Category Archives: Magazines

Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists should want Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act to go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

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…

‘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…

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?” ***…

How a speech of Anita Pratap glorifying V. Prabhakaran ended up in ‘Methagu’, a biopic on the dreaded LTTE chief

Anita Pratap, the Bangalore University journalism student whose byline—when bylines still had value—adorned Sunday and India Today magazines, Time and CNN, is in the news. Pratap, reputedly the first journalist to interview Velupillai Prabhakaran, when he lived in Chennai in 1985, features in Methagu (His Excellency), a biopic on the slain supremo of the Liberation…

J-POD || Podcast || “Phone is king. Less is best. Follow stories, not editions. Newsrooms must be a zoo of different animals” || Life-lessons from news design guru Mario Garcia

At a time when consumers are exposed to beautifully crafted products from around the world, the first object Indians pick up every morning is The Daily Shame. Barring the odd exception, most Indian newspapers in every language look like a dog’s meal—a mishmash of leftovers of all colours, shapes and sizes with barely any clarity…

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

Facebook, BJP and Narendra Modi: The real story about the ‘WSJ’ expose is not just Ankhi Das’s role, but how FB began meddling in Indian politics before 2014

Facebook’s shady role in Indian politics—hunting with the majoritarian hounds and fuelling the communal fires, for a price—has been blazingly apparent for over eight years now. But it has taken a devastating expose in The Wall Street Journal to reveal why Indian media has been so disinterested in such a juicy story. The August 14 WSJ…

“I was asked to leave my phones outside. I was told, ‘resign now or be terminated’. The HR manager held the relieving letter. By the time I got home an hour later, I’d been locked out of my official email”: a brave note from a “journalist of courage”

Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs in India in the middle of the COVID pandemic with barely a squeak. The haemorrhaging has hollowed out newsrooms at the very moment news consumers expect more (and better) from journalism. But it is all hush-hush. Chhupa rustom. Unlike more civilised parts of the journalistic world, where the…

J-POD || Podcast || “The stench of dead bodies did not go away from my mind for days” || Parul Sharma, the brave photographer who captured the last lap of hundreds of COVID victims with a smartphone

Over 26,000 Indians have perished due to COVID in the last four months. But is there an image of any one of them that is imprinted in your mind? A single photograph in your newspaper or magazine that you remember instantly, for its poignancy, for its pathos—for its display? *** Whether they are natural or…

How 15 brave reporters and photographers have defended the evidence they collected of Babri Masjid demolition

Excellent story in The Economic Times today of how reporters and photographers staved off a bid to discredit their great work, the midst of grave danger to their life abd limb, during the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, by sangh parivar hoodlums. Screenshot: courtesy The Economic Times

In a bleak media landscape, Sanjiv Goenka picks up ‘Fortune’, wants to get into electronic media as well

For long, Sanjiv Goenka, one half of the R.P. Goenka family who runs the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, has long had media ambitions. Forever in the running for media buys, Goenka’s name does the rounds each time some enterprise is up in the air, a bit like Rajeev Chandrasekhar‘s. Open magazine is all he has had…

The news of a declaration: Hindi magazine ‘Cricket Samrat’ has published its final issue

COVID has impacted the media in a myriad ways, and magazines, especially niche magazines, are collapsing under its weight. Mid-Day reports the closure of the pioneering Hindi cricket magazine Cricket Samrat after 42 years of publication. Sportstar, the weekly from The Hindu group, has already gone online. *** In the Indian Express, the paper’s sports…

An artist and an interviewer: former ‘Mid-Day’ and ‘Sportsweek’ art director Ataullah Khan falls to COVID

From Jeddah, the news of the death due to COVID, of Ataullah Khan, the well-regarded former art director of the Bombay tabloid, Mid-Day, and its sister magazine, Sportsweek. He also did interviews with movie stars for the group’s Urdu daily Inquilaab. Mr Khan’s brother Masiulla Khan was the art head of The Sunday Observer, both…

J-POD || Podcast || “COVID has given us a brain scan of media thinking. National newspapers devote 0.67% of front page to 69% of India. Corporate media is the bed on which religious and market fundamentalists cohabit” || P. Sainath

*** Less than 2% of India’s population is invested in stocks and mutual funds. Yet, India has at least half-a-dozen business newspapers in English. And just as many business news channels. Every newspaper in every language, in every part of the country, has a page—or half of page—dedicated to business news. Or what they think is business…

J-POD || Podcast || “Every year over 20,000 students pass out. Where are the jobs? || Big media is trapped. J-schools should produce entrepreneurs, one-man armies” || Prof Kanchan Kaur of IIJNM, and Prof Anand Pradhan of IIMC

*** In a nation where more than half the population is below 25 years of age, professional education has boomed in the last couple of decades—to make the most of the so-called “demographic dividend”.  Journalism education—in particular—has seen gravity and logic-defying growth.  As liberalisation freed up the air waves and wallets, and TV channels made…