Category Archives: Television

Vinod Dua tells the Supreme Court: “I have freedom of speech and I have the right to criticise the government. I don’t have to answer the police as to why I criticised the government”

Charged by Himachal Pradesh police with sedition for remarks made “against” prime minister Narendra Modi on a YouTube video, veteran broadcaster Vinod Dua tells the Supreme Court: “I have freedom of speech and have the right to criticise the government. Till date, the police have refused to give us details on the nature of the…

“Stop showing satellite pictures of China’s incursion”: TV editors get a patriotic nudge as Army scampers to limit damage of Narendra Modi’s big lie

Hoist by its own petard—which was Shakespeare‘s way of saying “blown by your own bomb”—on China’s incursion into Indian territory, the Narendra Modi government has rolled out “headline management” on a war footing to control the political damage emanating from the prime minister’s naked lie (above). With hitherto “loyal” journalists covering the defence and external affairs…

Nidhi Razdan says (maybe) it was a mistake to throw Sambit Patra out of her NDTV show ‘Left, Right & Centre’

Nidhi Razdan, the NDTV anchor who famously sent BJP spokesman Sambit Swaraj out of her 9 pm show Left, Right and Centre when he accused the channel of having an “agenda” three years ago, says she would not do it were it to happen again. In an interview with the writer and columnist Amit Varma…

Barkha Dutt’s father and the Netflix founder Marc Randolph’s father have one thing in common: a hobby that hooked them for life

Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph‘s father was a nuclear engineer who, after returning home every day, would slip into overalls, head into the basement and assemble toy trains. The paragraphs above appear in Randolph’s book That will never work. *** In today’s Sunday Mid-Day, there is a similar story of TV journalist Barkha Dutt‘s father, S.P.…

J-POD || Podcast || “COVID has given us a brain scan of media thinking. National newspapers devote 0.67% of front page to 69% of India. Corporate media is the bed on which religious and market fundamentalists cohabit” || P. Sainath

*** Less than 2% of India’s population is invested in stocks and mutual funds. Yet, India has at least half-a-dozen business newspapers in English. And just as many business news channels. Every newspaper in every language, in every part of the country, has a page—or half of page—dedicated to business news. Or what they think is business…

J-POD || Podcast || “Every year over 20,000 students pass out. Where are the jobs? || Big media is trapped. J-schools should produce entrepreneurs, one-man armies” || Prof Kanchan Kaur of IIJNM, and Prof Anand Pradhan of IIMC

*** In a nation where more than half the population is below 25 years of age, professional education has boomed in the last couple of decades—to make the most of the so-called “demographic dividend”.  Journalism education—in particular—has seen gravity and logic-defying growth.  As liberalisation freed up the air waves and wallets, and TV channels made…

“The chief editor ‘Mathrubhumi’ didn’t have”: M.P. Veerendra Kumar, the socialist media baron who brought two globalising forces to their knees in Kerala: Coca-Cola and ‘The Times of India’

The small division looking after the printing of currency notes is one of the outposts of North Block in New Delhi. The bosses can barely be bothered with its expenses. But for a brief while during the I.K. Gujral regime in 1997, it received some serious love. “What paper are we using?” “Why is there…

J-POD || Podcast || “Coronavirus has made us realise how networked we are. Even the ‘News-Finds-Me’ generation is seeking out news now” || PSU media effects research don, Prof Shyam Sundar

*** Media education in India is the bright sun on an otherwise dark horizon, but it’s a bit of a blur. Although there are hundreds of journalism schools across the country, some of them as expensive as B-schools, serious academic research is an exception.  Nothing is measured professionally, consistently and independently. Only the most banal…

J-POD || Podcast || “Media freedom in India has sunk even lower after COVID. Social media has smashed our notion of what is news. The time has come to reconsider the valorisation of news media”|| ACJ chief Sashi Kumar

  *** Largely because of the low road it has taken in the last couple of decades, and directly as a result of the challenges thrown up by the COVID pandemic, the time has come for Indian news media to press the reset button once again.  A hard reset actually. Force-Quit. No one knows what…

More people watched Narendra Modi speech announcing COVID package than the IPL finals

Over 19 crore people watched Narendra Modi’s speech announcing a stimulus package across 197 TV channels, according to BARC data reported by Mint. This was slightly lower than the 20.3 crore who tuned in to watch the prime minister announce the lockdown in March but both figures are higher than the viewership for the 2019…

J-POD || Podcast || “Jair Bolsonaro is a bad version of Donald Trump. Social media has ruptured the narrative. Steve Bannon is the common thread” || Shobhan Saxena on Brazil, India & the US

*** There are many politically incorrect things Narendra Modi has done in office and gotten away with. But none has been more questionable than inviting Brazil’s loathsome president Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest at the Republic Day in January 2020. Bolsonaro, a retired military officer, had been in office for less than a year, but he…

J-POD || Podcast || “A good newspaper is a companion in life’s shared journey. It prepares you to live in a diverse, contentious society. Social media gives you a hollow sense of control” || philosopher Prof Sundar Sarukkai

*** All through history, the rise of the right wing has seen a rage against intellectuals in public life. In India where politics sets the pace and everything else follows in its wake, this is especially evident in the news media. Rare is the newspaper or news magazine today which values experience and expertise of the…

J-POD || Podcast || “No substitute for credible journalism. Media has to cut costs, get into new areas. Journalists need to be multi-skilled in new era” || ex-INS president and ‘Malayala Manorama’ director Jayant Mammen Mathew

*** Battle-weary journalists, who have been there, done that and seen it all, think they know exactly how the media houses which employ them should deal with the existential threat posed by the #Coronavirus pandemic.  You could call this the sentimental view, the belief that, at this inflection point for the media business, the least…

‘Gulf News’ bells the “preachers of hate”, demands action against Aaj Tak, ABP News, India TV, Republic, Times Now, Zee for spreading Islamophobia

As the Gulf countries pile up pressure against the growing Islamophobia in India, Dubai’s top English newspaper Gulf News has an editorial demanding action against Indian TV news channels which are spewing hatred. The editorial names Republic TV, Zee News, India TV, Aaj Tak, ABP and Times Now, calling them the “preachers of hate”. Gulf…

J-POD || Podcast || “Hindi media has swung majorly towards Modi govt. Big newspaper chains have become mammoth like Google and Facebook. News desks are at the forefront of communalisation” || ex-Hindustan editor Mrinal Pande

*** Hindi journalism has been such an unquestioning and uncritical proponent of majoritarian establishment causes for so long that it is an accepted axiom now, but the outbreak of #Coronavirus has decidedly taken it to the next level. The ease with which newspapers and news channels in the heartland have surrendered their professional tasks and…

J-POD || Podcast || “If you cannot afford the people that you have, however good they are, do not think twice before rightsizing” || ‘Ananda Vikatan’ chief B. Srinivasan on the big lesson from Corona

*** In the manner in which the mythology of contemporary Indian media is constructed, it would appear that concepts like “reader-friendly” and “marketing” and “brand innovation” were alien in our journalism till Samir Jain of The Times of India arrived on the scene in the mid-1980s. It is only then, we are told, that Indian…

J-POD || Podcast ||”Pakistan media has not tried to find a scapegoat for #Coronavirus like Indian media. Imran Khan has handled media better than Narendra Modi” || Mehmal Sarfraz on what No. 142 can learn from No. 145

*** Coronavirus has had a strange effect on Indian media. Pakistan has vanished off the radar. Well, not entirely but substantially. A sudden intimation of mortality has distracted desktop dvesh bhakts from their core group activity, of protecting India’s borders—by building walls in the minds of Indians; by spitting hatred at their neighbour so that it…

Everybody in the media loves a good sop from the government in the time of #Coronavirus. (Sorry about exhorting the State to let “market forces” do their job in happier times.)

Since its publication in 1996, the title of the journalist P.Sainath‘s book Everybody loves a good drought has been ready fallback for sub-editors stuck for a headline. (A lot like the movie title The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.) #Coronavirus is as good a time as any to doff the mask to Sainath’s book which,…

J-POD || Podcast || “This is not the time to get co-opted by the State. Media must stay vigilant and keep a critical eye on government” || ‘Asianet News’ editor M.G. Radhakrishnan on what “so-called national channels” can learn from Kerala

*** The greatest Editor-in-Chief to have walked India’s soil once said “the soul of India lives in its villages”. You could extrapolate that quotation of the ed-head of Young India and Harijan to the media, and say: “The soul of Indian journalism lives in its languages”. Just one set of numbers will suffice to show why. In…

“Advertisers are reluctant to spend on Marketing right now”: 10-40 per cent salary cuts at NDTV for those earning over Rs 50K per month

Hi, Together we have withstood formidable crises that would have left most groups ducking for cover. Our courage and our resilience is drawn from our commitment to free and fair journalism, from our determination to side only with the Truth. Most importantly, as we have demonstrated over and over, our strength and our courage is…