The front page

The front-page,  published decades apart, of two Mirrors, one from Britain and the other, Bangalore.

scan00012Britain’s Daily Mirror, dated May 17, 1960


Bangalore Mirror, dated November 23, 2008.

Some newspapers would do anything to attract attention – even publish a blank page. Provocation for this Bangalore Mirror front page was, presumably, to advertise the Indian Cricket League series starting in Bangalore on Sunday night. Those familiar with the  Emergency (1975-77) would recall how some newspapers those days sought to draw reader attention to the media censorship. They carried blank columns on their news pages, with editor’s note at the bottom saying the relevant news item had been withdrawn as its contents were censored by the authorities.

100_0415The note on the blank page of Sunday’s Bangalore Mirror reads..”We regret to inform you that today’s news has been withheld as India is under attack from the Pakistanis, Bangladesh”…and some such blah blah in reference to the much hyped cricket series.

The Daily Mirror image, scanned from from a book – At Your Peril – by Hugh Cudlipp, illustrates the British tabloid’s penchent for billboard headlines, designed to step up news-stand sales among train communters in a hurry. The headline related to the Big Four summit in Paris. Cudlipp, editor and a media celebrity in the 60s, wrote that the Mirror, top-selling British tabloid in those days, used vivid techniques to stimulate the interest of its predominently blue-collar readers in serious political matters.

Following the collapse of the summit (as USSR levelled spy charges against the US), the British tabloid, in its memo to Khruschev,  puts it, plainly  – Don’t be so bloody rude, Mr K ; who do you think you are? Stalin ? 


One Response

  1. This reminds me of a marathi daily, “navakaal” which printed a headline when Naval Tata passed away. “Naval ne Tata kela” which means Naval says good bye, a play on the word Tata. There were murmurs that it was disrespectful to the old man, doyen on Indian industry that he was, but I thought it was quite clever.

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