Category Archives: Magazines

Is ‘Modi media’ paving way for ‘soft-Fascism’?

In an opinion piece in The Times of India, the academic and international affairs analyst Kanti Bajpai says an India under Narendra Modi will be marked by “soft-fascism—a society marked by slightly less extreme levels fo authoritarinism, intimidation, chauvinism, submission and social Darwinism as classical fascism—and he includes the media as being among the four…

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?

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…

Question: India’s best political reporting is in…?

Although India’s best and biggest corporate scams—from Satyam to Sahara and everything else in between—routinely escape the business papers and business magazines and business channels, for quite a while, the best political reporting has come from The Economic Times.  And The Times group is losing no opportunity to drum home the message, even as it…

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,…

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…

In Ernakulam, this is Anita Pratap reporting for…

Former Tehelka, India Today and Headlines Today journalist Ashish Khetan is to be the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from the New Delhi constituency, continuing the fledgling party’s strange infatuation with journalists. But from deep south, there is news that AAP may field a blast from the past, Anita Pratap. The former Time, CNN, Indian Express,…

President speaks of paid news, dumbing down

The following is the full text of the speech delivered by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, at the inauguration of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) in New Delhi on Thursday, 27 February 2014: *** By PRANAB MUKHERJEE “Seventy-five years ago, the world was a very different place. Our country…

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…

On TV, Congress loses to BJP, Left loses to AAP

The point has been made before, that the current political coverage, especially on television, is more than somewhat skewed, tilting unabashedly towards Narendra Damodardas Modi of the BJP vis-a-vis Rahul Gandhi of the Congress. Now, the CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri explicates it a bit more in the Hindustan Times, comparing the TV coverage of Arvind…

How new rape law caught up with Tarun J. Tejpal

Tehelka founder-editor Tarun J. Tejpal has been in jail for over 80 days now on the charge of “raping” a junior colleague during an event organised by the magazine at a Goa resort. The Goa police have charged him on seven counts under the new rape law that came into effect after the Delhi gangrape…

Jessica Lal, Tehelka, Bina Ramani & the media

It was in South Delhi socialite Bina Ramani‘s Tamarind Court restaurant that Jessica Lall, a “model who worked as a celebrity barmaid”, was shot dead in 1999 by Manu Sharma, the son of Congress politician Venod Sharma. Initially exonerated of the charges, the case turned full turtle for Sharma following a sting operation by Harinder…

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…

When a fine magazine shuts down, it is news

After 15 years of publication, Housecalls, the first-class bimonthly magazine published by the Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy‘s Laboratories, is shutting shop this year. In her editorial in the penultimate January-February issue, its editor pens a touching lament for the printed word—and the sanity that comes with it. *** By RATNA RAO SHEKAR Increasingly these days, we…

Tarun Tejpal & the tale of the poor shepherd-boy

The elevator implosion of Tarun J. Tejpal and the plight of Tehelka as a result have been discussed ad nauseam after the first emails were leaked on 20 November. But the commentary, outrage and sympathy have come from the usual set of bold-face colleagues, rivals, friends, socialites, feminists and lawyers, among others. But how is…

Tarun Tejpal, Manish Tewari and relief at PBC

From Off the Record, the Monday gossip column in Deccan Herald: “Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal‘s fall from grace has brought a sense of “divine justice” in Prasar Bharati, where the invisible presence of Tejpal—thanks to his closeness to the information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari—was one of the contributing factors behind a long-standing “difference of…

Network 18’s right-wing swing on Caravan cover

The December issue of Caravan magazine has a 16-page cover story on how the Raghav Bahl founded Network 18 has taken a turn towards right-wing politics after its takeover by Mukesh Ambani‘s Reliance Industries. Headlined ‘The Network Effect’ and written by Rahul Bhatia, who authored the Arnab Goswami profile last year, the article chronicles a…

Aroon Purie and Vinod Mehta on Tarun Tejpal

As former Tehelka editor Tarun J. Tejpal faces imminent arrest for the alleged sexual assault of a junior employee at a conclave organised by the magazine, two veteran editors—Aroon Purie of India Today and Vinod Mehta of Outlook*—write about the callow Chandigarh boy who branched out to become a brand. At India Today, Tejpal was…

Tarun Tejpal: Hubris and self-loathing in Goa

Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast on l’affaire Tarun J. Tejpal: “What made Tarun Tejpal do this?” everyone asks. Some answers suggest themselves, the most unsettling of which is that, for all his rhetoric in the cause of women, Tejpal is, perhaps, just another unreconstructed, predatory Indian male who was playing the part of PC…