18 July 2005

The Curious Case of Showtime Tricks

There is an old, cynical industry saying: A smart journalist never lets facts come in the way of good copy.
A news report says a television actor sues his former producer because she did not pay him. She says something about him being a nice guy but the headline says she has sued him for defamation, and the body says she plans to sue him. The story says she refutes his claim, but it does not make anything clearer. Does she claim he was indeed paid? If so, there is no mention of any cheque or draft, which would give some evidence. If he was not paid, what is her claim anyway?
Here is the story:

Time to make a soap on TV serial politics and tricks of the trade?

Is this reportage? Or is this just a half-baked story with which struggling actors or has-been producers get some cost-free branding?
Media critic Sevanti Ninan recently had a nice piece about how movie producers and directors get some cheap publicity with non-events. Like the one about cricketer Shoaib Akhtar being offered a Bollywood role. No role is formally offered, but both the offer and his denial make it to the front page--just at a time when a movie by the maker is being released.
Ram Gopal Varma and Mahesh Bhatt somehow manage to stay in the headlines with stories that often turn out to be non-starters (in retrospect). Is the media being used/abused?
We are not mentioning Mallika Sherawat here. She deserves special treatment.

No comments: