Monthly Archives: April 2008

‘The right paper—no political pun intended’

The Times of India has launched in Madras with a 56-page edition (priced at Rs 2) comprising a 24-page main edition, and a 16-page city tabloid, Chennai Times. (The Hindu, which disdainfully refused to get into the price war when Deccan Chronicle launched with a one-rupee edition, has dropped its weekday coverprice to Rs 2.50.)…

Rest in peace: Jyoti Sanyal

Sans Serif records with regret the passing away of editor, teacher, writer and language terrorist, Jyoti Sanyal, in Calcutta on Saturday, 12 April 2008. A former assistant editor with The Statesman, whose stylebook he wrote, Sanyal spent 30 years in the Calcutta newspaper, where he gained a well-earned reputation, in his own words, of being…

The greatgrandmother of all newspaper battles

ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Madras: “Unprecedented” is the most misused and abused word in Indian journalism. Anything—almost everything—that the desk couldn’t check if it had happened before, is effortlessly slapped with the label “unprecedented”. But 14 April 2008 will truly be an “unprecedented” day in the annals of Indian print media when the first bundle…

Frontline editor bags Knight fellowship

Dionne Bunsha, a senior assistant editor at Frontline magazine based in Bombay, is one of nine foreign journalists who have been awarded the John S. Knight fellowships for the 2008-09 academic year at Stanford University. Dionne’s area of study is “The impact of globalization on India’s environment, and the potential for sustainable growth.” During their…

Can people like us cover people like them?

Of all the reasons proffered for the current state and priorities of the media, Indian and otherwise, one of the most obvious ones has got the least amount of attention: the changing demographic profile. To some of the key charges—celebrity-obsessed, headline-driven, trivial, titillatory, hit-and-run—the media has no option but to plead guilty. The “real problems”…

Indian television literally goes to the dogs

On Rupert Mordoch‘s Star News channel, the bellwether of tabloid journalism on Indian television, a  blogger captures another piece of pure magic. Breaking News shouts the super: “Dilli: Commissioner sahab ka kutta mila” (translation: “Delhi: Commissioner’s dog found) Also read: When AB baby’s cold becomes hot news Link courtesy Content Sutra

All the memories, memorials, memorabilia

Newseum, the revamped 250,000-square foot light-filled monument to five centuries of journalistic self-glorification, opens in Washington DC this Friday, and Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post bungs in the glory of the story above the fold, calling it “dazzling, innovative and absorbing” but overpriced. Three times the size of the earlier Newseum, the museum’s six…

‘Tireless crusader of absurdly priced things’

Media critics fall over each to deliver a slap on the wrists ofThe Times of India for dumbing down Indian journalism with its accent on all things frivolous. In the process, ToI’s otherwise self-righteous competitors who are guilty of the same sins get away. Santosh Desai in the latest Tehelka ensures they don’t: “The arc…

Can not reviewing a book become anti-national?

The Indian English media’s relationship with the literary world is, at best, a tempestuous one. The country’s biggest newspaper, The Times of India, does not, as a matter of policy, carry reviews of books by Indians although Salman Rushdie‘s latest squeeze or V.S. Naipual‘s visits to prostitutes will get acres of coverage. The English magazines…

‘More like police briefings than news reports’

Mukul Kesavan in The Telegraph, Calcutta: “English language newspapers and news channels in India have much to be proud of: their determination to tell the truth and to document atrocity during the pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 was an outstanding example of how a free press can bear witness when the State fails its citizens.…

‘Journalism: mankind’s greatest achievement’

At a time when cynicism of the Indian media is growing, both within and without, Rupashree Nanda of CNN-IBN,  the winner of the Chameli Devi Award for outstanding woman journalist of 2007, has delivered a rousing acceptance speech, in which she underlines the core values of what Gabriel Garcia Marquez called “God’s Chosen Profession”. “I…

Will you buy a second-hand stock from this man?

India’s Supreme Court has issued a notice to CNBC-TV18 financial analyst Mathew Easow, and asked him to disclose his contract with the TV channel after the stock market regular found him advising viewers to buy stocks which his associate companies were selling in the market. The court has also stayed an appellate tribunal’s order overturning…

‘A question papers and TV must start asking’

George Monbiot in The Guardian, London: “There is no nonsense so gross that it cannot be justified by the creation of jobs…. It is true that investment creates employment. But jobs are used to justify anything and everything. But the big question is asked very rarely in the press: how reliable are these promises? Whenever…