Monthly Archives: December 2007

A baritone falls silent watching the cacophony

“Sans Serif” records with regret the demise of Tejeshwar Singh, an iconic voice of the State-owned “Doordarshan” channel in its pre-satellite heyday. Indo-Asian News Service reports that Singh suffered a heart attack while watching television in his Mussoorie home on Friday night. He was in his early 60s. Singh, a theatre actor, eventually went on…

Memo: from the new Citigroup CEO’s father

Indian-born Vikram Pandit has become the chief executive officer of the world’s largest bank, Citigroup, trouncing former Pakistan prime minister Shaukat Aziz. Smitha Nair of the Indian Express went to meet the new CEO’s father, Shankar Pandit, who lives in New Bombay. His advice? “Do not write too much. Just tell them that he is…

‘Problem’s in the newsroom, not the newspaper’

“Mr Magazine” Professor Samir Husni of the University of Mississippi: “A paper (notice that I did not use newspaper) must be that, a paper that offers unique journalism that will have that profound impact on the lives of its readers whether political, culture, financial, or even entertainment and lifestyle. Profound is the key for a…

‘Which living person do you most admire?’

The Proust Questionaire is one of the most enjoyable regular features in Vanity Fair magazine. The questionaire, a standard set of questions asked of celebrities every month, has its origins in a parlour game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual…

‘Fake news on Fox News must be the real news!’

Lewis Black, in the Daily Show segment Back in Black, on Rupert Murdoch‘s Wall Street Journal, Conservapedia, Qube TV and Fox News. “On “liberal” Wikipedia, homosexuality is defined as “…sexual attraction between people of the same gender or to a sexual orientation.” “On Conservapedia, homosexuality is defined as “…an immoral sexual lifestyle… going beyond the…

Indians favour stability over press freedom: BBC

Hard to believe but it’s true. “Although Indians are not strong advocates of media freedom and are generally satisfied with the accuracy of news reporting in their country, they are in favour of having a say in newsreporting decisions,” according to a survey done by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to mark its 75th anniversary.…

Cricket journalist banned from press boxes

As it is, Indian cricket is a minefield. The team’s best batsmen (Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar) are reluctant to be captain. South Africans (Graham Ford) and Australians (Geoff Lawson) don’t want to be coach. The chief selector (Dilip Vengsarkar) wants to quit because he is not allowed to write his newspaper column. The cricket…

Why Bangalore Hates the English Media Culture

RAJEEV RAO writes from Bangalore: I was bemused and bewildered to read the Outlook cover story, “Why Bangalore hates IT Culture“. The choice of topic and the headline used would have been acceptable had it been by an intern at a journalism school submitting a project report for his/her course. But a correspondent of a…

‘Media think readers want trivia. They don’t.’

Djelloul (Del) Marbrook in The Student Operated Press: “Driven by pressure to perform for profit-takers, the print and electronic press seem to be moving away from the very direction they should be going towards…. “The media are not responding to a technological revolution but rather to demands from owners and shareholders for more money, demands…

How Narendra Modi has bred media cynicism

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi‘s image—whom The Economist this week called a “disgrace”—has been built on the rapid economic development of his State, coupled with his obscene demonisation of the “other” and a distrust of all media that doesn’t support his State-sponsored pogrom of 2002. Modi walks out of television interviews when questioned about the…

Amitabh Bachchan’s advice to a media CEO

Indian cinema’s biggest star—the BBC’s star of the millennium—Amitabh Bachchan has had a more-hate-than-love relationship with the media, except when the demands of public relations on the eve of a movie release weighed heavy on him. But in a surprising intervention, Bachchan has spoken out in favour of the beleaguered CEO of Bombay’s Afternoon Despatch…

‘News shows are getting comedic and vice-versa’

The New York Times‘ three-time Pulitzer Prize winning foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman has “scooped” an Iranian intelligence note to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which in a strange sort of way captures the truth about the news business in America: “We have to note that obtaining open-source intelligence in America has become more difficult, because…