Monthly Archives: May 2009

POTUS would like you to switch off your phone

What happens when the mobile phone rings at a White House press briefing? This is what Robert Gibbs would tell you in a circular sort of way. “[As the press secretary to the President of the United States] I made the determination that the illumination of the sound was distracting to the briefing.”

Even Andy Warhol would have kinda approved

Plenty of things happen at press clubs around the world: Fiery press conferences, soft product launches, seminars, workshops, card games, gossip sessions, eating, drinking. Inter-office romances blossom, and adulterous affairs begin (and end), but rarely does the watering hole of media mavens serve as a venue for couples to commit themselves for life. At the…

Times Private Treaties gets a very public airing

Miracles never cease, and Times Private Treaties (TPT), the investment arm of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), publishers of The Times of India group of publications, is suddenly the object of attention with two competing newspapers having chosen Monday, 11 May 2009,to turn their attention on it. The first story by Shuchi Bansal and…

Does western media treat India with kid gloves?

The manner in which the “western media” covers India has, for long, been a pet peeve of patriots and expatriates. Poverty, disease, death, despair, corruption, communal violence… these are the only things that capture the attention of the “arrogant”, “condescending”, “patronising” foreign correspondent based in India, is the setpiece argument. Well, guess what, Chinese patriots…

How the global media covered the swine flu

Al Jazeera‘s media show The Listening Post on how the mainstream media reacted—and over-reacted—to the H1N1 virus, secure in the knowledge that no one would ever accuse them of overkill. And how the digital purveyors of the rumours on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc, were themselves victims. Also read: 8 dos (and don’ts) on how to…

5 photography tips from ace lensman Raghu Rai

Master-photographer Raghu Rai, who was nominated by Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum, in conversation with ASRP Mukesh in The Pioneer, on his entry into photography and what it takes to be a good lensman: # “Skills are never taught, they are acquired. I can give you a camera, but can’t feed your vision.” # “Photography…

Two diseases of separation between us & ’em

Arianna Huffington, appearing at a US Senate hearing on the future of journalism, on the difference between traditional media and new media: “Traditional media has been afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder. They are far too quick to drop a story-even a good one, in their eagerness to move on to the Next Big Thing. Online…

‘Indian media holding Indian democracy ransom’

The Wall Street Journal‘s bureau chief in India, Paul Beckett, has a major piece on the rampant corruption in the Indian media in the ongoing election coverage, with advertising masquerading as news for a fee, and neither readers nor voters being told about the deal. Brokers, he writes, are offering package deals for coverage in…

For the record, anything goes (* Conditions apply)

Several Indian newspapers and magazines have taken to running a disclaimer on advertisements to insulate themselves from “liabilities”. For instance, The Times of India group runs this on its classified advertising pages: But the right-wing English daily newspaper, The Pioneer has, well, pioneered a disclaimer which appears to include its editorial content. “Merely for reference”?…

Look, who wants to be a journo (after rebirth)

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, 66, who has had a tempestuous relationship with the media: “I would like to be a journalist. In fact in my interviews that I had given in the 1970s, I mentioned during most of them that I want to become a journalist in my next life. “I say this because I…

If it catches your eye, surely the ad’s working?

A screenshot of The Economist‘s advertising on the Indian TV station NDTV’s relaunched website, NDTV.com. The other advertisements take the attention away somewhat, but the English headlines in a Russian-looking font (“Journalists stopped by Great Wall of China”, “Indian children increase unemployment in China,” “Russian billionaires in debt to Kremlin”) grab the eye while underlining…

How Chandan Mitra has his halwa and hogs it too

One of India’s oldest English dailies, The Pioneer, has undergone not so much a transformation but a transmogrification in recent years. Once a paper which had Rudyard Kipling on its rolls, and for which Winston Churchill served as a war correspondent, the low-circulation paper has returned to its politically conservative roots and become an unabashed…

Jamia Millia Islamia MA in media governance

The Centre for Culture, Media and Governance at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, is inviting applications for a Master of Arts course in media governance. Application forms can be downloaded from http://jmi.nic.in Deadline for applications: 8 June 2009 Entrance test on 18 June 2009 Interviews on 22 June 2009 Enquiries: ccmgjmi@gmail.com (please mark “MA Admission” in…

‘No better time to enter journalism than now’

Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta (in picture, left) has said there couldn’t be a more exciting time to enter journalism than the present one. Delivering the convocation address to the Class of 2009 at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore on Saturday, he predicted that the present crisis in the media…

8 dos (and 8 don’ts) on reporting swine flu

The Swine Flu has still not made its way to India. So far. All the four people who were under observation are reported to have tested negative. But there is something about scary medical stories that draws the media like, well, flies to a wound, and it is more likely than not that more than…

How IIJNM students put the RTI to good effect

Only 10 per cent of India’s 1.1 billion population is said to be aware of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which grants citizens the right to access government documents. Nevertheless, its power and potential is unmatched. For a small fee, any Indian, male or female, rich or poor, can step up to “the scariest…

Time to listen for the graduating class of 2009

# Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief, The Indian Express, delivers the convocation address to the graduating class of 2009, at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM), Bangalore, on Saturday, May 2. Time: 10.30 am. # Kumar Shahani, film-maker and thinker, contemplates on ‘To Make Sense’ at the convocation of the class of 2009 of…