Monthly Archives: October 2011

‘I have a poor opinion of most media people’

The Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory body for “preserving the freedom of the press and maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies”, has a new chairman: Justice Markandey Katju, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. In an interview with Karan Thapar for CNN-IBN’s weekly programme Devil’s Advocate,…

Tarun Tejpal: Haven’t violated or bent any rules

Although he wasn’t named in the original piece by Hartman de Souza in the Hindustan Times, Tarun J. Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka, offers a spirited defence in today’s paper on the alleged irregularities in his under-construction house in Goa: “When I tell him [Hartman de Souza] the reporter he has cited was asked to…

Indira: 64 ads, 32 pages vs Patel: 9 ads, 3 pages

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: After the advertising blitzkrieg to mark Rajiv Gandhi‘s birth and death anniversaries, and the death anniversary of his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru earlier this year, Union ministries and Congress-led State governments and departments have once again splurged heavily to mark Indira Gandhi‘s death anniversary today. In the 12 newspapers surveyed,…

A magazine, a scam, an owner & his Goan house

Be it the Commonwealth Games scam, the 2G spectrum allocation scam, or the demolition of Team Anna, it is increasingly clear that sections of the media are eagerly running with the wolves and hunting with the hounds. In State after State, in story after story, media houses, owners and professionals are turning out to be…

INS: ‘Wage board move will kill most newspapers’

After dithering for months, the Union cabinet has approved the recommendations of the G.R. Majithia wage board for journalists and other employees of newspapers and news agencies, subject to the final order of the Supreme Court which is hearing petitions from at least three media houses. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), which had steadfastly opposed…

A good cartoon is like a raga. The trick is ‘riyaz’

Puthukodi Kottuthody Shankaran Kutty, known simply to the newspaper reading world as Kutty, one of India’s leading political cartoonists, has passed away in the United States at the age of 90. Part of the legendary troika of cartoonists that comprised Shankar and Abu Abraham, Kutty’s work appeared first in the now-defunct National Herald and later…

It’s never too late to professionalise AIR, DD

Image: courtesy Hindustan Times Also read: Who really named All India Radio as Akashvani? How Doordarshan was launched for all of Rs 4 lakh Pratima Puri, India’s first TV news reader passes away Amita Malik, the first lady of Indian media, passes away Salman Sultan: on TV anniversary, no monkeying around Tejeshwar Singh: A baritone…

Aman Sethi bags Red Cross journalism prize

Aman Sethi, The Hindu‘s correspondent in Chhattisgarh, has bagged the international red cross committee’s award for best print media article on humanitarian issues, for his March 2011 piece on homes and granaries that were torched by police commandos in three villages in the Naxal heartland. Tehelka ‘s Umar Baba took the second place, while the…

Fareed Zakaria: ‘a barometer in a good suit’

The liberal American magazine The New Republic has compiled a list of “the most over-rated thinkers in Washington D.C.“, and Padma Bhushan Fareed Zakaria, the Bombay-born former editor of Newsweek International and an editor-at-large at Time magazine, makes it with ease: “Fareed Zakaria┬áis enormously important to an understanding of many things, because he provides a…

The Hindu: the most readable daily in the world?

Khushwant Singh may have decided to no longer write his weekly columns, but the “dirty old man of Indian journalism” has not said he will stop writing for good. He has shot off a letter to the editor of The Hindu, which the family-owned paper, given its recent and continuing turmoil, has gladly boxed on…

The ‘sardar in the lightbulb’ signs out suddenly

Seventy years after he started needling readers and 42 years after he wrote his first column, the “sardar in the lightbulb” will shine no more. Khushwant Singh, the dirty old man of Indian journalism, says he is now too old (and maybe just a little less dirty) to dish out malice towards one and all…

Nothing romantic about a candle-light newscast

Loadshedding, power cuts, outages, 2-phase supply etc are near-permanent words in the lexicons of news organisations in a country where electricity shortage is an everyday occurence. So how can the media bring some life to such a routine news story? In Karnataka, where scheduled loadshedding will be in force from today, Suvarna News, the 24×7…

‘Reporter lets Steve Jobs die on sidewalk’: RIP

Newsrooms across the world which have Apple machines in the design and editing sections, will remember Steve Jobs, who passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Walt Mossberg, the iconic technology correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, writes on the Jobs he knew in today’s paper: “After his liver transplant, while he was…

Enter: The queen bee of Bombay film journalists

Anju Mahendroo (in picture), the colourful actress who once boasted of an off-field partnership with cricket legend Gary Sobers, is to play the role of the gossip columnist Devyani Chaubal in The Dirty Picture, based on southern sleaze queen Silk Smitha‘s life. Devyani Chaubal wrote the saucy Frankly Speaking column in the now-defunct film magazine…

‘Arun Shourie: a Hindu right-wing pamphleteer’

There are few more polarising figures in Indian journalism than Arun Shourie. For many of his professional peers, he is everything a journalist should not be: a wonky-eyed, hired gun of the Hindu right, selectively and deviously using facts to push its ideological and political agendas. Arrogant, intolerant, abusive, dictatorial, . For multitudes more, he…

375 lessons in life from a rejected journalist

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Modern journalists and wannabe-journalists are an imperviously impatient lot, who think they are the almighty’s gift to the profession. They expect every story idea of theirs to be instantly accepted for publication, and every finished story to be published, as is, without a comma or turn of phrase being…