Category Archives: A bit of fun

When salary isn’t commensurate with circulation

The latest issue of Caravan magazine has more than just the story of former Indian Express editor-in-chief, Shekhar Gupta. There is a fine profile of Eenadu bossman Ramoji Rao, and there are interesting numbers in a data analysis of the big newspapers by howindialives.com. One of the charts (above) in the latter story is how…

18 factoids in ‘Caravan’ profile of Shekhar Gupta

The December “media issue” of Caravan magazine has a 20-page profile of former Indian Express editor-in-chief and shortlived India Today editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta. Authored by Krishn Kaushik, the profile is titled “Capital Reporter”, with the strapline “How profit and principle shaped the journalism of Shekhar Gupta”. *** # The son of a minor bureaucrat from…

Why NaMo shouldn’t take media on foreign trips

As Indian journalists come to terms with a Narendra Modi dispensation that doesn’t want to court them or take them on foreign junkets, K.P. Nayar, the former Washington correspondent of The Telegraph, Calcutta, writes that the US administration is no better. Each correspondent who accompanied US president Barack Obama on his trip to India had…

The hottest reporters covering the World Cup*

The Times of India fills a vital blank in the public discourse: the hottest reporters covering the football World Cup in Brazil— Ines Sainz and Vanessa Huppenkothen. * Search engine optimisation techniques shamelessly at work *** Raveen Tandon as Shobha De: Glamourous, sexy, brainy, seductive Look, who wants to play Christiane Amanpour: Kareena Kapoor Will…

The scoop interview that didn’t see light of day

Reporters look as if they have been stabbed in the back, as if the world as they knew it has come to an end, when their favourite stories and hobby horses are stopped in their tracks by those godawful editors who have “never been in the field” unlike the only Indian living editor who has…

How to pass IAS: read newspapers & magazines

Munish Sharma, a Delhi biochemist turned MBA, has stood second in the Union public service commission (UPSC) exams. He doffs his hat for his success not to textbooks, but to newspapers: “I did not study too much, just read The Hindu newspaper word to word. I loved it. “I read the newspaper, I wrote the…

Mid-cap stock picks for journalists and editors

Although integrity is not exactly rocketing skywards in the Indian media, declaration of assets is anathema to most journalists. The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has periodically tried to bring up the issue but in vain. So, honesty and accountability is a largely voluntary affair. How heartwarming, therefore, that the maverick business journalist Swaminathan S.…

The house that Raj Rewal built for a TOI editor

The national gallery of modern art (NGMA) in the capital is playing host to an exhibition by the architect Raj Rewal. And among the many works on display is Rewal’s design for the residence of the former editor of The Times of India, Sham Lal in New Delhi’s Gulmohar Park area. A true man of…

When Union ministers date journalists, it’s news?

From Buzzword, the gossip column of The Sunday Guardian: There’s more sleaze in Congress cupboard Congress leaders are in a state of shock over revelations on Digvijay Singh‘s secret love life with a married TV journalist. They are worried that more such skeletons will tumble out of their leaders’ cupboards. There are indications that BJP…

Why Shobhana Bhartia was late for PM’s breakfast

As is only to be expected, a number of journalists figure in former Economic Times, Times of India and Financial Express journalist Sanjaya Baru‘s book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister‘ (Penguin), on his days as the PM’s media advisor. But a few publishers and head honchos do too, including Prannoy Roy of NDTV, Samir Jain of…

When NaMo joins hands with a journo, it’s news

The BJP’s “prime ministerial candidate” Narendra Modi has, at best, enjoyed a tenuous relationship with the media and media professionals. Although media houses which he spurned are now eating out of his hands, the Gujarat chief minister continues to be generally more comfortable with owners, whom he gives helicopter rides or calls on personally while…

When a newspaper Editor looked like a hippie

Mainstream Indian (print) editors today are usually at their nattiest best, wearing carefully chosen Fab India kurtas if not designer clothes, trendy watches and slick spectacles, with not a strand out of place on their mane. But there was a time, in 1971, when editors looked like Makarand Deshpande.  Guess who this newspaper editor is?

‘Modi Wave’ can also touch a CPI(M) newspaper

From Buzzword, the gossip column of The Sunday Guardian: The Communists in Kerala were left red-faced when the CPI(M) newspaper Deshabhimani carried a full page advertisement by Narendra Modi‘s Gujarat government. The advertisement, highlighting Gujarat’s Mahatma Gandhi Swachchata Mission, features a huge Modi portrait. When taken to task, the newspaper management defended their act by…

The Khushwant Singh “pre-obituary” from 1983

Khushwant Singh, the self-proclaimed “dirty old man of Indian journalism”, has passed away at his home in New Delhi, at the age of 99. Exactly, 30 years ago, when Singh was 69, the journalist Dhiren Bhagat wrote a pre-obituary of the “sardar in the light bulb” for the now-defunct Sunday Observer. Ironically, Dhiren Bhagat was…

How Amitabh Bachchan ‘saved’ an AFP journo

SUDHEENDRA KULKARNI writes: “Hi Sudheen, how are you?” the caller on my mobile phone asked me the day after I landed in Cairo last month. It was an Indian voice, also somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t quite connect the voice with the name. It was Jay Deshmukh, a colleague with whom I had worked together…

Operation Rajnikant: starring Samir & Vineet Jain

There are 12 media personalities in the Indian Express list of the most powerful Indians in 2014—“ie 100″—for 2014, but 10 of them are proprietors, only one is a journalist and the other is a former journalist. As usual, the most interesting part of the prospective list are the factoids accompanying the profiles. # 19,…

The media Marwari who’s a ‘proper Tam-Brahm’

After a long period away from the arclights, Viveck Goenka, the scion of one of India’s most influential newspapers, The Indian Express, is slowly bouncing into the main frame. He is now playing an increasingly hand’s-on role at his own paper, making key decisions; is seen at media events, is making his presence felt on…

Are journalists already poised to ride Modi wave?

As the 2014 general election campaign gathers steam, the masks are beginning to come off, as journalists who make no pretence of their political and ideological inclinations (without disclosing it publicly) walk over to the other side, just as they did in previous elections. Ashutosh of IBN-7 is officially the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from…

A Kannada paper breaks RG’s code of silence

Even before he sat down last month with Kalpesh Yagnik of Dainik Bhaskar and Arnab Goswami of Times Now for one-on-one interviews, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had met Editors in Delhi off and on, more off than on. These meetings were long, relaxed,  informal but strictly off the record. Smart phones and cameras had to…