Wait, before we announce the winners, even before we announce the nominees, the story… our version of it.
It’s happened before. Someone brandishing the credentials of the forty-fourth estate (when did it stop at four?) trings Thermal And A Quarter, or drops by our dotcom property, and says: “I am doing a story…”
Lovely, what an opportunity for TAAQ to be splashed in print, we think. And we preen ourselves, turn our bullet-point thoughts over in our heads, evoke a cool drawl and give them what we think is the interview of the century, one that will make Rolling Stone turn into a pumpkin.
Sometimes it’s us. Usually, it’s them.
By them, we mean an editor who has no more column-centimetres to spare. Or a layout artist who lops off three juicy quotes in favour of one hedonistic picture.
But mostly, it’s the Paper Puli. Now in its deadliest avatar – the armchair journalist. The one who won’t quote quotes. The one who won’t stop to check facts, the one who won’t hesitate to bend the world. For whom a matter of fact isn’t.
And so, with all due respect, this month’s Paper Pulitzer goes to Business Today‘s Senior Correspondent Shivangi Misra for blasting us ten years into the past. According to the article Bands on the run (Feb. 11, 2007), Thermal And A Quarter has four members: ‘Bruce Lee Mani (guitars), Rajiv Rajagopal (drums), Sunil Chandy (bass), and Ajit Abraham (vocals).’
That was in 1996. Things have changed, Shivangi.
Bruce and I, who have both worked as journalists in our time, will tell you there’s something in our book known as fact-checking. It’s a bit of an old-school trait, but it holds even in these digital times.
The winner of the Paper Pulitzer is welcome to enjoy a dish of Paper Pulissery in my humble kitchen.