B hates the paper with a passion. He refuses to subscribe to any newspaper in India and refuses to watch any news channel. When I rave and rant about stuff I read about - via blogs or that I saw first hand - on TOI or NDTV or whatever- B is mostly blissfully unaware of it. I poked fun at him - told him he'd never know what was happening if he didn't see the news, however crappy it might be. But he did just fine. And always pointed out that by reading the rag, watching clips on Youtube, I was giving hits to all these people whose work was so loathsome and comprised the very dregs of reporting, if you could call it that. Then there even came an article on TOI's front page that talked about how they had the most hits and were the most widely read english newspaper or something. And I realised I had contributed to a good fraction them, as I often revisited some horrible coverage on TOI - mostly out of horror and disbelief.
The Mangalore air crash coverage was the last straw for me. The article in which a bunch of reporters purport that one of the airhostesses might have "had a hunch" of the tragedy because of a "chilling message" that was her "last update" on her "Social networking site". It made me want to barf. And it is truly shameful that so called reporters will stoop so low, manipulate the words of someone who just died in a horrible tragedy, to just sensationalize news. There is no shred of responsibility or ethics in that front paged article let alone any quality research. It got over two hundred comments pointing out their shoddy research- and the factual incorrectness of it- but no attempt was made at retracting it or taking it down. What is most infuriating is how they have no accountability whatsoever.
And just when I was about to add to one more page count by checking again to see whether the article was still there or not, I decided to stop it. No more TOI for me. I deleted their link from my bookmarks and replaced it with The Hindu, to get my daily dose of news from India. And I urge you all, who rant and rave about pathetic coverage- to do just that. Stop paying for subscriptions, stop contributing to their hit counts online. All the raving and ranting and fisking is falling on deaf ears. Only a real significant reduction in their revenue will be heard by them. And that starts with each one of us.