After Kolkatta, Goa probably has the highest concentration of writers per sq.km. in India. This singular fact could be due to the proximity to the sea, or all that fish. You would think that this proliferation of writers of all abilities (and from all over the world) would result in a very high standard of journalism.
In my opinion, Goa’s newspapers are pretty casual about their writing. Not only is the reporting amateurish, but the sub-editing is non-existent.
Pick up any edition of a local (English) daily. You can choose between the TOI Goa edition, the Navhind Times, the Herald and the Gomantak Times. I challenge you to find one that is error free.
Skimming through yesterday’s Herald (it is too depressing to read through every ‘report’), you’ll find that page 14 had a half-page article on a young Goan violinist Chernoll Mendonca. The headline for the profile: ‘ A Musical Chernobyle called Chernoll’.
If I was Chernoll, I wouldn’t be too pleased about being called a musical ‘Chernobyle’. Do Herald’s reporters/editors know what Chernobyl is? Comparing that poor boy to one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters cannot, in any way, be a flattering thing. Having read the local papers, I can only justify this with the rationale that the reporter/sub-editor (or whoever was responsible for this disaster) thought they were making a clever play on the Chernobyle / Chernoll connection.
If I were Chernoll, I wouldn’t add this to my press cuttings file.
In the same article, the reporter writes:
Chernoll’s…cell phone is home to the music of Enrique, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Fray, Eagles, Bryan Adams and various others in these categories. He is quick to assert the devotion for the Israeli violinist Izzack Peachman.
Seriously. It says so in black and white on Page 14.
Perhaps there is a famous Israeli violinist called Peachman, responsible for inspiring Goan violinists (which would explain certain things),but I doubt it.
With fact-checking apparently non-existent,the sheer laziness of our reporters is revealed to thousands of people every morning. How hard is it to do an internet search when you are faced with an unfamiliar name? How difficult is it to double check a spelling or what you think is a pun?
When people describe Goa as a writer’s paradise, one needs to question why, despite literary giants living amongst us, is our standard of journalism (and professionalism in journalism) so poor?