Monday, October 28, 2013

Write your own sensational newspaper article

By now you have probably heard the outrage/mockery about the article in "The Hindu" about a false doctorate claim.

Click here to skip to article generator.

(If you haven't, it's good for you. You are possibly doing better things in life than reading stupid viral articles. Here is a recap for your benefit: A few days ago, The Hindu published an article about a boy who "has arrears in engineering, but a PhD in physics". The story went on to talk about how this person had to choose engineering because of parental pressure, and how he spends his time doing physics research and was ultimately recognized by a UC-Berkeley professor with an on-the-spot doctorate. Naturally, most people on the internet shared it because "the Indian education system is so lousy".
And then an amazing person wrote a letter to The Hindu saying most of the claims in the article were false and they shouldn't have published it without verifying them, forcing them to actually verify the claims and The Hindu had to publish a retraction. Of course, now other people shared this piece because "the Indian media is so stupid")

Meanwhile, I got inspired by Mr.Gunturi to publish some research of my own. After having read many articles in the Hindu's Education Plus and main paper, I think I can automate the process of writing an education-related piece. I already published this piece in the Brazilian Journalism Research journal and they awarded me with a honorary doctorate in journalism, even though journals do not usually confer doctorates. (It is on its way, I will update the image once I receive it.) I have also submitted some part of my research to the "Case Studies in Strategic Communication" journal of the University of South California. They accepted my paper without review because it was so awesome like that!

Having achieved all this in such a short span of time, I decided to share my knowledge with the mere mortals on the internet who usually have to do actual research before getting their doctorates.

So, here is an excerpt from my paper:
(Yes, I have cleverly not put in the actual body of the paper. Because THAT isn't important for publishing this article in a newspaper or making it viral anyway.)

Oh, and here is a mini version of my algorithm for generating a newspaper article for The Hindu education sections. Use the drop-down menus to generate your own:

Our sensational eye-grabbing title shall be:

The student's name (note the scope for diversity or emotional spin-offs here. Also scope for Shah Rukh Khan movies. These options not included in the demo.):

The student in question studies in the premiere institution called:

He was forced to pick this field of engineering,

even though he was obviously interested in a different field of research. After the achievement, he was too busy giving interviews to popular newspapers to comment, but the author still decided to claim he said something of this sort :

His/Her father who is a

has to say something like this about his achievement (with tears in his eyes):

This professor from NIT, Trichy (Yes, it's an insider joke. Sorry but it was too much of a temptation to resist)

commented something about

(Note: If some parts of the article confuse you, you might want to look at this.
Also, this piece was inspired by the Chetan Bhagat Plot generator at Coconut Chutney)


  1. Was extremely jocular. Great one Suchithra. Especially the part on the insider joke :P

  2. @Zwa: Thanks! Great that you enjoyed it! :)

  3. I am an alumnus of NITT. Avare sivanenu irukaru, avara poyi... :P

    1. I don't know how long ago you were studying at NITT. When I was there, he was always taking away student's mobilephones. (Andha kodumayai yaaraalayum marakka mudiyadhu!)
      And he ensured his name/photo would show up on The Hindu Education Plus at least once a week. It's almost like he has a private press service :D

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