Thursday, January 31, 2008

National Herald: End of An Era

By John Cheeran
National Herald, the newspaper conceived by Jawaharlal Nehru, is preparing to put together its last edition.
And, I’m sure, none in New Delhi will miss the parting of this herald. Not even its employees.
No journalist in Delhi will feel the absence of this one-time legendary newspaper, for it had ceased to have any presence even in the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, from where it used to bring out the inky editions.
For seven years I trudged down the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg never once I bothered to step in that office, even when I wandering without a job.
Now that I’m reading AFP wire copy saying that Herald is ceasing publication, it amazes me that I have never seen a copy of this paper, which played critical role in the Indian Independence struggle.
Well, I have walked past history, without allowing, not even a particle of dust from that history to settle on my shoulders.
In the twenty first century, Soniaji’s Congress does not need National Herald, though it has continued till its last breath as the official newspaper of the party.
Today, Congress and Sonia have better mouthpieces than National Herald. So amidst dwindling revenue and falling circulation, the Congress chief’s decision to perform last rites to the newspaper seems a sensible decision.It is interesting to note the current editor-in-chief T.V. Venkitachalam.
“We do not follow the latest fashion and Bollywood trends. In all these years, the paper has adhered to the values Nehru espoused – objectivity and the tradition of independence. There has never been any interference from the Congress. But we never bothered too much about the business aspect of paper,” he said.

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