Monthly Archives: May 2009

How come nobody heard or saw the worm turn?

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: Hindsight, as the moronic aphorism goes, is always 20/20. And we have been seeing plenty of hindsight dressed as foresight over the last fortnight following the announcement of the results of the general elections, which bucked the “anti-incumbency” cliche and put the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance back in power. #…

Cost-effective, yes, but is it good journalism?

Pasadena Now, a California-based website, tried to outsource local civic affairs and political coverage to India two years ago. Now, New Haven Advocate, an American alternative weekly covering local news and arts, has decided to check out the limits of “outsourced journalism”. It posted ads on Craigslist in Bangalore and Bombay in March seeking journalists…

7 times bigger than the leading English channel

Another day and another claimant to the crown of the most viewed television station on 16 May 2009, the day the results of the elections to the Indian lower house were announced. After the three main English news channels diced and spliced the ratings over the last 12 days, it is turn of the Hindi…

Three tips for journos on how to use Facebook

How should journalists use Facebook? Joe Grimm, visiting journalist at Michigan State University school of journalism, has three tips: 1. Be cautious about what kind of personal information you put out. 2. Add friends to your network, not strangers. 3. Don’t “friend” sources on your beat. Read the full article here: How should journalists use…

How much do readers distrust us? Not much.

The 2009 general elections have been marred by widespread accusations and whispers of media hanky-panky. The Wall Street Journal‘s India bureau chief Paul Beckett accused reporters, editors and newspaper owners of holding the Indian democratic process to ransom. Women journalists in Andhra Pradesh wrote to the Election Commission drawing attention to Telugu dailies selling news…

Do papers, magazines have nothing to claim?

The political winners and losers of the Indian elections are, respectively, exulting and sulking. But the dust is still to settle over who won the air waves and grabbed the most eyeballs. Rupert Murdoch-owned Star has jumped into the fray claiming that its network of Hindi, Bangla and Marathi channels was number one on counting…

With so many polls, somebody had to get it right

Duck’s eggs, it is said, are tastier than hen’s eggs. But more people eat hen’s eggs because, well, the hen lays its eggs and advertises its feat, while the duck keeps quiet about it. That’s the bon mot of a very successful newspaper editor. As if to underline the point, Live India, the TV station…

But why are we only testing water-boarding?

Christopher Hitchens tried it almost a year ago and lasted all of a few seconds. Now, right-wing radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller has done so again, fared no better, and come to the same conclusion: Yes, waterboarding is torture. Sure, in the context of the debate in the United States over the interrogation techniques adopted…

‘I never learned a thing when I was talking’

“There’s something I learned long ago: I never learned a thing when I was talking,” says Larry King, host of CNN’s Larry King Live, answering readers’ queries in Time. Q: Whom do you most want to interview that you haven’t yet? A: Fidel Castro certainly. Always wanted to interview a Pope. Any Pope. And J.D.…

2 new biz publications in 4 days of Cong win

New business publications are raining in India after the unexpected scale of triumph of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in the general elections on May 16. On Monday, May 18, the Indian facsimile edition of The Wall Street Journal was launched in association with the Indian Express group with long-time WSJ man Suman Dubey at…

Will journalism soon be Twitterature in a hurry?

Monica Hesse of The Washington Post has gleaned some advice from authors of forthcoming books on Twitter how to get the best out of 140 characters allowed in each Tweet: # Make It Participatory: Use discussion and self-reflecting, philosophical questions, rather than simple questions like “What are you doing?” # Make it Art: Each Tweet…

Shankar Vedantam named Nieman fellow

Shankar Vedantam, a national science reporter at The Washington Post, has been named among 24 American and international journalists to join the 72nd class of Nieman fellows at Harvard. Bangalore-born Shankar will “study solutions to collective action problems and explore how online social networks might solve public policy challenges. He also will study how perceptions…

When an Indian journo shouted at Prabhakaran

Dozens of journalists have written on the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose death was announced to the world by Sri Lanka on Tuesday, May 18. On rediff.com, Athimuthu Ganesh Nadar writes of his encounter with Prabhakaran seven years ago when he was among 350 international journalists who attended…

Never let facts come in the way of a good story

The general elections in India might have thrown up a clear winner, but the general elections on TV continue to throw up a fractured mandate. Nothing illustrates this better than the claims and counter-claims of the TV stations on who captured more eyeballs on counting day, May 16. “Times Now poll coverge tops viewership ratings,”…

Economic & Political Weekly wants a web editor

The Economic & Political Weekly is looking for a web editor who will be in charge of its online edition. The duties of the web editor would be to commission contemporary commentaries, invite blogs, moderate discussions and work towards developing a distinct identity for the online edition. The web editor would work with the editorial…

Lifetime awards for a lifetime of funny lines

Seven veteran Indian cartoonists were honoured with lifetime achievement awards by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists in Bangalore on Monday. In the front row are the cartoonists (from left): E.P. Unny (The Indian Express), Vasant Sarvate (Lalit), Madhan (Ananda Vikatan and Junior Vikatan), Kaak (Hindustan), Thomas alias Toms (Malayala Manorama), Prabhakar Raobail and T. Venkat…

Martha Gellhorn Prize open to Indian journos

The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world of journalism, is open to candidates from English-speaking countries outside the UK and USA from this year. In other words, Indian journalists can apply. The winner of the prize, awarded annually by the Martha Gellhorn Trust to “a…

It is their opinion they have done an exit poll

Exit polls are said to be more reliable than opinion polls in gauging the mood of the electorate since pollsters catch respondents immediately after they have cast their ballot. But for the second successive time in five years, mainstream Indian media organisations have fallen flat on their faces in their “exit poll” projections, throwing a…

Times Private Treaties: the full list of ‘partners’

The following is the full and unexpurgated portfolio of Times Private Treaties, the equity-for-ads investment arm of The Times of India group as on 11 May 2009. The list of clients as per industry has had disappeared from the Times Private Treaties website following the recent media scrutiny, and the Google cache has had also…

Every journalist’s essential guide to Twitter

Twitter, twitter everywhere. Journalists are signing up to the micro-blog site. News organisations are launching Twitter feeds. Events are being covered live on Twitter. But what precisely can journalists achieve with Twitter? What are other journalists reading, writing and following on Twitter? Who are the journalists who are using Twitter around the world? How can…