Category Archives: For the record

Barring ‘Indian Express’ and ‘Telegraph’, few newspapers ask why an orderly farmers’ protest suddenly went awry

The farmers’ protests in Delhi against new farm laws sneaked in through Parliament, with former ‘Prabhat Khabar‘ editor Harivansh playing a questionable part as Rajya Sabha deputy chair, had been mostly peaceful and exemplary for 66 days. But the “tractor parade” by the farmers on Republic Day, with protesters breaching pre-agreed conditions and “storming” Red…

Kamal Morarka, the politician who launched a newspaper, passes away

Kamal Morarka, the politician and businessman, who co-founded the now-defunct Bombay tabloid newspaper The Afternoon Despatch & Courier, has passed away at age 74. Morarka, a former minister in the Chandrashekhar ministry, helped Behram “Busybee” Contractor to launch ADC at short notice after the latter had walked away from the Evening News of India of…

Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists should want Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act to go

The constitutional validity of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, has been challenged in the Karnataka High Court by Krishna Prasad, former Editor-in-Chief of Outlook; N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and director of The Hindu Publishing Group; Arun Shourie, former Editor of The Indian Express and former Union minister; and Prashant Bhushan, senior…

A masterclass from a 94-year-old columnist to a “frustrated” BJP factotum masquerading as Governor and insulting India’s democracy on a daily basis

T.J.S. George, the co-founder of Asiaweek magazine, who does a weekly column for The New Indian Express, wrote a piece last week on Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan‘s decision to disallow a session of the Kerala legislative assembly to discuss the Centre’s contentious new farm laws. The intro to the column read: “Arif Mohammed Khan…

How ‘The Washington Post’ remembers Herblock, its legendary cartoonist, every Christmas

On its anniversary each February, the evening newspaper Star of Mysore prints the same editorial it has published on each of its previous 43 anniversaries. Likewise, on Christmas, The Washington Post prints a cartoon by its legendary cartoonist Herb Block aka Herblock. This cartoon was first printed in 1952.

‘The New Indian Express’ reporter who dug up what the police and CBI tried to bury in the Sister Abhaya rape and murder case

The Sister Abhaya case has finally reached closure with a Catholic priest and a nun being pronounced guilty of the murder of the teenaged nun, 28 years ago, in Kottayam. It was the journalism of Sreejan Balakrishnan (in picture, above), then a reporter with The New Indian Express, that played a pivotal role in giving…

From launch day to closure, 20 front pages of ‘Mumbai Mirror’

For the first time in 15 years, not counting holidays, Mumbai Mirror is not on the news stands or in homes today, Monday, 21 December 2020, following its “transition” to a weekly newspaper. Below is a collection of front pages of the Bombay tabloid from multiple sources.

‘Mumbai Mirror’, 2005-2020: The derailment of a daily, reported on the front page

The front page of the Bombay tabloid Mumbai Mirror dated 19 December 2020, on the final day of its publication as a daily newspaper. The Times group, which owns the paper through a Bangalore-based subsidiary, has decided to turn it into a “weekly”, citing commercial pressures arising out of COVID. The lead headline “DERAILED” is…

TV coverage of farmers’ protests in Delhi shows that “farmers claim an integrity in the Indian subconscious that the media lack”

The academic and public intellectual Shiv Visvanathan, has a piece in The Telegraph on the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, demanding the repeal of new laws passed by the BJP-led government: “Yet more than the State with its idiotic ideas of governance, it is television media that is uncomfortable with the farmers’ strike, seeking to…

India’s newspaper owners demand ‘Maximum Support Price’—200% more government spend on print media, and 50% hike in rates for sarkari ads

Nine months after the pandemic broke the back of the media, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has revived its demand for a “stimulus package”. It includes: # Removal of 5% customs duty on newsprint # A two-year tax holiday # 200% increase in government spend on print media # 50% increase in rates of government…

“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…

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…

‘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?” ***…

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…

How many Pulitzer Prize winners can the ‘New York Times’ assemble to say ‘goodbye and thank you’ to a much-loved office manager in Delhi? Three.

It is possible to spend your entire working life in The Times of India and not even get a para in the paper upon your passing, unless you are a Subhash Kirpekar, Arindam Sen Gupta or somebody of like stature and utility. Meanwhile, The New York Times doffs its hat to Parambaloth Joseph Anthony or…

Who would have thought that in a season of festivals, post-COVID, the fattest English newspaper would be from Kashmir?

For months, after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, Kashmir’s newspapers could not be printed or distributed; their reporters could not move around, meet people or file stories. Journalists even worked as masons to make a living. Post-COVID, even in a festival season, mainland Indian newspapers are still struggling to produce healthy editions,…

Seema Mustafa elected president of the Editors Guild of India; Sanjay Kapoor is general secretary

Seema Mustafa, the founder and editor of the website The Citizen, has been elected as the new president of the Editors Guild of India for a one-year term. Mustafa defeated M.D. Nalapat of The Sunday Guardian, 87-51, in the first ever election of the Guild’s officebearers, held via Zoom, on Friday. Previously, the Guild has…