Breaking the bargain

A nasty review of P.V. Sindhu’s performance at the World Badminton Championships by Sandip Sarkar for the Hindustan Times: In the last one year, Sindhu has played 17 matches that stretched to the third game. She won 10 and lost seven. Six of those seven losses have come against players who were unseeded or seeded below her. A … Read more

The unclosed clause and other things about commas

The Baffler carried a fantastic critique of The New Yorker‘s use of commas by Kyle Paoletta on August 23. Excerpt: The magazine’s paper subscription slips have long carried a tagline: “The best writing, anywhere.” It follows that the source of the best writing, anywhere, must also be the finest available authority on grammar, usage, and … Read more

Talking scicomm at NCBS – II

I was invited to speak to the students of the annual science writing workshop conducted at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, for the second year (first year talk’s notes here). Some interesting things we discussed: 1. Business of journalism: There were more questions from this year’s batch of aspiring science writers about the economics … Read more

False equivalency

Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post on August 16: Does finding these powerful ways to frame the [Charlottesville] situation amount to abandoning journalistic impartiality? “The whole doctrine of objectivity in journalism has become part of the [media’s] problem,” Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, said this week in a talk at the Chautauqua Institution in … Read more

A for-publishers stack and the symmetry of globalisation

Journalism as the fourth estate has been noticeably empowered in the Information Age, with technologies like the WWW, broadband connectivity and smartphones in (almost) everyone’s pockets. However, the opportunities to responsibly exercise the resulting power have been coming at a disproportionately greater cost: to be constantly fast, constantly smart and constantly vigilant. Put another way: … Read more

A blogging problem, contd.

Over the last three days, I’d been having a strange issue with WordPress. If you read a post I published yesterday that briefly discussed WordPress’s pros and cons, you might remember I mentioned that WordPress 4.x seems to be having an identity problem. WordPress’s back-end has been managed by what’s called the WP admin area. … Read more