Monthly Archives: May 2008

Is India ready for a New Yorker style magazine?

Indian newspapers, television, magazines all seem to have unanimously decided that the attention span of the time-strapped reader and viewer has shrunk so much that stories should end before they begin. So, is there place for long-form journalism, where every reporter and writer is potentially a short story writer, which Robert Benchley described magnificently in…

Does smrtr and smplr add up to tts and ss?

RAMYA KRISHNAMURTHY writes from Bangalore: Deccan Chronicle, the Hyderabad-based group that is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, has just launched its Bangalore edition. Hoardings like these that greeted Bangaloreans on the first day of publication, 26 May 2008, raise fundamental questions about how a bottomline-driven media (pun unintended) views its role in society and…

Forget invitation price, try a new paper for free!

Bangalore has got its latest morning English broadsheet. Deccan Chronicle has been launched along with its sister-paper, Financial Chronicle. While groups like The Times of India time their launch to coincide with major festivals, DC has chosen the dawn of a new political dawn. And while most groups now go in with an invitation price…

All the business news that’s fit to be printed

Existing business papers are launching Hindi editions (Economic Times, Business Standard). Existing English dailies are launching business papers (Finance Chronicle from Deccan Chronicle). Hindi dailies are launching English papers (DNA from Dainik Bhaskar). New papers are selling their business sections as separate papers (DNA Money). Hindi dailies are planning Hindi business dailies (Dainik Jagran with…

Who is giving how much in the Karnataka polls

All the electronic voting machines have been sealed in the Karnataka Elections—and so are the fates of all the opinion polls, exit polls, pre-poll surveys, post-poll surveys, and table-top surveys. This, then, is how it all looks, as projected by newspapers, magazines and TV stations.

Yes, the market is growing, but best practices?

An article in The Economist, London, juxtaposes the growing disconnect between a flourishing media in India and its heavy dependence on advertisers: “More than 350 million literate Indians do not yet subscribe to a newspaper, which, coupled with rising literacy, promises a long-term boom. A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that India’s print industry would…

Does death not count if it ain’t due to terrorism?

A grand total of 80 people died in the serial blasts in Jaipur last Tuesday. A grand total of 134 people have died (so far) in the hooch tragedy in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the weekend. If you take Bangalore and Kolar together, the toll stands at 75. How do we react to both,…

Old habits die hard for a ‘new’ newspaper?

Sakaal Times, the English newspaper owned by Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar‘s nephew Abhijit Pawar, designed by Mario Garcia with former Times of India editor Dileep Padgaonkar playing a key editorial role, has run into trouble less than a fortnight after its launch in Poona. The blog Pen Pricks has detected plagiarisation of content in…

Line, length, swing in the air, nip off the pitch

Writers Shashi Deshpande and Girish Karnad at the inauguration of an exhibition of cartoons of the late Maya Kamath, cartoonist of the Asian Age and Deccan Herald before her demise, at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in Bangalore, on Monday. Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

‘American media misleading the American public’

A journalist’s twin points of references should be the real and the important. But, for months, the focus of the coverage of the presidential elections in the United States has been on trivia, writes Gabor Steingart in Der Spiegel, thus misleading the American public. Instead of addressing important issues of war and peace, health and…

Even Al Qaida can’t stand frivolous journalism

Al Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has kindly “answered” web questions in The New Yorker through the good offices of Andy Borowitz. A magazine journalist in Manhattan is among those who get lucky. Stacy in Manhattan asks: I am a journalist for the US publication Tiger Beat. When I heard you would be taking Web…

NBA workshop on media and development

PRESS RELEASE: Sarvodaya Press Service, Indore, Vikas Samwad, Bhopal, and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) have jointly organised the “Sanjay Sangvai Memorial Consultation on Media and Development” at Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, from May 21-23. The tentative outline of the programme includes: 1) Current Paradigm of Development: Issues relating to big dams and water management; land…

When the OB vans came rolling in

At the shootout at Virginia Tech last year, there were 130 satellite vans on campus, roughly translating to one van for each of the 33 students killed. It wasn’t as bad in Bellary in Karnataka today, but outside broadcasting vans lined up by the horde for the elections to the Karnataka legislative assembly. Polling in…

‘ToI more known for marketing than journalism’

In a very candid interview with B. Judy Franko of Exchange4Media, N. Murali, the managing director of The Hindu, talks of the Madras market, post the entry of The Times of India: # On rumours that The Hindu is talking to Fairfax of Australia for a possible minority stake sale: “The reports are baseless.” #…

Look, who’s protesting offshoring of journalism!

“Outsourcing” of jobs from first-world nations to third-world countries usually has politicians and trade union leaders up in arms. But what happens when the first-world organisations manned by thrid-world employees decide to outsource from their mother-countries? The BBC World Service, which also broadcasts in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali and Sinhala, has decided to relocate upto…

‘Indian print media outshining other media’

All the news from the western front may be dark and depressing. Plunging readerships, falling circulations, falling advertising revenues, cost-cutting, job losses, the works. It’s the exact opposite scenario in India, at least among the big, listed media companies, reports Sruthijith K.K. in the Mint. Media and entertainment companies in India are twice as profitable…

‘Indian MSM preoccupied with urban issues’

“Today’s media, especially the mainstream media, are preoccupied with urban issues and the lifestyles of the rich and the affluent. This urban bias manifests itself in varied ways, whether it is in the print or in the electronic media, depending on their owners and managers. “For such a market-driven media, the problems of the common…

Wife-beater? Freeloader? Menace to society?

Restaurants are now suing newspapers for bad reviews claiming “defamation” and loss of business. But how should authors respond to bad reviews? Should they just be thankful for the publicity? Should they get into a slanging match with the reviewer and hope for the best? Should they, as Shobhaa De, the author of “Superstar India”…

Lelyveld: The war between TV and papers is over

Joseph Lelyveld, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning former executive editor of The New York Times, has been visiting India. Lelyveld, who served as the paper’s India correspondent between 1966-69, spoke to staffers of The Indian Express in Delhi as part of the paper’s Idea Exchange programme: # On his return to NYT after the Jayson Blair…