Category Archives: For the record

‘KN’, a long-standing News Editor of ‘The Hindu’, and his successor ‘GD’ both pass away on the same day. And the encomiums are a reminder of journalism as it once was.

K. Narayanan, the former news editor and later readers’ editor of The Hindu, has passed on, at age 88. And so has the man who succeeded him at the post: Gomatam Dwarakanath, at age 86. Both on the same day, 29 September 2020. The Narayanan obit highlights his penchant for hard work, integrity, wide knowledge,…

Indian media is in such fine fettle that the death of the great ‘Sunday Times’ editor Sir Harold Evans is just a routine affair

To no one’s surprise, the passing of Sir Harold Evans, the legendary Editor of The Times, London, received less-than-enthusiastic coverage in English newspapers in India, most of which were happy to run a dry Reuters or AP obituary on the foreign page. Only The Telegraph, Calcutta, in whose design in 1982 Sir Harry is rumoured…

On the same day, two eye-popping lead editorials in ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Economic Times’ tell a tale of conflict of interest

The Times of India group’s outer facade is of a free-market champion where more is merrier, and only the fittest survive. But, deep down, the flame of swadeshi and protectionism burn brightly, especially in areas where the media house’s growing digital interests are at stake. *** The lead editorial in today’s ToI wants India to…

Except ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Telegraph’, most newspapers can’t join the dots between arrested journalist Rajeev Sharma and NSA Ajit Doval

The arrest of Delhi-based journalist Rajeev Sharma, for violating the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by allegedly passing on “defence secrets” to China, is remarkable for the consistent quality of stenography. Only The Hindu (above) categorically reports Sharma’s association with the right-wing thinktank Vivekananda International Foundation, whose founder-director was the national security adviser, Ajit Doval. ***…

“Mind-boggling, high-handed”: Press Club of India slams Delhi Police arrest of ‘Global Times’ contributor Rajeev Sharma for allegedly passing on “defence secrets” to China

The Press Club of India has slammed the arrest of Delhi-based journalist Rajeev Sharma, allegedly for violating the official secrets act (OSA) by passing on “secrets” to the Chinese. Below is the full statement of PCI. “We are astounded to hear of the arrest of Rajeev Sharma, a well-known independent journalist of long standing and…

‘Rajasthan Patrika’, once the BJP’s bugbear in Delhi and Jaipur, now has Narendra Modi virtually on its speed dial

The front page of the Hindi daily Rajasthan Patrika on September 8 to mark the inauguration of “Patrika Gate” built by the newspaper on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg in Jaipur. The front page of ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ on the day after the inauguration of ‘Patrika Gate’. There are 8 photos and 12 quotes of Modi; 3 photos…

Timothy Franklyn, the cancer-surviving son of a former ‘Times of India’ executive, goes to Columbia University as an Obama Scholar

An internship or a job is for a journalism student. A book or a national seminar is for a journalism teacher. An Obama Foundation scholarship is for a journalism school founder. Timothy Franklyn, 40, who set up the National School of Journalism and Public Discourse (NSoJ) in Bangalore six years ago, is among 11 people…

A “big propaganda” campaign of “slander and vilification” driven by “malice and prejudice” which was “wrong and motivated”: ‘Deccan Herald’ holds the mirror to the media on Tablighi Jamaat

The coverage of the #TablighiJamaat congregation in Delhi—the shameless attempt to give the #Coronavirus outbreak a communal angle—was one of the more egregious examples of a majoritarian media that has lost its moral, social and professional moorings. India’s brain-dead TV “news” channels, of course, led the pack, with “shows” titled Corona Jihad se desh bachao (save India…

Mathai Manjooran: The Kerala newspaper Editor who refused to pay a Rs 100 fine and opted to be jailed for alleged contempt of court 61 years ago

On the day of reckoning for advocate Prashant Bhushan before the Supreme Court of India, The Telegraph has a fine story of an Editor in Kerala who refused to buckle in and opted to spend a month in jail for alleged contempt of court, 61 years ago. Mathai Manjooran was Editor of the Malayalam daily…

B.N. Nayak, an unsung hero of Indian journalism, one of the many pillars on which ‘The Times of India’ stands, departs at 70

“Telling people, who did not know Mr So-and-So was alive, that Mr So-and-So is dead,” is one of the better definitions of the basic functions of journalism. And so it comes to pass that newspaper readers in Mysore, who (mostly) did not know who Mr B.N. Nayak was, are being informed today that B.N. Nayak…

The advertisement that Kamala Harris’s grandparents placed in ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ in the early 1960s

When the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris‘s mother Shyamala Gopalan, a Tam-Brahm, decided to tie the knot with Donald Harris, a Jamaican black, her grandparents took out an advertisement in The Illustrated Weekly of India, the now-defunct magazine from The Times of India group. Screenshot: courtesy ToI

“Hold Facebook accountable. Misuse of social media a threat to democracy. Platforms must be agnostic to ideology”: newspaper editorials can’t hide weak reporting

Four days after The Wall Street Journal revealed Facebook’s chief India lobbyist Ankhi Das batting for BJP’s hate mongers, Indian newspapers are unable to add to a story that has deep implications for Indian society and polity. Also read: FB expose reveals barren cupboard ** Even today, there are no revelations and even today only…

The tribute M.S. Dhoni will treasure the most: four special pages in his hometown’s biggest newspaper

Prabhat Khabar, the Hindi daily first published from Ranchi 36 years ago, pays a handsome tribute to the eastern Indian city’s greatest contemporary contribution to the national and global consciousness, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, upon his retirement from international cricket.

“There can be no finer guarantee to a nation’s welfare than a free press in the service of a free nation”: Mountbatten’s 1947 message

The following is the full text of the message sent by Lord Mountbatten, the outgoing Viceroy, on India’s Independence Day in 1947. *** “I send my greetings and best wishes to the Indian press and all your readers on this historic day. It is good to know that paper restrictions have been relaxed to enable…

‘Prabhat Khabar’ at 36: how the face of Hindi journalism in the East has changed between 1984 and 2020

Thirty-six years is but a blip in a newspaper’s history, when there are many publications which are over 100 years old. The Times of India was technically launched in 1838, making it just 18 years short of 200. The Hindu is 142. But an anniversary is an anniversary, and the well-regarded Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar…

Baba Shingote, the Marathi school dropout who sold fruits and set up Kannada and Tamil newspapers in Mumbai, passes away

Muralidhar Anant also known as Baba Shingote, the Maharashtrian who founded the Kannada newspaper Karnataka Malla and the Tamil newspaper Tamil Times in Bombay to serve the city’s vast migrant populations from the southern states, has passed away, at age 89. The end came on 6 August 2020, in Junnar in Pune district, reports PTI.…

“The newspaper print medium will not resurrect”: ‘India Today’ founder Aroon Purie’s dark prediction as ‘Mail Today’ shuts shop after a 13-year run

The following is the full text of the internal communication sent out by India Today chairman Aroon Purie, announcing the suspension i.e. closure of the print edition of the group’s tabloid, Mail Today. *** Dear All, As you all know, the Group entered the newspaper space 13 years ago with great hope. We collaborated with…

Narendra Modi and Barbra Streisand: a short story on how not to bury a secret, in 12 newspaper screenshots

Besides all her other achievements, the American singer-actor Barbra Streisand contributed the “Streisand Effect” to the dictionary of the digital age, when she sued a photographer for distributing aerial pictures of her mansion, in 2003. At the time she sued the lensman, Kenneth Adelman, the photographs had been viewed just six times—twice by her own…

In the gushing waters of majoritarianism, there are only a handful of media outliers on the day after

“The book that begins with ‘We, the people of India’ is the God that we failed” “Raja and rishi are no longer” With a picture of the Constitution, and a white-on-black headline, ‘The Telegraph’ (above) says India witnessed a “ritual merger of the Church and State” in Ayodhya, at the ground-breaking ceremony on August 5.…

When a newspaper salutes a union of journalists on the editorial page, it’s news

Much of Indian media’s travails just now–the salary cuts, the job losses, etc—can be traced back to the collapse of unions in the wake of liberalisation in 1991. As managements sought to break the stranglehold of unions by introducing the contract system of employment, “To each her own” became the norm. Editors, hired at higher…