Sunday, September 14, 2008

Breaking News : " Ekkattuthangal Encroachment"

To reflect on the BMW case again, not the case per se, but the tag. The reason why TV channels choose to brand an incident in a certain way, apart from the need to keep it catchy, is that the headlines must also fit into the limited space when they flash it as “breaking news” in Font Size 44 or above.That’s why you have the “9/11”, the “Aarushi case”, the “Delhi blasts” and more recently the “Singur controversy”

Conversely, if you want to escape the attention of the media, you need to make sure that the name of the person or place cannot be truncated or made to fit into the TV screen. Tata made a big mistake when they chose Singur.

That’s why I admire the foresight of the Tamilnadu Govt. When Hyundai and Ford wanted to put up their plants in the state, the Govt allotted them land in Ekkattuthangal and Maraimalai Adigalar Nagar respectively. So, even if some land acquisition issue had arisen ( not that there were any), there would have been no chance of these nosey TV channels flashing the news all over. Try fitting in the letters “Ekkattuthangal land grab” in Font size 44, within the width of the TV screen.

Of course, you can argue that they could call it the “Ford Fiasco” or the “Hyundai Horror” but it will not carry that ring of conviction.

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