Ahmedabad: Mr. Modi, YES SIR (DNA), NO SIR (Times Of India) !!

If you were an Amdavadi, depending on whether you read The Times of India or the DNAthis morning, you would have a very different view of life from someone who read the other.

The difference is stark and telling.

The Times of India carries on with the CAG report on the sins of omission and commission by the Narendra Modi government dominating the front (and city) pages. The lead story, headlined ‘You are living in toxic Ahmedabad’, quotes the CAG as saying, “Despite tall claims, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has not succeeded in bringing down pollution levels to prescribed levels,” and points out that, despite the government spending nearly Rs 100 crore on cleaning up the Sabarmati, it has “failed to improve the condition of the river.” A table highlights three major heads of expense in the fight against corruption and their shortcomings.

 

DNAdoes not even make a passing reference to the CAG report in the entire paper. Their lead story on the front page is an “exclusive” on another instance of corruption in the defence forces.

 

Patently, to readers of Times of India, Modi is no more Mr. Nice Guy, while for DNA readers, he continues to be.

It’s not just in politics that the two newspapers (and readers) do not share common views. In sport, Times of India generously previews IPL 5 with more than one-and-a-half pages devoted to the cricketainment extravaganza. Football, even the 3-3 draw played out by Manchester City versus Sunderland at home, a match which just might have given rival Manchester United the title, is ignored by The Times of India, while DNA does a wrap of Saturday’s games. DNA devotes about 60 column centimetres to the IPL, that too in a piece that says Sachin Tendulkar was at the nets for Mumbai Indians. DNA’s focus, as far as sports is concened, is Tiger Woods’ fitness, which dominates the back page.

Commercially, too, these papers are like chalk and cheese. Here’s how the two fare (as far as their main sections are concerned):

Times ofIndia DNA
Total number of pages 24 14
Full page ads 7 2
Half page and smaller display 2 0
Cinema ads 1 0
Classifieds 2 0
Tenders/notices 3 1/2
Total number of ads pages 15 2 ½

The Times of India, then, has more paid ad pages in the main section than the total number of pages in the main section of DNA.

And, for the first time I’ve seen this in a newspaper, pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the Times of Indiaare paid ads — making page 5 the ‘front’ page.

In Ahmedabad, it’ll be difficult for readers of Times of India and DNA to have an easy conversation immediately after they read the papers in the morning. Each will think the other has come from some other planet…

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