policy, Mr Anonymous, its the owner's policy, there's a difference.

Secondly, the Montagues and the Capulets (as you so beautifully put it) are probably less vain than the Taseers. Which is probably also one of the reasons why their organisations are far more professional than the one that Mr Taseer owns.

Again, let me clarify for the umpteenth time. A media organisation is not wholly and solely composed of the owner and their cronies, although they do have overall control. However, the professionals who do have the misfortune of working for them should not be held accountable for the misdeeds of the employer. I'm sure your boss has made you do things that you would otherwise have refused to do. It is the same princple. We don't sell our souls, we just put a price tag on our skills, thats what any professional is paid for (or in my case, is not paid for).

If you look around this blog, you will see that nearly all media outlets have their pitfalls and misgivings. DT is no different.

If you are a professional journalist, remember, fairness and contextualization is half your bread and butter.

Anonymous said...

I must commend Mighty for not succumbing to the usual 'lash-out' attitude of many here when they come under persistent... um, scrutiny. Sign of a civilized, if unpaid, man. Bravo :)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of defunct Headlines it seems another thing that Express Tribune is good at doing is plagiarism. One of their opinion pieces from the 22nd of April, Wajahat S Khan's Evolution of the Media Part 2 was drastically edited from its original form and then published. Unfortunately the editing process completely changed the meaning of the article threatening to alienate WSK from his previous employers at Dawn News and also damaging Dawn News's credibility with an accusation of giving the army unprecedented PR during the Swat operation. How can a paper so irresponsibly misquote a journalist taking what he has written out of context and making jabs at the competition? Do you really want to continue reading the paper...or writing for it. I don't think so.

Not Wajahat said...

To Anon 420 (how appropriate) above: Haha! Yes, Wajahat. Why don't you take it up with your editors at ET? And I suppose, since you're so upset with your original meaning being changed (pray tell, who else would know this but you?), we won't be seeing you write for ET any more...

For future reference: while commenting about material only you would know, it might be better to post with your own name. ;>

Anonymous said...

Serves ET right for picking the pompous Wajahat Khan as a columnist. And serves Wajahat right for picking the vacuous ET as a vehicle. What did they both expect?

faisal said...

LOL. Anon@19:47, lol, so aptly put!

faisal said...

i meant 10:47

imran said...

retarded shit. Wtf is going on at ET man?