Monthly Archives: May 2007

Is media outsourcing biting the hand that feeds?

Outsourcing “journalism” backend work to India is the flavour of the season. Some British newspapers get their race cards and television schedules done by a Press Association-Mphasis outfit in Mangalore. Reuters covers US small businesses, compiles earnings tables for large companies, conducts polling, and gets press releases rewritten in Bangalore. NDTV digitizes archives, moves content…

Rajeev Chandrashekhar eyeing Deccan Herald

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who launched himself into India’s bulging billionaire club by selling his 67% stake in BPL Mobile, and became a Rajya Sabha member of the ruling JD(S) in Karnataka, is reportedly eyeing a stake in a Bangalore-based newspaper group that publishes Deccan Herald and Praja Vani. Chandrashekhar, 43,…

Do weekly newsmagazines have a future?

A curious thing is happening with news. The news headlines are delivered instantly, as they happen, by the internet and 24×7 television. Therefore newspapers have to provide context and colour and background and analysis to the news that has already been reported hours ago. This used to be the job the newsweekly magazines not too…

VINOD MEHTA on what to read, how to write

Vinod Mehta is India’s Last Great Editor. As puppy publishers, egged on by tobacco peddlers, softdrinks salesmen, and milkpowder accountants with calculators, strip Indian journalism of its relevance and conscience with a vengeance, the editor-in-chief of Outlook holds a mirror to what could have been. And as puppet editors sway with the wind and sidle…

A pro is one who doesn’t get bogged down

Admit it. There are times when you are struck by a writer’s block, and stuck for ideas, stuck for motivation. How do you get around it? Either you can sit around moaning hoping for things to improve, or you can click your mouse and pursue your muse. A group writing project came up with 37…

The New York Times has left the building

Chronicling history—and chronicling history in the making—is a vital function of the media. But it is not adequately done in Indian media, where the accent, partly dictated by manpower, partly by finances, and mostly by lack of vision, is on the here and now. The New York Times is soon to decamp from its Times…

A farmer’s widow turns the trend upside down

For all their protestations to be the objective eyes, ears and voice of the people, newspapers in India are generally released by politicians in power. At media anniversaries and other events, too, the men in khadi are invited and allowed to rule the roost in blindingly shameless displays of chamchagiri. The charitable explanation is that…

‘In India, we realise nothing ever dies finally’

Sir Mark Tully, the BBC voice in India for over two decades, has a new book out, India’s Unending Journey: Finding Balance in a Time of Change. And, as the title suggests, he advocates balance and moderation—to the Indian media in particular. In an interview to The Independent, London, Sir Mark says the Indian media…

Seven reasons why you should start a blog

We have dealt with this earlier, but there is no harm in overstating the point: Every journalist should start a blog. Why? Scott Karp (link via Howard Owens) has a post which tells you why and, more importantly, tells you how to go about it so that you don’t have an excuse not to. #…

A short quiz for reporters and sub-editors

The following is a brief quiz on language and style for reporters, sub-editors, and those who are applied for those jobs. Each question carries one mark. a) What does it mean when a student is said to achieve “negative deficiency”? b) What happens when you reach a “suboptimal outcome”? c) What is a “hull loss”?…

Yes. TV 18 is looking at a business newspaper

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: It’s official. After months of speculation, TV18 promoter Raghav Bahl has confirmed that a business newspaper is in the offing, that Home Shopping 18 will be spun off into a separate channel, and that a $100 million fund is on the anvil in London. In an email sent to the…

How to prepare for an interview? Go to the gym

Question number 9 in Guy Kawasaki‘s interview with Penelope Trunk, author of the Brazen Careerist, produces a stellar response, and beer-bellied journalists who take delight/pity in their deskbound lifestyle are warned: Question: How should I prepare for an interview? Answer: An interview is a test you can study for. So memorize answers to the fifty…

All fun and no work makes Tintin a good boy

Halt, who goes there? Tintin. A sticker of Georges Remi‘s comic boy-reporter, whose exploits will now be captured in three full-length films by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, adorns the window of a high-speed train in Belgium. Photo: Eric Vidal/ AFP Photo courtesy: Time.com Read Time’s story: Tintin travels to tinseltown