Friday, August 22, 2008

When Garcia Compliments Gulf News

By John Cheeran
I haven't seen an astute salesman other than the celebrated newspaper designer Mario Garcia. Garcia belongs to many schools,as and when it suits him, but most part of the time, he swears by packaging.
Now Garcia has redesigned many Indian newspapers including the Hindu and Hindustan Times. There may be admirers for such changes in design. I don't want to quarrel with that. But essentially Garcia is the guy who believes in packaging the shit.
And that's what he has done with Gulf News in Dubai. Gulf News is an huge free mailer masquerading as a newspaper. It relies on syndicated stuff and wires to fill up its 72 pages of main edition, assorted supplements and throw away magazines.
Now, I respect Garcia as a designer. I'm not surprised when he praises Gulf News in his latest blog entry.

But Mr. Garcia, you have improved the design of the paper. But what about the content? Gulf News can't even get right a promo, which you have shown in your blog.
The newspaper proudly says: Beyond the news: a variety of magazines compliment the Gulf News's content and coverage."

Now Mr. Garcia, what do you have to say about magazines COMPLIMENT the Gulf News?
When you next time preach your gospel at the spacious, and anti-septic news room of Gulf News, will you tell the editors at the newspaper that there is a difference between COMPLIMENT and COMPLEMENT, and the ability to choose the right word helps a great deal to produce a decent newspaper?
I'm sure you will not. For I remember the last time when you talked about split infinitives at your impromptu sermons, its managing editors fainted.
So what if Gulf News murders English, the murder happens on glossy pages and in a pool of expensive North American templates.
Long live the salesman.

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