Category Archives: Newspapers

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Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists should want Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act to go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

What’s public about a private treaty? Times Group has Rs 69 crore stake in gaming platform MPL, the Indian cricket team’s kit sponsor

Conflict of interest is the zeitgeist, the spirit of the time. The official kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team is MPL: Mobile Premier League, ostensibly a fantasy game. And MPL’s unashamed brand ambassador is the team’s captain Virat Kohli. The Indian Express reveals today that Kohli has been allotted debentures worth Rs 33.32 lakh…

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…

In Kerala, the state with 100% literacy, a course in schools and colleges to promote digital literacy

Three years ago, government schools in Kerala made headlines for introducing a course on dealing with fake news. Now the state has announced a five-step digital media literacy programme titled Satyameva Jayate. The salient points: What is wrong information? Why does it spread fast? What precautions should be adopted by social media users? How do…

If newspapers had been as clear about farm laws as they are against taxing corporates, Punjab’s farmers could have gone back home a long time ago

The month-long agitation by Punjab’s resolute farmers over the agricultural “reforms”, artfully sneaked through Parliament with former journalist Harivansh (former Editor of Prabhat Khabar) presiding over the Rajya Sabha, has seen the usual divisions in the media. Large sections of the media have been susceptible to official spin, running audio and video transcripts provided by…

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.

“In journalism, we can be in the heating business, or we can be in the lighting business”: Nicholas Kristof

“In journalism, we can be in the heating business or the lighting business”: @nytimes columnist Nicholas Kristof, who called out card companies for facilitating child porn, enunicates the profession’s core principle on @karaswisher’s superb podcast, Sway: https://t.co/unM8cvxE7S pic.twitter.com/UdsS3NscyG — churumuri (@churumuri) December 25, 2020 Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times opinion columnist who played a…

‘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…

J-POD || Podcast || “Pakistan took foreign journalists to Balakot a month after India’s strike. India is still to take its own journalists to Galwan six months after the Chinese incursion” || Sushant Singh

Exactly six months ago, on the intervening night of June 15-16 this year, the lives of 20 Indian soldiers ended—literally at the hands of the Chinese in the heights of Ladakh. For several weeks, large sections of mainstream media were in denial, dishing out the sarkari view that there was nothing abnormal on the border.…

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…

J-POD || Podcast || “Some journalists are too close to power; coopted and corrupted by money. That and the libel laws”|| former ‘Financial Times’ editor Lionel Barber on why the business press in India sucks

Becoming a digital-first operation, and getting readers to pay for content, is the battlecry on every media manager’s lip across the world. But the Financial Times of London has been there and done that, a long time back, without going click-bait. At the centre of the transformation of the pink newspaper was Lionel Barber, the…

Sending rejoinders and clarifications to media outlets is old hat. Booking cases against journalists is the norm in #NewIndia.

The front page of the Gujarati language newspaper Divya Bhaskar, published by the Dainik Bhaskar group, after four of its journalists were booked by police in Rajkot for a sting operation at a police station. The journalists were accused of trying to defame the police and compromising the investigation. The paper, however, contended it was…

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…

“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…

“There was still an edge of menace about the man”: ‘Financial Times’ ex-editor Lionel Barber after his second meeting with Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi‘s allergy for unscripted media interrogation is evident from his all-too-few interactions with professional journalists, not propagandists and actors, and the BJP government’s increasing opacity with official data. There are those few minutes with Karan Thapar in 2007 (above) before he felt an urgent need for a glass of water. Then there was the sight of…

Looking at most front page headlines on Diego Maradona, you would wonder if the football genius ever used his foot

Football-crazy Bengal has easily beaten football-crazy Kerala and football-crazy Goa in its coverage of the passing of Argentinian legend Diego Maradona. The Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika (above) has a classy front page, and calm and unckuttered inside pages, in contrast to the early editions of Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi (below). *** The Goan newspapers are…