Barring ‘Indian Express’ and ‘Telegraph’, few newspapers ask why an orderly farmers’ protest suddenly went awry

The farmers’ protests in Delhi against new farm laws sneaked in through Parliament, with former ‘Prabhat Khabar‘ editor Harivansh playing a questionable part as Rajya Sabha deputy chair, had been mostly peaceful and exemplary for 66 days. But the “tractor parade” by the farmers on Republic Day, with protesters breaching pre-agreed conditions and “storming” Red…

“De-marketing”: An almost 100% increase in cover price of ‘Mint’ in Bangalore

A ridiculously low cover price was one of key reasons for Indian newspapers to feel the COVID pinch more than their western counterparts. With advertising dead during the lockdown, circulation revenue too dried up, as the perils of chasing the lowest common denominator became clear. Even after the lockdown was lifted, major newspaper groups, sitting…

#SuperhitGhotala: Arnab Goswami’s 80 MB of WhatsApp chats in 12 tweets, 7 screenshots and 2 YouTube videos

“He who lives by other people’s WhatsApp chats shall be judged by his own WhatsApp chats.”—old jungle saying *** For weeks, after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, India’s TV news channels feasted on crumbs fed to them—leaked transcripts of WhatsApp conversations of stars and upstarts, hinting darkly at murder, extortion, drugs and sex, all in the run-up to the assembly elections due in…

Kamal Morarka, the politician who launched a newspaper, passes away

Kamal Morarka, the politician and businessman, who co-founded the now-defunct Bombay tabloid newspaper The Afternoon Despatch & Courier, has passed away at age 74. Morarka, a former minister in the Chandrashekhar ministry, helped Behram “Busybee” Contractor to launch ADC at short notice after the latter had walked away from the Evening News of India of…

Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists should want Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act to go

The constitutional validity of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, has been challenged in the Karnataka High Court by Krishna Prasad, former Editor-in-Chief of Outlook; N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and director of The Hindu Publishing Group; Arun Shourie, former Editor of The Indian Express and former Union minister; and Prashant Bhushan, senior…

What’s public about a private treaty? Times Group has Rs 69 crore stake in gaming platform MPL, the Indian cricket team’s kit sponsor

Conflict of interest is the zeitgeist, the spirit of the time. The official kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team is MPL: Mobile Premier League, ostensibly a fantasy game. And MPL’s unashamed brand ambassador is the team’s captain Virat Kohli. The Indian Express reveals today that Kohli has been allotted debentures worth Rs 33.32 lakh…

How Prabhu Chawla, Raj Chengappa and Sachin Kalbag are setting the “bar” higher for younger journalists

For the longest time, journalists and physical fitness could never be used in the same sentence except in jest. Long and irregular working hours, fat and oily samosas, slouching at the desk, smoking, drinking and other vices took their toll on the aspirations of the newsroom Adonis. The self-obsessed millennial lot which frequented gyms rather…

A masterclass from a 94-year-old columnist to a “frustrated” BJP factotum masquerading as Governor and insulting India’s democracy on a daily basis

T.J.S. George, the co-founder of Asiaweek magazine, who does a weekly column for The New Indian Express, wrote a piece last week on Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan‘s decision to disallow a session of the Kerala legislative assembly to discuss the Centre’s contentious new farm laws. The intro to the column read: “Arif Mohammed Khan…

In Kerala, the state with 100% literacy, a course in schools and colleges to promote digital literacy

Three years ago, government schools in Kerala made headlines for introducing a course on dealing with fake news. Now the state has announced a five-step digital media literacy programme titled Satyameva Jayate. The salient points: What is wrong information? Why does it spread fast? What precautions should be adopted by social media users? How do…

If newspapers had been as clear about farm laws as they are against taxing corporates, Punjab’s farmers could have gone back home a long time ago

The month-long agitation by Punjab’s resolute farmers over the agricultural “reforms”, artfully sneaked through Parliament with former journalist Harivansh (former Editor of Prabhat Khabar) presiding over the Rajya Sabha, has seen the usual divisions in the media. Large sections of the media have been susceptible to official spin, running audio and video transcripts provided by…

How ‘The Washington Post’ remembers Herblock, its legendary cartoonist, every Christmas

On its anniversary each February, the evening newspaper Star of Mysore prints the same editorial it has published on each of its previous 43 anniversaries. Likewise, on Christmas, The Washington Post prints a cartoon by its legendary cartoonist Herb Block aka Herblock. This cartoon was first printed in 1952.

“In journalism, we can be in the heating business, or we can be in the lighting business”: Nicholas Kristof

“In journalism, we can be in the heating business or the lighting business”: @nytimes columnist Nicholas Kristof, who called out card companies for facilitating child porn, enunicates the profession’s core principle on @karaswisher’s superb podcast, Sway: https://t.co/unM8cvxE7S pic.twitter.com/UdsS3NscyG — churumuri (@churumuri) December 25, 2020 Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times opinion columnist who played a…

‘The New Indian Express’ reporter who dug up what the police and CBI tried to bury in the Sister Abhaya rape and murder case

The Sister Abhaya case has finally reached closure with a Catholic priest and a nun being pronounced guilty of the murder of the teenaged nun, 28 years ago, in Kottayam. It was the journalism of Sreejan Balakrishnan (in picture, above), then a reporter with The New Indian Express, that played a pivotal role in giving…

From launch day to closure, 20 front pages of ‘Mumbai Mirror’

For the first time in 15 years, not counting holidays, Mumbai Mirror is not on the news stands or in homes today, Monday, 21 December 2020, following its “transition” to a weekly newspaper. Below is a collection of front pages of the Bombay tabloid from multiple sources.

‘Mumbai Mirror’, 2005-2020: The derailment of a daily, reported on the front page

The front page of the Bombay tabloid Mumbai Mirror dated 19 December 2020, on the final day of its publication as a daily newspaper. The Times group, which owns the paper through a Bangalore-based subsidiary, has decided to turn it into a “weekly”, citing commercial pressures arising out of COVID. The lead headline “DERAILED” is…

TV coverage of farmers’ protests in Delhi shows that “farmers claim an integrity in the Indian subconscious that the media lack”

The academic and public intellectual Shiv Visvanathan, has a piece in The Telegraph on the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, demanding the repeal of new laws passed by the BJP-led government: “Yet more than the State with its idiotic ideas of governance, it is television media that is uncomfortable with the farmers’ strike, seeking to…

J-POD || Podcast || “Pakistan took foreign journalists to Balakot a month after India’s strike. India is still to take its own journalists to Galwan six months after the Chinese incursion” || Sushant Singh

Exactly six months ago, on the intervening night of June 15-16 this year, the lives of 20 Indian soldiers ended—literally at the hands of the Chinese in the heights of Ladakh. For several weeks, large sections of mainstream media were in denial, dishing out the sarkari view that there was nothing abnormal on the border.…

Editors Guild of India is looking for an ‘Executive and Research Assistant’ to be based in Delhi

Location: Delhi, India Experience: 1-3 years Deadline: 20 December 2020 *** The organisation Editors Guild of India is the apex body of editors from across the country, representing all forms of media — print, television, radio and digital- as well as publications and media across languages and regions. It was set up in 1978 with the twin objectives…

India’s newspaper owners demand ‘Maximum Support Price’—200% more government spend on print media, and 50% hike in rates for sarkari ads

Nine months after the pandemic broke the back of the media, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has revived its demand for a “stimulus package”. It includes: # Removal of 5% customs duty on newsprint # A two-year tax holiday # 200% increase in government spend on print media # 50% increase in rates of government…

J-POD || Podcast || “Some journalists are too close to power; coopted and corrupted by money. That and the libel laws”|| former ‘Financial Times’ editor Lionel Barber on why the business press in India sucks

Becoming a digital-first operation, and getting readers to pay for content, is the battlecry on every media manager’s lip across the world. But the Financial Times of London has been there and done that, a long time back, without going click-bait. At the centre of the transformation of the pink newspaper was Lionel Barber, the…