Monthly Archives: December 2009

From the scriptures into your drawing room

24×7 news television took another small leap at the cremation of the Kannada movie star Vishnuvardhan in Bangalore on Wednesday, 30 December 2009. Priests conducting the final rites of the devout star chanted vedic hymns into the microphones of the Kannada news channels which were broadcasting the ceremony live. Video grab: courtesy TV9

As the year ends, a veteran’s lament for media

B.G. Verghese in Deccan Herald: “As the year closes, one must with sadness and shame pen a lament for the Indian media…. We must lament a disgraceful fall in standards as revealed by well documented stories of the sale of electoral coverage by sections of the news media through ‘packages’ relating to the kind of…

Editors’ Guild on paid news, private treaties

The following is the full text of the statement issued  by the Editors’ Guild of India on Wednesday, 23 December 2009, on the issue of “paid-for news”: *** The Editors Guild of India is deeply shocked and seriously concerned at the increasing number of   reports detailing  the pernicious practice of publishing “paid news’” by some…

Journalist Rahul Bedi pedals 40-50 km a day

Sheela Bhatt of rediff.com reports that Delhi-based journalist Rahul Bedi, longtime defence correspondent of Jane’s Defence Weekly, and an occasional contributor to the The Daily Telegraph, London, and Irish Times,  Dublin, has abandoned his sport utility vehicle and now cycles all around town. “I have taken to cycling since the last three to four years.…

‘Only the weather section is not sold these days’

A barely disguised front-page ad in today’s Daily News & Analysis (DNA), the joint venture between Zee News and Dainik Bhaskar, on the “paid news” syndrome that has gained enormous traction in recent weeks. The Hindu exposed the discrepancy between the Maharashtra chief minister’s ad expenditure and news coverage; The Indian Express did a two-part…

Express Institute of Media Studies, 2010 program

The Express Institute of Media Studies, set up by the Indian Express group, is inviting applications for its 2010 programme. The last date for submission of application forms is 31 January 2010. Click on the image for a larger frame to view details. Also read: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach?

The book, the event, the review, the excerpt

Sentinel House, the book  on the newspaper business by the Bangalore journalist Allen J. Mendonca, who passed away suddenly in late September, is being posthumously published by Raintree, the media company Allen co-founded with his wife, Sandhya. The book, priced at Rs 225, will be released by Arundhati Nag at the Ranga Shankara in Bangalore…

We’re all maalis in The Great Gardener’s hands

Among his many stand-out traits, the photojournalist T.S. Satyan, who died in Mysore on Sunday, went out of his way to “give back something to the profession that gave them so much”. Even in his 80s, he was ever ready to travel long distances to speak to young students of journalism; delivered anecdote-filled lectures; opened…

Legendary photojournalist T.S. Satyan dead

sans serif records with deep and profound regret the passing away of the legendary photo-journalist Tamabarahalli Subramanya Satyanarayana Iyer better known as T.S. Satyan in Mysore this afternoon. Mr Satyan was five days away from his 86th birthday. He is survived by his wife Nagarathna, children, grandchildren and a City (and a profession) he dearly…

Everybody loves a good car, not a good filter

The announcement of the launch of Tata Nano, the small car produced by the Tatas, saw the media falling over itself heralding the arrival of the “People’s Car”. The fact that the car was priced at Rs 100,000 was enough to result in long front-page stories; glowing feature articles on Indian engineering and enterprise; breathless…

Has DNA got rid of a ‘pesky’ film reviewer?

The film critic turned film maker Khalid Mohamed throws light on some unsavoury developments involving a member of his fraternity in the Bombay newspaper, DNA: “On Wednesday afternoon, critic Udita Jhunjhunwala (in picture), was missing from the press screening of Himesh Reshammiya’s Radio. She did not go to the next day’s show of Paa either.…

‘The Week’ journalists win IPI, ICRC awards

The Week‘s senior correspondent Bidisha Ghosal and senior correspondent Kavitha Muralidharan have been honoured with prizes from the International Press Institute and Press Institute of India for their work—along with a full-page announcement in the latest issue of the magazine.

Gandhian activism, fiery journalism & cocktails!

If Medha Patkar was the “box item” girl of the Narmada anti-dam saga, Himanshu Kumar is fast emerging as the poster boy in the Maoism story. No newspaper, magazine or television article on “the gravest threat to internal security” is complete without a mention of (or quote from) Kumar, whose non-governmental organisation Vanvasi Chetna Ashram…

‘Indian media doesn’t value factual reporting’

Of all the documentaries built around the November 26, 2008 siege of Bombay, none has quite matched the buzz created by Dan Reed for Channel 4. Partly because it was the first of the lot; largely because it contained eyepopping footage including of the lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab (in picture) being interrogated. In an…

One paper’s 40% threat is another’s 60% dud

The relationship between India and China has in recent months become, as the cliche goes, the cynosure of all eyes. Border roads and dams; military incursions; a row over the Dalai Lama; illegal Chinese workers on Indian soil, Google™ maps, all have become milestones in the steady escalation of tensions. The media has been at…

“Accused” Chawla is now “Investigator” Chawla

Ankur Chawla, the son of India Today editor Prabhu Chawla*, who was named in a bribery case concerning the Hindi newspaper Amar Ujala 10 days ago, has had a “status update”. Chawla junior, a Supreme Court advocate, has now been inducted into the CBI team probing the bribery case involving the acting head of the…

Jailed journalist (finally) ordered to be freed

Laxman Choudhury, the Orissa journalist accused of Maoist links because the police recovered a letter addressed him from a bus conductor and jailed for two and a half months ago, has been ordered to be set free by the Orissa High Court. Justice C.R. Das in his order: “If he had any nexus with the…

The ‘troubling nexus’ doesn’t trouble too many

Several Indian newspapers which have tie-ups with the New York Times have re-run Heather Timmons‘ piece on people of Indian origin returning to the United States because they find it difficult to work in the motherland. Surprise, surprise—or perhaps no surprise, no surprise—almost all of them have excised former Mint editor, currently Washington Post managing…