Irrational prejudice

EducationWorld October 2018 | Education World Postscript

One would have thought that the prime purpose of a responsible newspaper, particularly a daily whose logo bears the injunction “Let truth prevail” is to report news as and when it occurs, without fear, favour or prejudice. But even within reputed vintage newspapers there’s no shortage of mean-spirited individuals in positions of high authority who, to satisfy irrational prejudices, routinely supress legitimate news of value to their readers.

One such mean-spirited journo is Asha Rai, resident editor of the Bangalore edition of the Times of India, the country’s #1 English language daily. Despite several press releases and personal requests, she resolutely declined to publish a summary of the EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) 2018-19 survey which was given prominence by most of the 14 city editions of ToI countrywide. Self-evidently, outcomes of the annual EWISR — the world’s largest and most comprehensive schools ranking survey which rates and ranks India’s Top 1,000 schools divided into three broad and seven sub-categories on 14 parameters of primary-secondary school excellence — is legitimate news of public interest. Which is why most editions of ToI and several other multi-edition newspapers including the Indian Express and DNA among others, gave EWISR 2018-19 prominent coverage. Except ToI Bangalore from where this pioneer publication which champions QEFA (quality education for all) is published.

According to sources within ToI Bangalore, Rai fears this modest publication as life threatening competition even though it does not attract as much advertising revenue per year as ToI — the world’s wealtlhiest newspaper — does daily. Hence her suppression of EWISR 2018-19 whose publication would most certainly have benefited ToI readers in Bangalore. Although Rai believes she has done a disservice to EducationWorld, in reality she has short-changed her readers — a proposition perhaps too complex for her to grasp.

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