Category Archives: People

#SuperhitGhotala: Arnab Goswami’s 80 MB of WhatsApp chats in 12 tweets, 7 screenshots and 2 YouTube videos

“He who lives by other people’s WhatsApp chats shall be judged by his own WhatsApp chats.”—old jungle saying *** For weeks, after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, India’s TV news channels feasted on crumbs fed to them—leaked transcripts of WhatsApp conversations of stars and upstarts, hinting darkly at murder, extortion, drugs and sex, all in the run-up to the assembly elections due in…

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Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists should want Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act to go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

How Prabhu Chawla, Raj Chengappa and Sachin Kalbag are setting the “bar” higher for younger journalists

For the longest time, journalists and physical fitness could never be used in the same sentence except in jest. Long and irregular working hours, fat and oily samosas, slouching at the desk, smoking, drinking and other vices took their toll on the aspirations of the newsroom Adonis. The self-obsessed millennial lot which frequented gyms rather…

“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…

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.…

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…

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…

“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…

Four reasons why more journalists must start podcasts, and not just in English: views you can use from Amit Varma, the ‘Govinda of Podcasting’

  A baffling splitscreen stares at journalists, especially middle-aged and experienced journalists, in a post-COVID world ravaged by falling revenues, plunging profits and growing irrelevance. Those who have a job worry about when they might lose it, or how much their salaries will be cut next, or about being rendered obsolete by younger whipper-snappers adept…

‘Biblio’, the books’ magazine launched by three ex-TOI intellectuals, with a colon in its masthead, turns 25

Biblio, the little magazine devoted to books, founded by three former staffers of The Times of India, has turned 25, and the Hindustan Times has a feature on it. Biblio was founded by Dileep Padgaonkar, Arvind Narain Das and Darryl D’Monte in 1995 shortly after they left the paper as it dumbed down to managers…

‘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…

Seven heart-warming tweets of HuffPost India staffers to understand what Indian journalism has lost

The closure of an organisation, the loss of a job, brings out the worst in employees. As uncertainty over the future looms, all the pent-up workplace frustrations against owners, bosses, managers and co-workers burst forth in a veritable torrent. In Delhi, where the city’s cottage industry, politics, intersects with everything, newsroom politics can rival political…

Salman Ravi, the BBC Hindi reporter who gifted his shoes to a barefoot migrant, is honoured with an Asian Media Award

Remember the BBC Hindi reporter who lent his shoes to a migrant worker walking home barefoot after his footwear had snapped along the way, at the height of the COVID lockdown in May? Well, the journalist has been recognissd for his humanitarian gesture. The reporter, Salman Ravi, has been given an Asian Media Award in…

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…

Bhanu Athaiya became India’s first Oscar winner for ‘Gandhi’. But she also did lots of fashion sketches for ‘Eve’s Weekly’.

Bhanu Athaiya, the costume designer who dressed up everybody from Mumtaz to the Mahatma on screen and won an Academy Award for Gandhi, also did plenty of sketches for the now-defunct women’s magazine Eve’s Weekly. Sixty-one of her journalistic artworks, mostly fashion sketches adorning the magazine’s pages, are now being auctioned in three lots by…

‘Marmik’, the magazine that launched a political party turns 60, and the lines are clear in India’s first family of cartoonists: the Thackerays

Marmik, the Marathi illustrated weekly that was the springboard for cartoonist Bal Thackeray‘s political launch, is celebrating its diamond jubilee with a 64-page special issue carrying tributes from a host of contemporary cartoonists. The weekly, christened by Bal Thackeray’s father Prabodhankar, was launched in 1960 shortly after Thackeray Jr had left the Free Press Journal…

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?” ***…