Not only newspapermen but also newspaper readers of my generation often complain that journalism has declined since our time. But some things in the media do not change.
In an English language text-book which I studied at college 60 years ago there was an essay “On becoming a journalist”, written by Rose Macaulay, It was a tongue-in-cheek piece, commenting on various aspects of journalism.
Miss Macaulay, who wrote for The Times of London, advised those who only wanted to see their names in print to write letters to the editor. She also offered a few tips to help get into print. The Times was interested in pets and gardening and there was a good chance of the newspaper publishing letters on these subjects. She observed that editors like to be flattered and suggested that the letter could start with words like “As always you were right when you wrote…”
Decades later Miss Macaulay’s advice apparently still holds good. Look at the opening lines of the five top letters published in The Hindu on Monday, September 7:
The editorial “Political feudalism” (Sept. 5) rightly cautions against dynastic politics… R. M. Manoharan, Chennai.
The editorial rightly says that the middle-level Congress leaders … K. A. Suresh Kumar, New Delhi.
The editorial was brilliant and forthright in questioning the irrational demand …S. Sarangan, Secunderabad.
As the editorial rightly points out, Jagan Mohan is a political novice… S.Padmaja, New Delhi.
The editorial has sounded a timely caution to the Congress high command …. Comdt. G. V. Mathew (retd.), Thiruvananthapuram.