Category Archives: People

Except ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Telegraph’, most newspapers can’t join the dots between arrested journalist Rajeev Sharma and NSA Ajit Doval

The arrest of Delhi-based journalist Rajeev Sharma, for violating the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by allegedly passing on “defence secrets” to China, is remarkable for the consistent quality of stenography. Only The Hindu (above) categorically reports Sharma’s association with the right-wing thinktank Vivekananda International Foundation, whose founder-director was the national security adviser, Ajit Doval. ***…

“Mind-boggling, high-handed”: Press Club of India slams Delhi Police arrest of ‘Global Times’ contributor Rajeev Sharma for allegedly passing on “defence secrets” to China

The Press Club of India has slammed the arrest of Delhi-based journalist Rajeev Sharma, allegedly for violating the official secrets act (OSA) by passing on “secrets” to the Chinese. Below is the full statement of PCI. “We are astounded to hear of the arrest of Rajeev Sharma, a well-known independent journalist of long standing and…

“Great journalist. Impeccable journalist. Philantropist. Philosopher. Man of principles. Khadi-dhari”: a requiem for a reporter

An obituary advertisement in the Bangalore newspaper Deccan Herald on 19 September 2020, to mark the birth centenary of its former chief reporter, Y.K. Raja Gopal. “Great journalist. Impeccable journalist. Beloved brother. Philantropist. Philosopher. Man of principles. Khadi-dhari” How many of today’s reporters, editors—and so-called “reporters’ editors”—will be remembered with these adjectives on their birth…

‘Power of the press belongs to those who own one’: With bigger pictures (and more quotes) of its owner-editor, ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ continues to show the prime minister his place

‘Rajasthan Patrika’, the well-regarded Hindi daily published from 9 states including two in the South, dedicated ‘Patrika Gate’ to the city of Jaipur, its headquarters, on September 8. In itself, the magnificent structure is a stellar addition to the city’s architectural heritage—and a lasting brick-and-mortar contribution by a media house in the digital age. But……

‘Lone Wolf’: the former reporter who is now worth Rs 3.7 lakh crore

The Financial Times has a front-page anchor on Zhong Shanshan, the founder of a bottled water company, who has become China’s third-richest man, after his stock listed on the Hong Kong. His fortune is now estimated at over $50 billion. Shanshan was once a reporter who later sold pills to treat erectile dysfunction.

‘Rajasthan Patrika’, once the BJP’s bugbear in Delhi and Jaipur, now has Narendra Modi virtually on its speed dial

The front page of the Hindi daily Rajasthan Patrika on September 8 to mark the inauguration of “Patrika Gate” built by the newspaper on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg in Jaipur. The front page of ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ on the day after the inauguration of ‘Patrika Gate’. There are 8 photos and 12 quotes of Modi; 3 photos…

A new design for the ‘Hindustan Times’ from the Mario Garcia factory, which would have apparently “made Mahatma Gandhi proud”

There is a story, probably an apocryphal one, that when Hindustan Times owner Shobhana Bhartia told an American designer who had designed The Washington Post, that she wanted a “good-looking paper”, he is believed to have retorted: “For that you need good-looking ads.” Mario Garcia, the designer who has had a hand in pouring old…

Timothy Franklyn, the cancer-surviving son of a former ‘Times of India’ executive, goes to Columbia University as an Obama Scholar

An internship or a job is for a journalism student. A book or a national seminar is for a journalism teacher. An Obama Foundation scholarship is for a journalism school founder. Timothy Franklyn, 40, who set up the National School of Journalism and Public Discourse (NSoJ) in Bangalore six years ago, is among 11 people…

Mathai Manjooran: The Kerala newspaper Editor who refused to pay a Rs 100 fine and opted to be jailed for alleged contempt of court 61 years ago

On the day of reckoning for advocate Prashant Bhushan before the Supreme Court of India, The Telegraph has a fine story of an Editor in Kerala who refused to buckle in and opted to spend a month in jail for alleged contempt of court, 61 years ago. Mathai Manjooran was Editor of the Malayalam daily…

How Steve Bannon was shaping India’s shrill anti-China rhetoric on Zee-owned ‘WION’ and ‘Times Now’ even before the Ladakh intrusion

Steve Bannon, the former investment banker who was editor-in-chief of the right-wing US website Breitbart before he became a key architect of Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential election victory, has been arrested, masked and charged with swindling nearly $1 million (approximately Rs 7.5 crore) in the name of building the wall on the US-Mexico border. But…

B.N. Nayak, an unsung hero of Indian journalism, one of the many pillars on which ‘The Times of India’ stands, departs at 70

“Telling people, who did not know Mr So-and-So was alive, that Mr So-and-So is dead,” is one of the better definitions of the basic functions of journalism. And so it comes to pass that newspaper readers in Mysore, who (mostly) did not know who Mr B.N. Nayak was, are being informed today that B.N. Nayak…

“Journalism is in an extraordinarily healthy place right now. I can’t think of a time when we mattered more”: Malcolm Gladwell shuts down the prophets of doom

The acclaimed New Yorker writer and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell on journalism, and the future of journalism, in a podcast interview with Anna Maria Tremonti of the Canadian public service broadcaster CBC. Listen to the full show: Malcolm Gladwell

Facebook, BJP and Narendra Modi: The real story about the ‘WSJ’ expose is not just Ankhi Das’s role, but how FB began meddling in Indian politics before 2014

Facebook’s shady role in Indian politics—hunting with the majoritarian hounds and fuelling the communal fires, for a price—has been blazingly apparent for over eight years now. But it has taken a devastating expose in The Wall Street Journal to reveal why Indian media has been so disinterested in such a juicy story. The August 14 WSJ…

“There can be no finer guarantee to a nation’s welfare than a free press in the service of a free nation”: Mountbatten’s 1947 message

The following is the full text of the message sent by Lord Mountbatten, the outgoing Viceroy, on India’s Independence Day in 1947. *** “I send my greetings and best wishes to the Indian press and all your readers on this historic day. It is good to know that paper restrictions have been relaxed to enable…

‘The Times of India’ news report from Kerala of a Gulf prostitution racket that inspired a Bollywood film

While reading The Times of India in 2008, writer-director Faruk Kabir stumbled upon a four-column story headlined “Man ‘buys’ back wife from pimp“. It was a story filed by Ananthakrishnan G. from the paper’s Kochi edition, of a 32-year-old from Malappuram who lands in Muscat with Rs 6,000 to save his wife. The woman, who…

“Mr Prime Minister, why do you look so unkempt?”: How Amar Singh rescued Karan Thapar after a testy interview with Chandra Shekhar 30 years ago

Never speak ill of the dead, maybe, but a week after his death, Amar Singh would go down in most people’s books as a fixer, as an operator, whose chief asset was an enviable (and enjoyable) collection of audio and video CDs—and a PABX machine which recorded every call. But, in Delhi, a city of…

Baba Shingote, the Marathi school dropout who sold fruits and set up Kannada and Tamil newspapers in Mumbai, passes away

Muralidhar Anant also known as Baba Shingote, the Maharashtrian who founded the Kannada newspaper Karnataka Malla and the Tamil newspaper Tamil Times in Bombay to serve the city’s vast migrant populations from the southern states, has passed away, at age 89. The end came on 6 August 2020, in Junnar in Pune district, reports PTI.…

J-POD || Podcast || “In 1992, journalists had to be beaten up to stop them from telling the Ayodhya story. Today it will appear on page 8. English media will go Hindi way soon” || Seema Chishti on covering the Babri Masjid demolition

*** Most journalists will confess that “changing people’s lives” was one of the reasons they got into the profession. Some might even remember this or that story that indeed changed a few lives. But not too many can claim that they actually reported a story that changed a billion lives, in fact changed a nation. The demolition…

The top business newspaper Editor who had failed in three different ‘third languages’ by the time he was 12!

Editors are ever so eager to project themselves as repositories of knowledge, those who have never put a foot wrong in their academic lives, those who know it all. What a relief to see T.N. Ninan, the well-regarded former Editor of The Economic Times and Business Standard, admit to some decidedly human frailties. In his…

“I was asked to leave my phones outside. I was told, ‘resign now or be terminated’. The HR manager held the relieving letter. By the time I got home an hour later, I’d been locked out of my official email”: a brave note from a “journalist of courage”

Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs in India in the middle of the COVID pandemic with barely a squeak. The haemorrhaging has hollowed out newsrooms at the very moment news consumers expect more (and better) from journalism. But it is all hush-hush. Chhupa rustom. Unlike more civilised parts of the journalistic world, where the…