Monthly Archives: November 2011

Think Katju is wrong? Take the Sans Serif Test!

The press council chairman, Justice Markandey Katju, has hit journalists—especially journalists who show off their JNU, St. Stephen’s, ACJ, Presidency, St. Xavier’s, Loyola, IIT-IIM, Colombia, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge credentials in their sentence constructions—where it hurts most. In saying that he did not think that we have “any knowledge of economic theory or political science or…

A tail-end tale in the paper of Kipling & Orwell

Once was a time when editors glared at sports subs who gave innocuous headlines like “Navratilova best on grass”. The Pioneer rather overenthusiastically heralds the arrival of offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who bagged nine wickets in his debut Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Hopefully, the offie’s bride-to-be won’t take it amiss; Ashwin is slated…

Good morning, it’s time to go back to bed?

Just because 96-year-old Khushwant Singh called it the “most readable daily in the world” recently, it doesn’t mean the matter is closed and beyond debate. Far from it. The Times of India thankfully thinks just the opposite of Singh “insofaras The Hindu is concerned” in this new TV commercial for ToI‘s three-year-old Madras edition. With the punchline “Stuck…

Vinod Mehta on Arun Shourie, Dileep Padgaonkar

“India’s most independent, principled and irreverent editor” Vinod Mehta has just published a memoir. Titled Lucknow Boy, the editor-in-chief  of the Outlook* group of magazines, recaptures his four-decade journalistic journey via Debonair, The Sunday Observer, The Indian Post,  The Independent and The Pioneer. With trademark candour often bordering on the salacious, the twice-married but childless Mehta reveals that he fathered a child in…

Guess who came to wish Rajdeep ‘good night’?

Indian Express contributing editor Coomi Kapoor has this item in her diary today: “Superstar Shah Rukh Khan‘s face is normally a passport which ensures open doors just about anywhere in the country. But the security guard at the house of CNN-IBN’s Rajdeep Sardesai failed to recognise the actor. “Khan, whose in-laws live in Panchsheel Park [Delhi],…

What they don’t teach you in journalism schools

To the long list of infirmities journalists are justly notorious for—roving eyes, loose tongues, failing lungs, pot bellies, bad livers, body odour, etc—it is time to add another, uncouth behaviour. Young or old, male or female, upmarket or downmarket, journalists now chew gum, jarda, etc as if they are all trying to disprove the 36th US president Lyndon…

The Hindu and ‘a scribe’ who was told to shut up

The pro-China tilt of “the world’s most readable newspaper“, The Hindu, used to be grist for the gossip mills, till one of the warring brothers of the family-owned newspaper himself decided to put it on record. An incident in Delhi on Thursday involving China’s ambassador to India underlines the insinuation some more. At a function…

‘Justice Katju’s remarks not wide of the mark’

In all the primal breast-beating over the new Press Council chairman’s sweeping generalisations, few journalists have tried to sanely dissect Justice Markandey Katju‘s remarks. Indeed, as a tweet ironically noted: “Most of the articles opposing Justice Katju’s interview actually end up proving whatever he said about the media there.” Kumar Ketkar, the editor of the…

‘Has Justice Katju been appointed by Stalin?’

The “tendentious and offensive” remarks of the new chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, on the state of the media and the quality of journalists—and his articulation for greater powers, including over television news channels—has predictably, a) touched a raw nerve, b) stirred a hornet’s nest, c) set the cat among…

TV news channel editors too blast PCI chief

On the heels of the Editors’ Guild of India*, the Broadcast Editors’ Association—the apex body of editors of national and  regional television news channels—has slammed Press Council chairman Markandey Katju‘s remarks on the media in recent interviews and interactions. Below is the full text of the BEA statement issued by president Shazi Zaman and general…

When a paper announces a new editor, it is news

The appointment and removal of editors in Indian newspapers is an opaque affair, shrouded in mystery, secrecy and intrigue. It is as if the maaliks and managements have all convinced themselves that they owe no obligation whatsoever to inform the reading, viewing, surfing, shareholding public as to why editor X has been replaced by editor…

Editors’ Guild takes on Press Council chief

The Editors’ Guild of India* has responded to the remarks made by the chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, in recent interviews and interactions with the media. Below is the full text of the editors’ guild response: “The Editors’ Guild of India deplores the ill-considered, sweeping and uninformed comments on the…