Monthly Archives: August 2007

Separated at girth till death do ’em apart

Britain and America, it has been said, are two countries separated by the same language. How about their journalism? Is American journalism led by “partisan loons”? Is British journalism “sober, respectable and balanced”? Not quite, says Lionel Laurent, a Columbia School of Journalism graduate, now a markets reporter for Forbes.com. “Unlike in Britain, where journalists…

The first casualty of a scoop interview is grace

Aziz Haniffa‘s rediff.com/India Abroad interview with India’s ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen has been the big story of the week. The “headless chicken” quote has become canon fodder for the communists and other critics opposing the UPA government’s nuclear deal with America. Parliament has been stalled, apologies have been tendered, statements have been…

‘Honey, look what they did to the paper!’

Standard question: “Will online newspapers replace hardcopy newspapers?” Standard answer: “You can never take a computer to the toilet. Or roll it up to swat a fly.” Really? Here is a YouTube video of a 2.5 x 0.01 inch electronic paper video screen made by Sony. How much longer before they start making computers with screens…

‘Because we are all cartoons drawn by God’

In the land of the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Management, and the Indian Institute of Information Technology, the nascent Indian Institute of Cartoonists throws open a gallery of cartoons, “to promote the art of cartooning in India.” View the video here: India’s first cartoon gallery

Ask not what Mother Jones did for you

WASHINGTON, DC: When Tehelka was setting up its print version, after the BJP-led NDA government’s successful witchhunt against the website, it raised funds from the ordinary public. Now, Mother Jones is following suit. The pioneering American alternative/investigative magazine is opening a bureau in the nation’s capital—and they want readers to help. The goal is to raise…

How good is me.com for you—and democracy?

WASHINGTON, DC: If the world wide web was seen as the harbinger of the “global village”, customisation and personalisation of internet content have inverted the premise and reduced users to “an audience of one”. This may be good for e-commerce outlets, advertisers, marketeers seeking to deliver targetted information. But how good is tailoring of news delivery…

Adapt or die: 10 things all J-schools must do

MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan: As American journalism’s analysis of its troubles and travails attains paralytic proportions, a fair degree of attention is being cast on the role journalism schools can play in rescuing the profession of its current abyss. Joe Murray of Kent State University has compiled a 10-step survival guide for journalism schools stuck in…

HUSNI: Will magazines die? Not any time soon

WASHINGTON, DC: In a journalism ocean full of gloom and impending doom—full of pornographic navel-gazing over its current state—Professor Samir Afif Husni comes across like an isle of hope that American publishers, investors, and editors either can’t see or are trying desperately to swim away from. Not only does the chair of the department of…

‘If newspapers only printed good news, then…’

The director of Spain’s national library, Biblioteca Nacional, has whipped up a storm in the teacups of publishers by stating that she doesn’t read newspapers. “I haven’t read the press for two months. I don’t watch television or listen to the radio because the tension they express upsets me so much I can’t work,” said…

The worst mistake a journalist can make

Irene Epstein was a fiery red-headed associate professor of journalism at San Jose State College in California in the 1960s and ’70s. She had one rule that she never let her news writing students forget: “The worst mistake a journalist can make is misspelling someone’s name. How would you like it if the newspaper misspelled…

MA course in international multimedia journalism

PRESS RELEASE: Britain’s domestic news agency Press Association  (PA) has launched a new Master of Arts course in International Multimedia Journalism in partnership with Newcastle University. The course is targeted at the international market with India being a core area for recruitment. PA already has a foothold in India, and produces content and finished newspaper…

Adolf Thackeray alias Balasaheb Hitler

Shiv Sainiks in Bombay have attacked Outlook magazine’s offices in Bombay and threatened the staff over the portrayal in a negative light of the party’s unelected “supremo”. Bal Thackeray, a former cartoonist himself with the Free Press Journal, had been bracketed among the villains of free India alongside Nathuram Godse, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Sanjay Gandhi,…

How to write badly—a proud winner tells all

“Gerald began—but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them ‘permanently’ meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash—to…

How should publications deal with plagiarists?

# When Hindustan Times editor V.N. Narayanan was found to have flicked 10 paragraphs and 1,023 words, verbatim, from a Bryan Appleyard column in The Sunday Times, London, he was sent away without the paper explaining to the reader why he was sacked. Narayanan dutifully popped up as the head of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s…