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February 25, 2017 / bikesbytesbites

India, February 2017 – Getting the News

I’ve traveled abroad a lot, starting in graduate school, continuing through several jobs.  In the early years, pre-internet, one of the most troubling aspects of these trips was satisfying my obsession with reading the NY Times.  I remember one trip ( both pre-internet and pre-credit card), when I spent the summer in Italy and France and was starting a year’s job in France.  I had miscalculated the date I would get my first paycheck (whoever heard of getting paid once a month?), so was running short of cash. I needed to live by a strict budget: the budget included the daily issue of the International Herald Tribune and skimped on coffee.

Fast forward to now. I still have the NY Times obsession – but tempered: I read the weekday papers online, but prefer Sunday’s on paper, so I can schlep it around easily (and messily) and do the crossword puzzle on paper. I also like to read local newspapers, when I can read the local language.  Both of these desires can be satisfied in Chennai India. I’ve got my computer and phone, so the Times online is easy to come by. However, the International edition (in newsprint) is nowhere to be found.  So, I was delighted when I picked up one of the local papers available in English, the Deccan Chronicle, and found the Times crossword puzzle.  I don’t think it was Saturday’s or even Friday’s (it was too easy), but still.

The Deccan Chronicle is undoubtedly not the paper of record of India; that’s the Hindu , which I’ve been reading, courtesy of the hotel, all week.  The articles include local and international coverage, most of which seems to have been written by Indians.  (Differences in Indian vs. American English become pretty obvious.) The Deccan Chronicle on the other hand, had lots of articles supplied by press services, with more American language. And those, unfortunately, included today’s front page article with the headline: “Indian techie shot dead in Kansas hate crime“. There was also a fascinating OpEd article  about US politics.  Hmm, maybe I’ll have to start reading the Deccan Chronicle online when I get back home.



Leave a Comment
  1. rootchopper / Feb 25 2017 7:18 pm

    I am reading Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country. It’s about his travels in Australia. At one point he writes about how reading the local paper connects you to a place. Even if you don’t know who the politicians are running for mayor in East Waggabundi, you’ll at least know that trash collection is a problem or that new park is going in.

    The news about the murder in Kansas is so depressing.

    Enjoy Chennai. Hope the smog is better than when I was there 29 years ago. (I doubt it.)

    • bikesbytesbites / Feb 27 2017 8:58 am

      Smog didn’t seem to be a problem. Evidently, these days the smog is much worse in northern India (New Delhi) than southern India. The only problem recently reported in Chennai was from burning bonfires for a festival in January.

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