Category Archives: Television

70% of Indians live in the villages but media coverage of rural India is barely 4%, and that is mostly in print media and of non-farm issues

In episode 11 of ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal‘, the poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar tells Kunal Kamra of the abysmal coverage of farm and rural issues in Indian media. Around the 34th minute of the episode, Akhtar says: “In a nation where 70 per cent of the population lives in the countryside and most of…

NDTV’s London correspondent cornered, bullied, shouted at anti-terror march by NRIs for doing her job, for working for NDTV: “If you are an Indian, then say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’.”

As India hurtles inexorably towards fulfilling the wet fantasies of idiots itching for action against Pakistan after the deadliest attack in 30 years of militancy in Kashmir—under Narendra Modi‘s magisterial watch—the contours are being framed. Attacking newspapers like Gujarat Samachar. Conditioning minds through embedded channels. Trolling and labelling journalists who counsel sanity. *** NDTV’s excellent…

‘Bhakts’ target ‘Gujarat Samachar’ for mocking Narendra Modi’s inability to stop terror attack in Kashmir, make editor Shreyans Shah’s phone number public, but paper sells like warm ‘dhokla’

For more than two years now, the big buzz in Delhi has been that the only thing that could possibly reverse Narendra Modi‘s (and BJP’s) precipitous nosedive after #Demonetisation was a noisy (and bloody) skirmish with Pakistan. id est: war. The ascent of Imran Khan and his initial overtures halted that talk briefly, but the deadly February…

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar delivers a 400-word masterclass to the studio warriors of the “commando comic channels” itching for war with Pakistan (once again)

*** The deadly attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy by a suicide-bomber which killed over 40 in Kashmir on Valentine’s Day was the proverbial lightning rod for studio warriors of what former Indian Express editor Shekhar Gupta calls the “commando comic channels“. Hashtags like #IndiaWantsRevenge roared on Republic TV. #AvengeAwantipora and #PakKeTukdeTukde on NewsX.…

“The skill and excellence acquired by a journalist at the workplace is hers. It’s not company property”: How Delhi HC backed Sucherita Kukreti against Rajat Sharma’s ‘India TV’

To prevent journalists from jumping ship for a higher CTC, thus necessitating higher costs for retention and fresh recruitment, India’s media barons often have informal “non-poaching” agreements. The simple philosophy: “We won’t take journalists from your company. You don’t take journalists from ours.” Such duopolistic practices run counter to the “market economy” which most owners…

Arnab Goswami dares ‘Aaj Tak’ and ‘ABP’ and ‘Zee News’ and ‘India TV’ on eve of ‘Republic Bharat’ launch: why did you not break any of the big stories in the last few years?

Ahead of the launch of the Hindi news channel ‘Republic Bharat’, Arnab Goswami, the founder and editor-in-chief of Republic TV, dares existing Hindi channels. In this screengrab running on the channel, Goswami asks why English TV news channels have broken most of the big stories in the last few years. See a shorter version of the…

In Odisha, media freedom shrinks in novel ways. OTV chief Jagi Panda, w/o Jay Panda, becomes collateral damage as the privileges committee strikes.

The privileges committees of state assemblies are fast emerging as deadly instruments to turn the screws on inconvenient news media, or inconvenient news media personnel. In Congress-ruled Karnataka, in 2017, the committee’s decision to order the arrest of two tabloid editors for articles deemed defamatory of the privileges of legislators, including the Speaker, drew criticism.…

“Sanity, dignity, robustness, journalism and an end to cynicism”. How Barkha Dutt kicked off her latest innings on Harvest TV. (Or is that HTN News, or NewsHtn?)

Former NDTV presenter Barkha Dutt, the Emmy-nominated TV presenter—and easily the best in language, poise and presentation—is back on air, with a new “show” on the Kapil Sibal-backed TV channel. These were her opening words on first day, first show. “Good evening, my name is Barkha Dutt and you are watching ‘Democracy Live’, your brand-new…

How Reliance Jio drove data usage, erased the line between content and carriage, and is making life hell for India’s news media

*** In this, the second and concluding part of a two-part excerpt from his new book Freedom, Civility, Commerce, journalist and academic Sukumar Muralidharan turns his eye on the mysterious entry of Reliance Jio, and what it portends for the media. *** By SUKUMAR MURALIDHARAN Statistics may often have no more than transient utility in…

‘A determined political operation has turned new media into a propaganda tool: not pluralistic and interactive, but relentlessly one-way and single-themed’

*** The weaponisation of Indian broadcast and digital media by Hindutva forces has been a key force-multiplier in coarsening the discourse and manufacturing consent, to be encashed at the ballot boxes. In this, the first of a two-part excerpt from his new book Freedom, Civility, Commerce, journalist and academic Sukumar Muralidharan argues that the eagerness…

Who brought Subhash Chandra of Zee to his knees—‘The Economic Times’, ‘The Wire’, or that usual suspect, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries?

Who broke the story of the troubles of the Zee conglomerate which led to a notional crash in stock prices by as much as Rs 14,000 crore on January 25, which then led to its founder “Dr” Subhash Chandra‘s extraordinary mea culpa? Was it Mohit Bhalla of The Economic Times who set the stage more than a month…

Who does India trust as a news media promoter—Anil Ambani or Mukesh Ambani? Republic Day will reveal as #FirstPostPrint makes its debut.

India’s richest family, the Ambanis, have had a long and tortuous tryst with the media. The subject of well-deserved scrutiny for their less-than-clean methods when India still had a moral compass, they have been media promoters, off and on, with mixed success, in post-liberalised times. But for the most part, the Ambanis have been seen…

Amnesty bats for jailed Manipur journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem: ‘Multiple arrests under vague, draconian, repressive laws for expressing his opinions is politically motivated’

Amnesty International has kicked off a signature campaign for the Manipuri cable TV journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem, jailed under India’s dreaded National Security Act, for his Facebook videos slamming the BJP governments in his state and at the Centre. Below is the full Amnesty text. *** “Kishorchandra Wangkhem, a journalist based in Manipur, India, was arrested…

“Headline management”, which Arun Shourie said was the Modi government’s USP, is now faster, vaster, insidious—and real time

During the previous Congress-led UPA government, it was widely rumoured that a non-Hindi speaking Union minister was so mixed up with one English TV news channel that he routinely telephoned his favourite anchor or the “PCR” (production control room) to correct or dictate the “news ticker”. It hasn’t changed much during the BJP-led NDA government,…

The ex-banker who gave a middle-finger salute to Arnab Goswami, tells NDTV’s Vikram Chandra to stop inviting jingoistic demagogues from the ghats of Varanasi

The role of India’s TV news channels in providing a platform to the lunatic fringe to spout their unhinged bilge, post-2014, is worthy of a serious academic study. Then again, media and studies can’t be uttered in the same sentence since 2014 either. Night after night, and sometimes during the day too, on panel discussion…

Why is BCCI rolling out the red carpet to one “ultra-friendly English news channel”—India Today TV if you really want to know its name?

Girilal Jain, the late editor of The Times of India, used to say that, in India, politics sets the pace and everything else follows in its wake. So, just like some news channels are completely in the thrall of some political parties, some news channels are also the go-to stations for cricket bosses. After the…

At ‘Republic’ summit, there were (at the very least) 9 known BJP faces; 0 from Congress. Any wonder Arnab Goswami wants other news channels to boycott the party that boycotts him?

Mint, the business newspaper owned by the Hindustan Times group, has a four-page supplement of the first Republic Summit, hosted by the TV channel, Republic. The guest list, as evident from the photographs, is revealing of the channel’s moorings and impulses. Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Devendra Fadnavis, Sarbananda Sonowal, Anurag Thakur, Smriti Irani Farooq Abdullah, Praful Patel, Kamal…

NDTV’s Prannoy Roy ‘Sir’ is the kind of generous teacher those aspiring to join Morgan Stanley should get

Every new year, Ruchir Sharma, the precocious Morgan Stanley banker sits down with NDTV’s Prannoy Royfor one hour of ad-free programming, in which he makes predictions for the year ahead. It is first-class television: calm, clean, chummy, insightful—and fun. The “Limousine Liberals”—Sharma gives a bunch of journalists and pollsters a 7-star ride before every major…

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…