By Nirmaldasan

1. Journalist Husband

First Woman: My husband is a journalist with The Times.
Second Woman: Wow! Intelligent people work there.
First Woman: Yes, yes, but my husband somehow managed to get a job there.

2. I would have become ...
(With apologies to Somerset Maugham)

Jack wanted to become a sub-editor in a leading daily. But as his English wasn't good, he didn't get the job. The newspaper was kind enough to give him a reporter's job as he had very good contacts.

Sub-editors had to work hard on his copies. Their labours were not in vain. Jack became famous and was even shortlisted for an award.

The sub-editors, wishing to poke gentle fun, told him: "With such bad English you are able to go places. Had your English been good, you would now have become a chief reporter."

"No, not so," Jack replied. "Had mine English been good, I would have become just a sub-editor."

3. The First Telephonic Chat
(With apologies to whomsoever it may concern)

tring! tring!
Watson: Hello.
Graham Bell: Watson, I need you.
Watson: Sir, tell me.
Graham Bell: Come over. I'll tell you.
Watson: Please tell me now itself. The suspense is killing!
Graham Bell: No, Watson. It is top secret. Can't be said on the phone.
Watson: Why?
Graham Bell: I fear our phone is tapped.

4. What if these become reporters ...

*Duck: It'll be a quack.
*Frog: A frog in the well can only become a sub.
*Scorpion: It will do a sting.
*Tortoise: It can't meet deadlines. It will be sacked.
*Dolphin: It is wise. So it will quit on its own.

5. Echo Media (Donkey Editor)

VOICE: The chief has ...
ECHO: Chief ass!
VOICE: News sense.
ECHO: Nuisance!
VOICE: He has Midas touch.
ECHO: Ass touch!
VOICE: Great brain he has.
ECHO: Brain hee-haws!
VOICE: What if he comes along 'n' hears?
ECHO: Long ears!
VOICE: He's assistant Times editor.
ECHO: Ass is ten times better!
VOICE: That's slandering the boss!
ECHO: That's slandering the ass!

6. Comedy Of Errors
(a mix of fact and fiction)

Scene. The newsroom.
News Editor: You goofed up last night.
Sub-Editor: What happened? I am sorry, sir.
NE: Look at this heading. 'Old Man Murdered'.
SE: The spelling is right, sir.
NE: Read the story! It wasn't a man who was murdered.
SE: But the story says Das was killed. And Das is a man's name.
NE: That may be true. But the story clearly says 'Das, wife of...'
SE: Oops! I am extremely sorry, sir. The heading should have been 'Old Woman Murdered'.
NE: You are not applying your mind. She wasn't old. Here, read the story!
SE: 'A 23-year-old woman was murdered...' I am sorry, sir. What shall I do?
NE: Get out and make more mistakes!

7. Headline Plagiarism

Scene I: Newsroom. Time: 5.30 p.m.

News Editor: What's the headline?
Sub-editor: 'Killed in mishap'.
NE: That's a silly headline.
Sub: Here's the story. Please suggest a better headline.
NE: Mishap is not the right word. Use accident. It was a road accident and a woman was killed. So take down this heading: 'Woman killed in road accident'.
Sub: Sure, sir.

Scene II: Newsroom. Time: 10.26 p.m.

NE: Release the page, man.
Sub: Sir, there's a problem with the 'woman killed in road accident' story. The heading doesn't fit.
NE: Shorten it to 'Woman killed in road mishap'.
Sub: But, sir, mishap is not ...
NE: First meet the deadline and then -
Sub: The heading still doesn't fit.
NE: Okay, change the heading to 'Woman killed in mishap'.
Sub: It still doesn't fit.
NE: Well, how about 'killed in mishap'? See, it fits. Simple as that!
Sub: Sir, that's my headline!
NE: Shut up and release the page.

8. Nude Ethics

News Editor: That semi-nude picture ...
Sub-editor: Yes, sir.
NE: Why did you take it on that page?
Sub: Sir, I myself told you that picture was in bad taste. But you insisted.
NE: Yes, but why did you take it on that page?
Sub: Sir, I don't understand.
NE: It should have gone on a colour page!

(Appeared in the June 2008 issue of the Journalism Online newsletter)

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