Tag Archives: BBC

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…

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…

Where was Priyanka Chopra going with Bob?*

There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip in the era of fast-breaking news and even well-equipped organisations like CNN and BBC are not immune from howlers in the “supers”. On Tuesday, when the Congress president Sonia Gandhi was rushed to hospital, look who was momentarily accompanying her son-in-law Robert Vadra to look…

Is BBC playing around with Mandela’s stature?

As Nelson Mandela, the icon of South Africa, gasps for life in a Johannesburg hospital, M.S. Prabhakara, the veteran Hindu correspondent in Guwahati who served as the newspaper’s first correspondent  in South Africa, has a letter to the editor: “It is disgusting, but not surprising, that the BBC in its online world news bulletin should…

Karan Thapar says ‘sorry’ to L.K. Advani (twice)

It isn’t often that journalists, especially the bold-faced names, descend from their ivory towers to admit they may have hurt a politician’s feelings. It’s even rarer to hear them say ‘sorry’ for having done so. But twice in the past week, the interviewer Karan Thapar has found the inner reserves to publicly do so, and…

What listening to the radio teaches that TV can’t

As her four-day visit to India, the first in 25 years, winds down, Aung San Suu Kyi has a series of interviews in magazines and on TV stations. In an interview with Pranay Sharma in Outlook* magazine, the Burmese leader whose only window to the world in the long years of house arrest was the…

Another (woman) journalist bites the stardust*

Is it just our eyes—or are more women journalists catching the fancy of bold-faced names with a far higher hit-rate than their bearded, bespectacled counterparts? Prarthna Gahilote, a senior special correspondent with Outlook* magazine (and formerly with CNN-IBN), has tied the knot with the Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan. Images: courtesy Hindustan Times, Mail Today *…

At 7, Race Course Road, this is Pankaj Pachauri

In what is perhaps the first acknowledgement of the fact that the UPA government could do with slightly better media schmoozing, Pankaj Pachauri, the host of NDTV Profit’s magazine show, Money Mantra, has been roped in as communications advisor at the prime minister’s office. Pachauri, 48, has previously worked at The Sunday Observer, India Today…

Why foreign media broke news of Sonia illness

Few things have exposed the state of political reporting in India than the news that Sonia Gandhi is unwell. Dozens of reporters, most of whom claim more “access” to 10, Janpath than all the rest, cover the Congress party. Yet, in a throwback to the Cold War days, none knew or none told the world what was…

Femina has a short message for men: tidy up

Femina, India’s oldest women’s magazine, has a new television commercial to mark its relaunch. The TVC stars the actor Kalki Koechlin and is directed by the filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Originally published by The Times of India group, Femina now comes out of the World Wide Media stable, a Times group joint venture with BBC. Also…

BBC Hindi Service gets a fresh lease of life

The protests and signature campaigns have borne fruit: BBC’s Hindi Service has been saved from closure. British foreign secretary William Hague has announced an additional 2.2 million pounds for the BBC World Service over the next three years, which will enable continuation of the Hindi and Arabic services. Hague’s statement confirms chairman of BBC Trust…

When a film star weds a journalist, it’s news—II

Indian film stars—like politicians, businessmen, cricketers and others—rarely have anything nice to say about journalists and journalism, except when they have something to sell. Some, like Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Gopal Verma, have built a cottage industry biting the hand that feeds them to the masses. How nice therefore to find an inhabitant of tinsel…

‘The poor in rural India need BBC Hindi service’

Eighteen leading intellectuals, including the BBC’s iconic voice from India, Sir Mark Tully, have written a letter to the editor of The Guardian, pleading for the continuation of broadcast of the BBC’s Hindi service. “We are astonished at the news that the BBC management has decided to stop transmission of BBC Hindi radio on short…

Radia effect on PM’s invitees for TV pow-wow?

Prime minister Manmohan Singh‘s much ballyhooed pow-wow with “editors” of television channels to clear the air over the scams dogging his government, was, as was to be expected, a typically tepid, bureaucratic affair. Only the national English TV channels—Headlines Today (represented by Aroon Purie), CNN-IBN (Rajdeep Sardesai), NDTV 24×7 (Prannoy Roy), Times Now (Arnab Goswami)—were…

A pre-Google ‘Bomb Mama’ of nuclear prolificity

The passing away of K. Subrahmanyam, the bureaucrat turned strategic affairs expert and journalist, at the age of 82 after a valiant battle with cancer, has provoked a flurry of warm tributes in newspapers. The former Economic Times editor Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, who brought “Subbu” into ET, recalls Subrahmanyam’s prolificity: “Many journalists have trouble…

When Rajdeep Sardesai got it left, right & centre

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There were two “key takeaways”—as TV anchors remind us every night, two “key takeaways”—from the post-Niira Radia chintan baithak organised by  the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, and the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) in New Delhi on Friday. The first takeaway is what the…

‘A too-argumentative Barkha squanders chance’

Barkha Dutt, the “massively influential but ethically embattled” NDTV anchor subjected herself to an inquisition last night in a bid to extricate her credibility after the Niira Radia tapes were outed by Outlook* and Open magazines. Unlike her well-lit Buck Stops Here set, NDTV situated the interrogation in a dark and spooky set, and the…

‘A thoroughly decent man, one of the finest ever’

In The Daily Telegraph, London, Dean Nelson reports the plight of the BBC’s “Voice of India”, Sir Mark Tully, “who has come under extraordinary attack in a thinly disguised novel which portrays him as a heartless philanderer and supporter of fanatics.” “The book is clearly modelled on my career, even down to the name of…

Has Twitter found Mark Tully’s character assassin?

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: Can a nearly spotless journalistic career of 45 years—30 of those for one of the most trusted broadcasters in the world—be tainted, tarbrushed and tarnished by a pathetic paperback written under a pseudonym? If your name is Sir William Mark Tully, OBE, the answer has to seem, yes. And the…

Everybody loves a good car, not a good filter

The announcement of the launch of Tata Nano, the small car produced by the Tatas, saw the media falling over itself heralding the arrival of the “People’s Car”. The fact that the car was priced at Rs 100,000 was enough to result in long front-page stories; glowing feature articles on Indian engineering and enterprise; breathless…