Category Archives: Newspapers

“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…

Once upon a time, when an Editor passed through a City, the best and brightest gathered to meet and greet

From the archives of The Hindu, 100 years ago. *** Kasturi Ranga Iyengar was the properous lawyer from Kumbakonam who bought The Hindu from its original owners in 1905, for Rs 75,000, and became its Editor. A century on, his descendants now the paper and its allied businesses. An old-style nameplate bearing his name still…

The brave journalist’s son who resisted physical threats, political pressures, and other blandishments to send an influential godman to jail for his father’s dastardly murder

It is rare in India for the killers of journalists to be convicted, but Friday, 11 January 2019, will go down in history as one of those rare days. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of the infamous Dera Sacha Sauda, has been convicted along with three of his followers for the murder of Ram…

Hey, Ram. The “goodness” of the editor-in-chief of ‘The Hitavada’, also the governor of Tamil Nadu, crashlands on ‘Hindu’ soil.

Can a journalist in a court of law make a submission in a case not involving the journalist? The unequivocal answer, according to the Madras High Court, is “yes” but only if called for by the court. *** The controversy began in October 2018 when Tamil Nadu police filed a case under Section 124 of the…

‘Deccan Herald’ proves that the distance between Bangalore and Imphal (2,162 km) is shorter than Delhi-Imphal (1,712 km)

The distance between Delhi and Imphal, as the crow flies, is 1,712 km. But Manipur’s capital is light years from the national capital for the sauntering cows and fattened calves grazing on the saffron lawns of Lutyens Dilli. While a loosely used label to describe ANI editor Smita Prakash got every one from BJP publicity…

Why India’s position is not rising on the World Press Freedom Index: exhibit 139 and exhibit 140

Since modern Indian civilisation began in 2014, the Guinness Book of Records has kind-of replaced the Constitution of India and the Bhagwad Gita as the epics to emulate. Under Narendra Modi, the preferred goals are Olympian—citius, altius, fortius. Therefore, the world’s largest khichdi, the world’s tallest statue, the world’s largest yoga gathering, the world’s longest monologue…

Why has the Narendra Modi government stopped counting the attacks on, and murders of, journalists?

*** “The government does not have data on how many journalists were murdered or attacked since 2014 as the National Crime Records Bureau does not compile data divided by professions. However, the government is in the process of collating this information.” This was minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore‘s bland, bureaucratic reply…

Shajila Ali Fathima: the “unpliable” journalist to whose defence Arun Jaitley, the Editors Guild, and other Delhi gasbags did not rush

On the day “New Delhi”—as in Arun Jaitley, the Editors Guild of India, and other motormouths and gasbags—were angst-ing over Congress president Rahul Gandhi terming ANI editor Smita Prakash a “pliable journalist”, a more horrifying drama was playing out in faraway Kerala. A real physical assault. BJP-RSS hooligans attacked journalists and camerapersons covering their continuing…

The jailing and killing of journalists—and the physical and verbal assaults—can’t move Modi & Co, but calling the PM’s interviewer ‘pliable’ does?

*** Journalists sucking up to people in power is so old school. In #NewIndia, the done thing is for journalists to cosy up to the religious amongst them who have sneaked into the sanctum sanctorum—and make the right noises at the altar so that the presiding deities and priests know that they are outside. #Sabarimala Twitter…

Editors Guild of India expresses ‘concern’ for an Editor caught in a multi-crore chit fund scam in which lakhs of poor were taken for a right royal ride

*** Suman Chhattopadhyay, the editor of Ei Samay, the Bengali newspaper published by The Times of India group was arrested last month by the CBI for embezzlement of money in the chit fund scam. And the Editors Guild of India has issued this extraordinary statement. The Editors Guild of India has expressed concern over the…

If you read ‘The Times of India’ group’s Bengali daily ‘Ei Samay’ today, would you know that its Editor…?

No news is good news, when a newspaper Editor is finally arrested for his alleged non-journalistic misdemeanours. Suman Chattopadhyay, the well-regarded Editor of the Bengali daily newspaper Ei Samay of The Times of India group, was taken into custody yesterday for his alleged involvement in the chit fund scam. And…. And there is not a…

When you are full of bile and bias, with plenty to hide, Mohandas Pai will never know about ‘Witness No. 17’

Delegitimising mainstream media in the eyes of the people—by calling us names; by accusing us of dereliction of duty; by attributing motives—is a core function of right-wing trolls with cow dung between their ears. The conviction of Congress man Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom following the assassination of Indira Gandhi has led to…

‘Dainik Jagran’ gets another ‘stamp’ of approval as it turns 75

The world’s largest newspaper, Dainik Jagran, has just completed 75 years of existence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a postage stamp and posed with the Gupta family which owns it. Jagran‘s growth in the 1990s coincided with the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and media scholars say it was a key force-multiplier in the communal mobilisation of the…

How ‘The Indian Express’ is covering the #Rafale scandal—and a scandal it is—compared to the way it covered #Bofors

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi has addressed five press conferences on the Rs 140,000 crore Rafale aircraft deal involving the Narendra Modi government and the bankrupt businessman Anil Ambani. These press conferences have been on 30 August, 22 September, 11 October, 25 October and 2 November 2018, and they have all been held in New…

Ravi Nair: the journalist who pushed the #Rafale deal into the national and political consciousness

Twitter in India today is mostly a platform to preen for loud Delhi gasbags—or a signalling system for has-beens trying desperately to stay on the right side of Tongue Parivar. Good journalism, therefore, gets subsumed by those who shout, scream and shriek—and then shout, scream and shriek some more when somebody, usually another gasbag, retweets…

Megaphone for Megalomaniac: How a high-school essay without one original thought made it to every edit page today

The demise of the editorial page as the voice and conscience of a newspaper is much lamented by the thinking class. But we in the journalism business have ourselves to blame for devaluing it by publishing tripe. On the eve of the unveiling of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel‘s statue, the prime minister’s office sent out a high-school…