Make #MeToo meaningful, mere trial by social media won’t nail sleaze merchants

By Sushmita Bose

I really have no idea why journalists in India — and the media industry, in general — have an established bad rep. I acquired a tenuous realisation when, back in the 1990s, one of my relatives, upon hearing that I was entering the profession, remarked, “Journalism? Isn’t the newsroom a place where anything goes?” (I didn’t quite get what he meant; and I couldn’t be bothered to explore the ramifications.)

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What if you were in charge of tweets for @OfficiallyDubai?

By Anita Iyer

All good things come to an end, they say. And we’re sad to see Swedes give up the official @Sweden handle on Twitter.

‘Curators of Sweden’, a project that started in December 2011 as an experiment which allowed a Swede to tweet for a week, came to an end on September 30.

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Dear Twitter, high time you granted me that blue tick

By Anamika Chatterjee

A part-hilarious-part-awkward moment on the job came for me way back in 2009. I had been working for a leading news magazine in Delhi then and was asked to edit a story on cervical cancer. The references made in the article led me to an achingly beautiful blog of a cancer survivor that kept me glued to my computer screen. I was seated close to a conference room where a meeting of senior editors had been going on. Taking a break, the seniormost editor stepped out of the meeting room, talking to someone on his cellphone who seemed important. He lurked behind me for a bit — I was too absorbed to take note of his presence. Soon, the never-ending phone call came to an end and he headed back to the conference room.

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If a hacker got to your account, what secrets would be exposed?

By Keith Pereña

A couple of years ago, I deleted (not deactivated) my Facebook account. Deleting a Facebook account is complicated. Unlike deactivating, deleting removes your account and erases your FB information. It even offers users the ability to get a copy of everything they have ever posted online. I used this feature to retrieve five years’ worth of personal information. Now, those five years of my life are not in FB’s hands but in a thumb drive in my keyring.

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He says, she says: who is the liar, who is the victim?

By Allan Jacob

He said, she said, but I was warned — by a colleague on Monday. Yes, by a female colleague who told me to back off about going public with my support of Brett Kavanaugh, the judge courting controversy for alleged sexual misconduct in the United States. I use the word ‘alleged’ with great responsibility here. The man remains innocent until he is proven guilty and I refuse to haul him over the coals for a perceived infraction.

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Learn from these villagers how to live long happy lives

By Sushmita Bose

I recently read a newspaper feature on a hamlet called Dhingakhedi, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It’s been nicknamed ‘centenarian village’, and the story follows the life trails of a handful of men and women in the 100-plus age bracket, who are absolutely unfazed by the fact that they have achieved something the rest of the “material world” is desperately trying to live up to: age is just a number, and you can be happy and healthy despite being well past your (alleged) “sell by date”. (Also, loved how beyond a “certain age” — in this case, 100 — nobody is unceremoniously dumped into silos: a 100-year-old and a 110-year-old, never mind the decade-long gap, are comrades-in-arms.)

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Remember when a dirham would fetch three rupees?

By Suresh Pattali

The rupee! The thought that life is all about the nickel was thrust upon me by circumstances, watching how my parents had struggled in different roles to bring us up.  Every morning when I was about to go to the school, my dad pretended to be busy tending to the plants. He had two leather bags — stuffed with memories but no cash — that he had brought from Colombo. One was full of suits, all white.The other was smaller and full of papers, including his expired British Empire passports. Whenever I stretched my hand for money, he would routinely pull out the smaller one from underneath his bed and rummage around. By the time he lifted his face from the pile of papers, with misery writ large, I would have left the scene. So I decided to temp as a tuition teacher when I was in high school. My first earnings — Rs25 from five girls, a year or two younger than me — were customarily handed to my dad. The day the rupee made me proud. Since then the rupee and I had maintained a love-hate relationship. It was elusive whenever I chased, and I didn’t care a damn when it finally came knocking.

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