Category Archives: Newspapers

‘Bhakts’ target ‘Gujarat Samachar’ for mocking Narendra Modi’s inability to stop terror attack in Kashmir, make editor Shreyans Shah’s phone number public, but paper sells like warm ‘dhokla’

For more than two years now, the big buzz in Delhi has been that the only thing that could possibly reverse Narendra Modi‘s (and BJP’s) precipitous nosedive after #Demonetisation was a noisy (and bloody) skirmish with Pakistan. id est: war. The ascent of Imran Khan and his initial overtures halted that talk briefly, but the deadly February…

Former TOI journalist named in FIR on ‘Operation Lotus’ gone kaput in which BJP leaders talk of buying up MLAs, Speaker, SC judges with Modi-Shah help

A former journalist of The Times of India has been named in the First Information Report (FIR) in a sensational audio clip in which the BJP leader in Karnataka, B.S Yeddyurappa, offers astounding amounts of money to a JDS MLA’s son. On the 80-minute tape secretly recorded on February 8: # As much as Rs…

The former TOI and ‘Indian Express’ journalist who was told by his Editor not to write “anti-Modi pieces for the time being”—and that was 18 years ago!

Hemantkumar Shah, a journalist with 14 years experience, was a “core group member” of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch till a decade ago, and a “loved child of RSS”. He quit his post as in-charge principal when the management of his Ahmedabad college declined to allow the firebrand MLA Jignesh Mevani to use its auditorium. The…

Even half a front page of ‘The Times of India’ is enough to underline the distinction between editorial and advertisement, truth and hype

News is something, somebody somewhere doesn’t want you to put out. All the rest is advertising. That is the broad gist of a quote famously attributed to the legendary Bihar-born columnist and writer, George Orwell. Although it could be William Randolph Hearst who said it. Or Lord Northcliffe. Or maybe even Katherine Graham. The truth…

“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,…

‘The Sunday Guardian’ goes after its pet-hate (P. Chidambaram) for the ‘coup’ report in ‘The Indian Express’. But Rediff had reported the story 22 days earlier and the Army itself had held a briefing.

The Indian Express‘s front-page, full page, three-deck, four-byline, eight-column banner story in 2012—hinting at an attempted “coup” against the Manmohan Singh government, but without using the C-word—has come back to haunt the newspaper five years on, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemingly raising the issue in his last address to Parliament. Modi hinted at a report in The Sunday…

How can a journalist find the time to write a book every year? Nicholas Coleridge, who has written 12 of them, has an effective 3-step formula.

Exactly 25 years ago, Nicholas Coleridge, then a hot shot manager at Conde Nast publications, wrote a fabulous book called Paper Tigers, on the foibles, fortunes, eccentricities, influence and political manoeuvring of newspaper tycoons. In India, he met Samir Jain of The Times of India, Ramnath Goenka of The Indian Express, and Aveek Sarkar of The…

The millennial journalist who broke the story of the year (so far) has been just five years in the profession; wasn’t even born when India’s liberalisation began!

Print journalism is dead. Check. India’s conflicted business newspapers do not break stories. Check. Indian Institute of Mass Communication doesn’t produce the brightest bulbs. Check. If you haven’t achieved something of note by 30 you never will. Check. *** On the death anniversary of the greatest Editor-in-Chief to have walked this planet—Mahatma Gandhi, if you…

Kannada University postpones silver jubilee event after students and teachers object to the ‘consistent misogyny’ of an invitee: a right-wing newspaper Editor

  The valedictory function of the silver jubilee of Kannada University—a University set up in Hampi in Karnataka 25 years ago to celebrate the state’s language—has been abruptly postponed following protests over the participation of a newspaper Editor. The event, scheduled for January 31 and February 1, was put off after students and professors objected…

N. Ram: ‘Today’s mainstream media is scared to touch the Rafale scandal like it did Bofors. An overarching fear of Narendra Modi has had a chilling effect.”

It is rare in Indian journalism for the same journalist to be at the centre of two major investigations, 30 years apart.  In 1989, Narasimhan Ram was Associate Editor of the family-owned newspaper The Hindu when he, along with Chitra Subramaniam, dug into the #Bofors gun deal that set the stage for Rajiv Gandhi’s downfall.  In…

‘A determined political operation has turned new media into a propaganda tool: not pluralistic and interactive, but relentlessly one-way and single-themed’

*** The weaponisation of Indian broadcast and digital media by Hindutva forces has been a key force-multiplier in coarsening the discourse and manufacturing consent, to be encashed at the ballot boxes. In this, the first of a two-part excerpt from his new book Freedom, Civility, Commerce, journalist and academic Sukumar Muralidharan argues that the eagerness…

Who brought Subhash Chandra of Zee to his knees—‘The Economic Times’, ‘The Wire’, or that usual suspect, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries?

Who broke the story of the troubles of the Zee conglomerate which led to a notional crash in stock prices by as much as Rs 14,000 crore on January 25, which then led to its founder “Dr” Subhash Chandra‘s extraordinary mea culpa? Was it Mohit Bhalla of The Economic Times who set the stage more than a month…

The humble home of the village school master who, at age 23, founded the Mahavishnu of Mount Road, ‘The Hindu’

  The ‘Friday Review’ supplement of The Hindu carries, in its Bangalore edition at least, a feature on the little town of Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district, where its founder G. Subramania Iyer was born and where he received his initial schooling. Mr Iyer, who started life as a school teacher, was 23 when he started The Hindu with…

Who does India trust as a news media promoter—Anil Ambani or Mukesh Ambani? Republic Day will reveal as #FirstPostPrint makes its debut.

India’s richest family, the Ambanis, have had a long and tortuous tryst with the media. The subject of well-deserved scrutiny for their less-than-clean methods when India still had a moral compass, they have been media promoters, off and on, with mixed success, in post-liberalised times. But for the most part, the Ambanis have been seen…

When every newspaper is going hyperlocal with a vengeance, ‘Dina Thanthi’ goes international with a Sri Lanka edition

Indian print media majors have not just been opposed—viscerally at first; superficially now—to the entry of foreign direct investment (FDI), or the publication of foreign titles. They have also been reluctant to venture out themselves. The Times of India briefly pondered editions in the Gulf. The Asian Age launched an edition in London. But there…

Kashmir’s news photographers were targeted despite their press jackets, cards, caps and cameras—and shouts that they were media men

The four Kashmir news photographers who were injured near Shopian in south Kashmir on Tuesday after being fired at with pellet guns by Indian security forces were all wearing jackets identifying them as media personnel and caps with “Press’ emblazoned on them. Accounts of the incident in Rising Kashmir and Hindustan Times show that the…

“Since Shujaat Bukhari’s murder we have been dying a little everyday, slowly and bitterly. Did his killers celebrate? Did they get what they took away from us?”

Shujaat Bukhari, the longtime Kashmir correspondent of The Hindu and Frontline, who launched Rising Kashmir, was assassinated in Srinagar, in June 2018. In the Sunday magazine section of The Hindu, his wife Tehmeena Bukhari, a doctor, writes of her and the family’s trauma. *** “Since his murder — unsolved to this day — we have been…

How newspapers prepared Rajasthan fast bowler to get his deliveries right—and he has 50 wickets this season to show

Karnataka is playing Rajasthan in the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy in Bangalore. The Hindu has a feature on Rajasthan’s left-arm seam bowler, Tanveer Ul-Haq, who has bagged 50 wickets this season. Tanveer, 27, worked as car mechanic and then as a newspaper delivery boy before a life in cricket beckoned him: “I worked as…

‘The media adviser to the PM has absolutely no role [in the prime minister’s office]. He is a nobody.”

The post of media advisor to the Prime Minister is much coveted by journalists, past and present, as the very apogee of their careers. A number of worthies have held the title: H.Y. Sharada Prasad, H.K. Dua, Prem Shankar Jha, Harish Khare, Pankaj Pachauri. And there are at least a dozen journalists hoping to be…

In the tragedy of errors that is Rafale and CBI, former Press Council chief Markandey Katju provides all the comedy, with 48 tweets in four days

A somewhat comical, even if self-serving, side play in the Narendra Modi government’s brazen (and thus far successful) attempts to fool the Supreme Court—not once, but twice—in #Rafale and #CBI, have been the interjections of Justice Markandey Katju*. Justice Katju has tweeted 48 times on or around the “transfer” of CBI director Alok Varma by…