Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Why do we have Page 3 ?

Of late, newspapers in Delhi have started this business about Page 3. Page 3 is the worst thing probably ever thought of in the world of newspapers; atleast it would make it to the all time stink list. So what is this Page 3 and why am I pissed off with it ?

Well Page 3 is this weird thing in the "magazine section" (the accompaniment to the main paper, which once contained interesting stuff is now mostly a tabloid) which contains useless stuff about the life of unknown people, who would have remained unknown, had not the media in its infinite wisdom decided to bestow on them celebrity status. These people could be any one ...... out of work fashion designers, fading starlets, wannabe startlets, shady females willing to expose flesh, unknown industrialists, pot-bellied politicians, socialites ( what do they do for a living ? inflict themselves on society ? :p ) .............................., in short anyone.

Well these misfits in society go to book launches, inaugrations of shops, pubs, boutiques, weddings etc. Their existence at the venue is justified by some random reason to party. I haven't seen anything useful to the reader yet (unless you are one of the aforementioned people).

The language used is also pretty sickening. It has an extremely sickly sweet tone, with loads of dears and darlings thrown in; along with embarassing nicknames of the people concerned. Oh ! Of course we know all the people; they are our old friends. Never mind that we haven't ever heard of them, never want to hear of them again; the language implies that we have lead a pretty useless life if we don't know these people.

The reason why I don't like page 3 is that it swallows up alot of pages 1 and 2 too ( sometimes even 4 :( ). That could have been devoted to some worthwhile news. Instead we are told that Mister.High-n-Mighty has been engaged to Ms. Snooty Nose. How it affects the life of any of the readers is beyond me, unless you are one of their friends, in which case you smack your lips in anticipation of the wedding dinner ( slurp! ). I don't that this number would run beyond a few hundreds at the most. With newspapers claiming circulations of the order of hundreds of thousands, these people are neglible. Yet they are forced on us.

Even as I write, I have picked up today's tabloid of a major newspaper. As said earlier, page 3 has gobbled up page 2 as well ( wonder when we start calling it Page 2+3 ?). We have the report of some fashion show, actually we have mostly pics of scantily clad women; the text is there just to justify the presence of the pics. :P

Loads of ads, the comic strips. Then shady stuff about some polo party, complete with pics. The report tells us loads of useless info; we would have been much better off without it. The names are of unknown people, in whose life I don't have the least bit of interest. These people are not even filmstars, whose lives provide alot of material for the gossip columns, they are people who we don't know and have never seen.

By now, if you haven't left already, you should been convinced that Page 3 is a pretty stupid thing. I mean why should I pay for those 3-4 pages in full colour if they are filled with crap like this. I mean, even if that space was devoted to advertisments, it would have been more useful. But shady parties makes me feel left out ( waaaaaaaaah!! they didnt call me :(( ).

So why do we have it ? They are not something you would read, unless you had absolutely nothing to do. People generally just ignore this section, they have become conditioned to behave in this manner. I suspect that the reason we have a page 3 is coz the media wants to create a class of psuedo-celebs, who are totally dependent on the media for their celebdom ( of course, the reporters get to go to parties too ;) ). So these people create news, and the media, which is forever news hungry passes this trash to us :(.

This is also a good way of advertising new restraunts, pubs, hotels, books etc. Just ensure that some these p3p ( page 3 people ) species turn up. The media is able to bloat it into a BIG event (arre bhai, if these people were there it has to be big) and perhaps ( or probably) get money for selling it. I don't know the exact reason. But believe me, there has to be some deep rooted conspiracy ;) ; otherwise why would we have something as useless as page 3 packaged as the best thing in the world of newspapers since the printing press.

Feel free to let me know if this page 3 has any use, I am really curious; and for the rest, feel free to add anything against page 3 I have left out!!!

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