All posts by churumuri

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In the Samir Jain era, the ‘Times Group’ has shut down 26 newspapers and magazines. ‘Mumbai Mirror’ was a death foretold.

The pandemic and the economic slump may have given the Times group the cloud cover to pull the trigger on Mumbai Mirror, but the tabloid’s fate was probably decided when it was hived off from The Times of India’s parent company a couple of years ago seven months ago. Launched in 2005 with a Bennett…

“This is not the time to put newspaper employees on the street. Times Group must show its leadership by doing business with a human face”: Mumbai Press Club on ‘Mirror’ move

The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) and the Mumbai Press Club have both spoken out against the abrupt decision to turn Mumbai Mirror into a weekly, and shut down Pune Mirror. *** *** Following is the full text of the statement issued by Mumbai Press Club: “The Mumbai Press Club, representing over 2,000 journalists of…

Times Group says “Indian economy now officially in recession” to pull the curtain down on its tabloid ‘Mumbai Mirror’

The Times of India group has reportedly decided to pull the shutters down on its tabloid offering Mumbai Mirror as COVID continues to take its toll on Indian media. A Times Group statement doing the rounds says Mumbai Mirror will be turned into a weekly, a standard operating procedure used by Bennett Coleman & Co…

“There was still an edge of menace about the man”: ‘Financial Times’ ex-editor Lionel Barber after his second meeting with Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi‘s allergy for unscripted media interrogation is evident from his all-too-few interactions with professional journalists, not propagandists and actors, and the BJP government’s increasing opacity with official data. There are those few minutes with Karan Thapar in 2007 (above) before he felt an urgent need for a glass of water. Then there was the sight of…

Four reasons why more journalists must start podcasts, and not just in English: views you can use from Amit Varma, the ‘Govinda of Podcasting’

  A baffling splitscreen stares at journalists, especially middle-aged and experienced journalists, in a post-COVID world ravaged by falling revenues, plunging profits and growing irrelevance. Those who have a job worry about when they might lose it, or how much their salaries will be cut next, or about being rendered obsolete by younger whipper-snappers adept…

‘Biblio’, the books’ magazine launched by three ex-TOI intellectuals, with a colon in its masthead, turns 25

Biblio, the little magazine devoted to books, founded by three former staffers of The Times of India, has turned 25, and the Hindustan Times has a feature on it. Biblio was founded by Dileep Padgaonkar, Arvind Narain Das and Darryl D’Monte in 1995 shortly after they left the paper as it dumbed down to managers…

Looking at most front page headlines on Diego Maradona, you would wonder if the football genius ever used his foot

Football-crazy Bengal has easily beaten football-crazy Kerala and football-crazy Goa in its coverage of the passing of Argentinian legend Diego Maradona. The Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika (above) has a classy front page, and calm and unckuttered inside pages, in contrast to the early editions of Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi (below). *** The Goan newspapers are…

‘Sub ka haath’: A typo in ‘The Indian Express’ that is a textbook definition of a ‘Freudian Slip’ in l’affaire M.J. Akbar

In the mid-1980s, when it still saw itself as a newspaper in the news business, The Times of India launched a annual contest for advertisements created by advertisers and agencies not for profit but in service of the public. The shortlisted entries—on keeping families small, streets clean, etc—were published in a separate pullout, along with…

Seven heart-warming tweets of HuffPost India staffers to understand what Indian journalism has lost

The closure of an organisation, the loss of a job, brings out the worst in employees. As uncertainty over the future looms, all the pent-up workplace frustrations against owners, bosses, managers and co-workers burst forth in a veritable torrent. In Delhi, where the city’s cottage industry, politics, intersects with everything, newsroom politics can rival political…

Salman Ravi, the BBC Hindi reporter who gifted his shoes to a barefoot migrant, is honoured with an Asian Media Award

Remember the BBC Hindi reporter who lent his shoes to a migrant worker walking home barefoot after his footwear had snapped along the way, at the height of the COVID lockdown in May? Well, the journalist has been recognissd for his humanitarian gesture. The reporter, Salman Ravi, has been given an Asian Media Award in…

J-POD || Podcast || “Aveek Sarkar ranks among the best. Without Rupert Murdoch, British press would have been killed off” || Amit Roy, foreign correspondent twice over

A foreign correspondent is an exotic bird quickly going extinct. Once upon a time, newspapers had correspondents in many of the world’s news hotspots: Washington and London certainly but also Islamabad and Colombo, Dubai and Dhaka. Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo have all seen an Indian presence at one time or the…

With 25 letters in his name, the new Editor of ‘Mint’ gives an old warhorse some competition, but in vain

The business newspaper Mint has a new Editor: Sruthijith K.K.. The former Media Nama, Huff Post, Economic Times journalist replaces Vinay Kamat at the helm. The new Editor’s full Aadhaar-PAN Card-passport name appears in the paper’s imprintline today, just as Vinay’s did as Vaman Vassudev Kamat. At 25 letters, “Sruthijith Kurupichankandy” is arguably the longest…

Bhanu Athaiya became India’s first Oscar winner for ‘Gandhi’. But she also did lots of fashion sketches for ‘Eve’s Weekly’.

Bhanu Athaiya, the costume designer who dressed up everybody from Mumtaz to the Mahatma on screen and won an Academy Award for Gandhi, also did plenty of sketches for the now-defunct women’s magazine Eve’s Weekly. Sixty-one of her journalistic artworks, mostly fashion sketches adorning the magazine’s pages, are now being auctioned in three lots by…

‘Marmik’, the magazine that launched a political party turns 60, and the lines are clear in India’s first family of cartoonists: the Thackerays

Marmik, the Marathi illustrated weekly that was the springboard for cartoonist Bal Thackeray‘s political launch, is celebrating its diamond jubilee with a 64-page special issue carrying tributes from a host of contemporary cartoonists. The weekly, christened by Bal Thackeray’s father Prabodhankar, was launched in 1960 shortly after Thackeray Jr had left the Free Press Journal…

India’s most successful multimedia journalist, with a humongous output across platforms, is dead at 62. But why didn’t you know of Ravi Belagere before?

The great West Indian writer C.L.R. James famously wrote: “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?” In other words, there is a lot more to the game than just the game. The question can be rephrased in journalism: “What do they know of journalism who only English and Hindi journalism know?” ***…

Make Art Great Again: the MAGA movement that Indian newspapers sorely need after Donald Trump’s welcome exit

In India’s massive media universe, only The Telegraph is able to capture the significance of the Biden-Harris win in the US elections, that denies oxygen to four more years of unbridled hatred, poison, division, violence and fact-free leadership. “America, unlike India, makes America great again,” says the Telegraph headline. But for the most part Indian…

After ‘Scam 1992’: How Harshad Mehta tried to place a column in ‘The Times of India’, where Sucheta Dalal had exposed his swindle

The 1992 stock market swindle starring Harshad Mehta broken by the journalist Sucheta Dalal is now a “major motion picture” thanks to the web series Scam 1992 directed by Hansal Mehta. Unbelievable as it may seem today, Sucheta’s investigation appeared in The Times of India, in an all-too-brief brush with investigative journalism for India’s largest…

In a sea of conformist editorials, ‘Hindustan Times’ takes the cake and the bakery on Arnab Goswami’s arrest

Newspaper editorials on Republic TV founder and editor Arnab Goswami‘s arrest for allegedly abetting the suicide of an unpaid studio designer all take the same line: that no matter what the facts of the case, the arrest of a pesky needler is wrong. *** Hindustan Times *** The Indian Express *** The Times of India…

“When Ramnath Goenka’s ‘Indian Express’ was raided, the reader felt choked. Today the reader doesn’t have that connect with much of the media”: Arun Shourie

What can the news media do when faced with vengeful rulers; scared and/or coopted owners and editors; advertising and circulation pressures; and a loss of trust and legitimacy among audiences distracted by digital and social media? In The Indian Express, the paper’s Magsaysay Award-winning former editor Arun Shourie expatiates the dilemma in questions posed by…