Category Archives: Television

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…

For listed news companies, there is always an interview to push before a major event unfolds

Subhash Chandra‘s Zee has, like Raghav Bahl‘s TV18, always been a smart valuations player, forming subsidiaries, leaking information, etc to keep the stock in the news and drive its value up. In September 2018, Chandra gave a long, supersoft interview to The Hindu, apropos nothing, in which he railed against Mukesh Ambani‘s Reliance Jio, even…

Journalism #101: Lessons for Indian broadcasters from a Briton in America

On a personal journey across white America, writer Gary Younge came face to face with alt-right leader Richard Spencer @Channel4 Thurs 10pm pic.twitter.com/25f0gHWmjO — Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 7, 2017 Concomitant with the rise of the Right, India’s brain-dead TV news channels have offered the platform to the most communal, incendiary, racist viewpoints in…

‘News TV covered Modi US trip like govt media’

Like town criers in the old days, who arrived before the Maharaja and extolled his virtues, Indian news television reporters were in the United States even before prime minister Narendra Modi had set foot in God’s Own Country. And, over nearly a week, provided breathless coverage that left little to the imagination. Superman (or was…

‘Being a South Indian, his Hindi was immaculate’

sans serif records the demise of J.V. Raman, the Delhi University economics professor who read the news in Hindi, on Doordarshan, back in the days when the state-owned channel was the only TV news vehicle. Mr Raman taught at the capital’s Rajdhani College, whose website proudly records that he was among the college teachers associated…

RIL, Network18 & the loss of media heterogeneity

Even as the takeover of Network18 by India’s biggest corporate house, Reliance Industries Limited, receives scant scrutiny in the mainstream media on what it portends in the long term, the journalist and educator Paranjoy Guha Thakurta weighs in, in the Economic & Political Weekly: “The consequence of RIL strengthening its association with Network18 is a…

Can ‘Modi Sarkar’ create an Indian CNN or BBC?

The point has been made before but bears repetition. If Britain can have a BBC, if America can have CNN, if Qatar can have Al Jazeera, if China can have CCTV, if Russia can have Russia Today, why cannot India? Why do Indian broadcasters, public, private or autonomous, not have the vision or the resources…

‘Has media blacked out RIL takeover of TV18?’

As India’s biggest business house Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) goes through the motions of formally taking complete control of one of India’s biggest TV networks, Network 18, the veteran journalist and commentator Kuldip Nayar writes in Deccan Herald: “I was not surprised when television channels did not cover the taking over of a large TV…

‘Media freedom bleaker with Ambani domination’

The takeover of Network 18 group with its myriad news, business and entertainment channels has received scant review in the Indian media, but the author Pankaj Mishra bells the cat in Bloomberg View: “There is no denying that the future of media freedom in India looks even bleaker than ever after Mukesh Ambani’s Silvio Berlusconi-style…

Why Shobhana Bhartia was late for PM’s breakfast

As is only to be expected, a number of journalists figure in former Economic Times, Times of India and Financial Express journalist Sanjaya Baru‘s book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister‘ (Penguin), on his days as the PM’s media advisor. But a few publishers and head honchos do too, including Prannoy Roy of NDTV, Samir Jain of…

When NaMo joins hands with a journo, it’s news

The BJP’s “prime ministerial candidate” Narendra Modi has, at best, enjoyed a tenuous relationship with the media and media professionals. Although media houses which he spurned are now eating out of his hands, the Gujarat chief minister continues to be generally more comfortable with owners, whom he gives helicopter rides or calls on personally while…

Can the Indian media ask Modi tough questions?

Interviews of Narendra Modi are like city buses. There is not one for ages, and then two come along at the same time. The first with the journalist-academic and undisguised Modi shill, Madhu Kishwar, for India News and NewsX; and the other for the Mukesh Ambani-owned ETV Rajasthan. In the Indian Express, Shailaja Bajpai compares…

Signature campaign against CSDS poll tracker

As the Chinese might say, the Indian media is living in strange times even before the advent of Narendra Modi. The Aam Aadmi Party accuses TV stations of being bought over by Modi. Sting operations reveal that opinion pollsters are willing to up their estimates of Modi for a price. News channels show unedited feeds…

Is ‘Modi media’ paving way for ‘soft-Fascism’?

In an opinion piece in The Times of India, the academic and international affairs analyst Kanti Bajpai says an India under Narendra Modi will be marked by “soft-fascism—a society marked by slightly less extreme levels fo authoritarinism, intimidation, chauvinism, submission and social Darwinism as classical fascism—and he includes the media as being among the four…

Question: India’s best political reporting is in…?

Although India’s best and biggest corporate scams—from Satyam to Sahara and everything else in between—routinely escape the business papers and business magazines and business channels, for quite a while, the best political reporting has come from The Economic Times.  And The Times group is losing no opportunity to drum home the message, even as it…

Operation Rajnikant: starring Samir & Vineet Jain

There are 12 media personalities in the Indian Express list of the most powerful Indians in 2014—“ie 100″—for 2014, but 10 of them are proprietors, only one is a journalist and the other is a former journalist. As usual, the most interesting part of the prospective list are the factoids accompanying the profiles. # 19,…

TV9 reporters ‘stung’ by their own operation

Two reporters of the 24×7 Kannada news channel TV9 have landed in jail after being arrested by Bangalore police following a “sting” operation in which they were reportedly trying to entrap a powerful and controversial Congress minister by offering him a bribe with secret cameras, went awry. Deccan Herald reports that the police are also…

In Ernakulam, this is Anita Pratap reporting for…

Former Tehelka, India Today and Headlines Today journalist Ashish Khetan is to be the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from the New Delhi constituency, continuing the fledgling party’s strange infatuation with journalists. But from deep south, there is news that AAP may field a blast from the past, Anita Pratap. The former Time, CNN, Indian Express,…

The media Marwari who’s a ‘proper Tam-Brahm’

After a long period away from the arclights, Viveck Goenka, the scion of one of India’s most influential newspapers, The Indian Express, is slowly bouncing into the main frame. He is now playing an increasingly hand’s-on role at his own paper, making key decisions; is seen at media events, is making his presence felt on…

The investigative TV journo who now sells sarees

The state of mainstream Indian journalism, it can be argued, is somewhat reflected by the number of journalists churning out books; leaving for greener PR, corporate communications and “policy”) pastures; joining thinktanks; going on sabatticals, etc—and it is probably no different from the rest of the world. But nobody drives home the issue better than…