Category Archives: Art

Made in Sivakasi: How newspapers front-paged the announcement of general elections 2019 in a mad riot of colours, cartoons, graphics, boxes, numbers

The dog’s meal that is Indian newspaper front pages, on big news days. Text, graphics, pictures, cartoons, photo-illustrations, boxes, highlights, numbers, colours, all in one right royal mess, with nothing to hold the eye. Even on a such as this, the announcement of #GeneralElections2019, there were newspapers like Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi), Divya Bhaskar (Gujarati), and…

“Anybody can do an MBA. Not everybody can become a cartoonist”: the sage advice that turned Satish Acharya into a 24×7 cartoonist in the social media age

Although the Mysore-born R.K. Laxman is the best known of them all, it is Kerala that has produced more political cartoonists in the English language: P. Shankar Pillai, O.V. Vijayan, Abu Abraham, Kutty, Unny, Ravi Shankar, Ajit Ninan et al. In recent years, Satish Acharya has joined his Kannadiga torch-bearer as a political cartoonist of promise,…

‘Dus hazaar tadtadate toofan’: Tintin, the Boy Reporter, was like Superman and James Bond, a status quoist, an apologist for hegemony

Uddalok Mukherjee makes a ‘defamatory’ attack on everybody’s favourite journalist, the “world’s most underworked, overexposed reporter”. “Journalists should not emulate Tintin. He is rarely seen filing copies; he is even casual about deadlines. He is arguably a poodle too; he is a pet of the establishment…. “The Boy Reporter’s acquaintances were a mixed bunch of…

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…

The quasquicentennial of ‘Malayala Manorama’

Malayala Manorama, once India’s largest selling newspaper before being overtaken by Dainik Jagran and The Times of India, has just completed the valedictory of its quasquicentennial celebrations. Above is the first issue of the paper, which began as a weekly, published on March 22, 1888. Below is the March 13, 2014 issue, which captures prime…

In new law mag, Sunanda Pushkar post-death pix

There’s a new magazine on your news stand: India Legal. The 84-page magazine, priced at Rs 100, and edited by former India Today executive editor Inderjit Badhwar is published out of Delhi. Writes Badhwar in the editorial of the launch issue: “The thrust of our magazine—as should be the endeavour of all competent news journalism—is…

Nude picture that landed Sports World in trouble

The cover image of the now-defunct Sports World magazine, from the Ananda Bazaar Patrika group,  which landed the Calcutta-based media house in a protracted 21-year legal case that ended this week. The image of tennis star Boris Becker covering the breasts of his then fiancee Barbara Feltus with his hands, had been reproduced from the…

Hindu Business Line redesigned by Aurobind Patel

In its 20th year of publication, Business Line, the business daily from The Hindu stable, has gone in for a relaunch, accompanied by a redesign. In the image above are the front pages of the paper the day before (left) the new design (right) was unveiled on Thursday, January 23. Writes BL editor Mukund Padmanabhan…

A front-page with two mastheads for two jewels

How should a Bangalore newspaper deal with the nation’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, being bestowed on two individuals on the same day, one of them a much-loved cricket icon, the other a homegrown Bangalore scientist? Kannada Prabha, the Kannada daily edited by Vishweshwar Bhat, deals with the dilemma by producing a front-page with…

‘The Hindu redesign was a mishmash, an eyesore’

The Spanish designer Mario Garcia (in picture, right), who redesigned The Hindu eight years ago before it was “abandoned” by Siddharth Vardarajan upon his appointment as editor, has opened a dialogue with the Madras-based paper now that the 2005 redesign has been restored following the return of the “family” to the helm. Garcia, who is reputed…

How Palghat gave birth to cartooning gharana

Palghat, or Palakkad, in Kerala is famous, as the former chief election commissioner T.N. Seshan once said, for “cooks, crooks, civil servants”. And Carnatic musicians. And cartoonists. The landlocked town with exactly two landmarks has produced four top-class political cartoonists for New Delhi’s newspapers: P.K.S. Kutty, O.V. Vijayan, Ravi Shankar, and E.P. Unny. In the…

‘Hindu family’ chucks out ‘professional’ redesign

Four days after The Hindu board summarily decided to pause its ongoing “professionalisation” process, the Mount Road Mahavishnu has reverted to its previous design, as promised by chairman N. Ram in a tweet (below). On the left (top) is the October 21 issue, the last with Varadarajan at the helm, and on the right is…

When an editor draws a cartoon, it’s news

Indian print editors have done book reviews (Sham Lal, Times of India), film reviews (Vinod Mehta, Debonair), food reviews (Vir Sanghvi, Hindustan Times), music reviews (Chandan Mitra, TOI, Pioneer, The Sunday Observer; Sanjoy Narayan, Hindustan Times), elephant polo reviews (Suman Dubey, India Today) etc, but few have done cartoons. When The Telegraph, Calcutta, was launched…

How seven cartoonists drew one TOI cartoon

As part of its dodransbicentennial celebrations, The Times of India has published “a cavalcade of cartoons over 175 years”. Titled “Jest in Time“, it is put together by Ajit Ninan, Neelabh Banerjee and Jug Suraiya. At its launch in New Delhi on Monday, seven well-known cartoonists—Sudhir Tailang from Deccan Chronicle, Manjul from Daily News and…

How journalism helped a cartoonist as author

Author and playwright Manjula Padmanabhan, who created Suki, a female cartoon character for the now-defunct Sunday Observer, has a new book out, Three Virgins and Other Stories. In an interview in Mint, she is asked: What effect has your life as a journalist had on your fiction? My early training to be a journalist powerfully…

A national newspaper goes ‘local’ in Bangalore

The Hindu has unveiled a new hyper-local look in Bangalore with the tagline “Bringing Bangalore Back to You”. Writes the paper’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan in a front-page note: “Why you might ask. After all, Bangalore has known The Hindu for its credible, fearless and unfettered reportage. For never dumbing down. For vanguard journalism that brings…

How Praja Vani reporters tracked Karnataka poll

On the day politicians count their seats in the Karnataka assembly elections, the 65-year-old Kannada daily newspaper Praja Vani, from the Deccan Herald group, has a page one, colour-coded graphic that chronicles the journeys undertaken by its reporters to bring the poll to its readers. The final score: over 27 days, 10 reporters (including three…

ʎlısɐǝ sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ plnoɔ noʎ ɟı ‘suoıʇɐlnʇɐɹƃuoɔ*

Since its sesquicentennial 25 years ago, under bossman Samir Jain’s helmsmanship, The Times of India has pioneered several editorial and marketing “initiatives”, all of which are scorned at first by the competition and then quietly copied. On the eve of its dodransbicentennial, after brother Vineet Jain told The New Yorker last year that he was…

What sustains our ‘free’ media is government ads

The advertising share of television, radio and digital is growing, while it is shrinking rapidly for newspapers and magazines. That is the bottomline of these graphics from The Economic Times, partially explaining why the media is in its current shape. Stunningly, the top advertising category in 2012, both in print and on TV, is “social…