Monthly Archives: June 2009

Entries invited for 2009 India Press Photo awards

The Ramnath Goenka Memorial Foundation, named after the founder of the Indian Express group, is inviting entries for the 2009 India Press Photo awards for excellence in photo journalism. There are five prizes on offer. The picture of the year will get Rs 1.5 lakh, and the best pictures for spot news, general news, sports,…

An oxymoronic pursuit called Spiritual Journalism

Shooting the messenger is the world’s favourite hobby. So, the media is roundly berated by media consumers as the harbinger of bad news. Media personnel have been termed by critics as the “nattering nabobs of negativism“. We suck the warm, positive air out of this wonderful world the rest of humankind inhabits. We separate the…

‘People, not the press, are the real fourth estate’

The press in India, like the press elsewhere, holds on to the belief that it is the Fourth Estate of democracy, after the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, although the press in India, as much as the press elsewhere, finds its institutional and individual integrity increasingly under question. In an article on the Open…

Don’t laugh: Do journos make good politicians?

PRITAM SENGUPTA in New Delhi and SHARANYA KANVILKAR in Bombay write: The stunning defeat of the BJP in the general elections has been dissected so many times and by so many since May 16 that there is little that has been left unsaid. What has been left unsaid is how the BJP’s defeat also marks…

Good journalists, poor journalism, zero standards

Raju Narisetti, the former editor of Mint, the business daily launched by the Hindustan Times group, who is now one of the managing editors at the Washington Post, has given an interview to the latest issue of the Indian edition of Forbes. Question: How do you rate the quality of journalism practised here in India?…

Jug Suraiya takes on the mighty Big B

The reverberations of Amitabh Bachchan‘s blog comments on the Academy Award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire are now being felt in the “cesspool” of Indian journalism. In his reaction to the movie, Bachchan wrote in January: “If SM projects India as [a] third-world, dirty, underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let…

When magazine editor marries starlet, it’s news

Journalists marrying movie stars and celebrities is not unheard-of but is not routine. The editor of San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein did a stint as Mr Sharon Stone, and various Hollywood flicks (think Roman Holiday) have also immortalised celluloid romances between hacks and bold-faced name. But generally the scrappy job and miserable pay, not to…

In a democracy, prince and pauper beg together

Given the kind of space, importance and attention newspapers, magazines and websites give photographs these days, it would not be unfair to say that the just-concluded general elections was visually below-par. There was no stellar frame, no standout picture, no large canvas frame that sticks in the mind’s eye. ‘Astro’ Mohan (in picture, left) of the Kannada daily Udayavani…

Media freedom is what separates India & China

No media debate on Asia is complete with0ut comparing India to China, or vice-versa. Even among middle-class media consumers, there is a barely disguised contempt for the slow pace of growth in democratic India, for all the “obstacles” in the path of progress and development, compared with the frenetic pace in The Middle Kingdom. But…

‘The media’s Obama infatuation is worrisome’

The Pew Research Center’s project for excellence in journalism shows that US president Barack Obama has received more positive media coverage (42 per cent) in his first months in office, more than either Bill Clinton (27%) or George W. Bush (22%). *** Robert J. Samuelson in Newsweek: “The Obama infatuation is a great unreported story…

Free, frank, fearless? No. Grubby, greedy, gutless.

A significant outcome of the 2009 general elections has been the “outing” of the corruption in the Indian news media. What was earlier, usually, seen as an individual transgression has grown and morphed into an institutional malaise with long-term implications for our democracy which the aam admi is still to recognise. Most cases of corruption…