Category Archives: Newspapers

“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…

‘Sub ka haath’: A typo in ‘The Indian Express’ that is a textbook definition of a ‘Freudian Slip’ in l’affaire M.J. Akbar

In the mid-1980s, when it still saw itself as a newspaper in the news business, The Times of India launched a annual contest for advertisements created by advertisers and agencies not for profit but in service of the public. The shortlisted entries—on keeping families small, streets clean, etc—were published in a separate pullout, along with…

J-POD || Podcast || “Aveek Sarkar ranks among the best. Without Rupert Murdoch, British press would have been killed off” || Amit Roy, foreign correspondent twice over

A foreign correspondent is an exotic bird quickly going extinct. Once upon a time, newspapers had correspondents in many of the world’s news hotspots: Washington and London certainly but also Islamabad and Colombo, Dubai and Dhaka. Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo have all seen an Indian presence at one time or the…

With 25 letters in his name, the new Editor of ‘Mint’ gives an old warhorse some competition, but in vain

The business newspaper Mint has a new Editor: Sruthijith K.K.. The former Media Nama, Huff Post, Economic Times journalist replaces Vinay Kamat at the helm. The new Editor’s full Aadhaar-PAN Card-passport name appears in the paper’s imprintline today, just as Vinay’s did as Vaman Vassudev Kamat. At 25 letters, “Sruthijith Kurupichankandy” is arguably the longest…

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?” ***…

Make Art Great Again: the MAGA movement that Indian newspapers sorely need after Donald Trump’s welcome exit

In India’s massive media universe, only The Telegraph is able to capture the significance of the Biden-Harris win in the US elections, that denies oxygen to four more years of unbridled hatred, poison, division, violence and fact-free leadership. “America, unlike India, makes America great again,” says the Telegraph headline. But for the most part Indian…

After ‘Scam 1992’: How Harshad Mehta tried to place a column in ‘The Times of India’, where Sucheta Dalal had exposed his swindle

The 1992 stock market swindle starring Harshad Mehta broken by the journalist Sucheta Dalal is now a “major motion picture” thanks to the web series Scam 1992 directed by Hansal Mehta. Unbelievable as it may seem today, Sucheta’s investigation appeared in The Times of India, in an all-too-brief brush with investigative journalism for India’s largest…

“When Ramnath Goenka’s ‘Indian Express’ was raided, the reader felt choked. Today the reader doesn’t have that connect with much of the media”: Arun Shourie

What can the news media do when faced with vengeful rulers; scared and/or coopted owners and editors; advertising and circulation pressures; and a loss of trust and legitimacy among audiences distracted by digital and social media? In The Indian Express, the paper’s Magsaysay Award-winning former editor Arun Shourie expatiates the dilemma in questions posed by…

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…

J-POD || Podcast || “Because of COVID very few journalists are on the ground, very few are travelling, very few are interacting the way they would. Take everything with a pinch of salt”|| Bihar veteran Uttam Sengupta

Generally speaking, political analysis on Indian television has been as reliable as the weather report and as insightful as astrological predictions—but just a little less fun than the comic strip. The assembly elections in Bihar five Novembers years ago showed what a joke it was. Even on the day of the counting, even as the…

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,…

How a London tabloid reporter’s interview paved the way for Argentina’s president to be India’s Republic Day guest after the Falklands War

Peregrine Worsthorne, the former Editor of The Sunday Telegraph, London, passed away recently. In The Telegraph, Calcutta, the paper’s fantastic London correspondent Amit Roy remembers this lovely anecdote of Worsthorne. “Another charming and eloquent editor of my acquaintance, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, who was briefly editor of The Sunday Telegraph, has been in the news. “Perry”, whose…

India gives a “befitting response” to China’s incursion—by squeezing Press Trust of India (PTI) out to help ANI

China has invaded and occupied over 1,000 sq km of Indian territory, approximately the size of Delhi, right under the nose of a “strong man”, without so much as a squeak from pseudo-patriots. But the government’s public response is as befits an acknowledged “soft power”. A ban on Chinese apps for starters, to make sure…

‘Time and Tide’ waits for no man: after 157 Tests, Kishore Bhimani ties up his next assignment, 22 days after Dean Jones

Kishore Bhimani, the voice that relayed to the world that a Test had been tied in Madras, with the scores level of both the teams with all wickets down, only for the second time in cricket history, has passed on—just 22 days after the demise of the Australian star of that match, Dean Jones. “It’s…

Mr Justice Arnab Goswami, the dispenser of instant judgments at 9 pm, gets a taste of his own medicine in TRP scam in the morning papers

Arnab Goswami‘s Republic TV has only been named in a Bombay Police FIR for allegedly rigging TV meters for ratings, but looking at the headlines in newspapers, it would appear it has already been held guilty in the court of public opinion. A not-unfamiliar experience for the 9 pm judge, jury and executioner. *** ***

‘Mr KN’, a legend at ‘The Hindu’: a “Dronacharya who moulded a generation of Ekalavyas”, an elder brother who helped faraway correspondents scale new heights

Journalism is more than just bold-face owners and editors, whose face appears on TV or who advertise their greatness on social media every few minutes. There are many unsung heroes down the food chain, quietly going about their job with dignity and dedication. The Hindu lost two former news editors on the recently. Here, Mathihalli…

When a journalist gets an honorary doctorate it’s news: ‘Mint’ ex-editor Raju Narisetti is now Dr Raju Narisetti thanks to the publishers of ‘The Economic Times’

Raju Narisetti, the Times School of Journalism alumnus who was founder-editor of the business newspaper Mint, has been conferred an honorary doctorate by Bennett University set up by The Times of India group. Narisetti, currently Publisher at McKinsey & Company’s Global Publishing, was conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in Media Management…

Newspaper front pages on acquittal of Babri Masjid accused show how Indian media has been hollowed out of courage and conviction since 1992

When the domes of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya were brought down in 1992, the year after the liberalisation process began, there was great clarity in the news media and its consumers on the foundations on which the Republic of India stood. Blazing front-page editorials minced no words in denouncing the conspicuous destruction of the…

‘KN’, a long-standing News Editor of ‘The Hindu’, and his successor ‘GD’ both pass away on the same day. And the encomiums are a reminder of journalism as it once was.

K. Narayanan, the former news editor and later readers’ editor of The Hindu, has passed on, at age 88. And so has the man who succeeded him at the post: Gomatam Dwarakanath, at age 86. Both on the same day, 29 September 2020. The Narayanan obit highlights his penchant for hard work, integrity, wide knowledge,…