Tag Archives: BJP

You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank god!) the Indian journalist. Not during elections, no sir, not our brave Leh journalists.

All is fair in love and war—and elections? Clearly, the samosa-jalebi eaters of the BJP have not heard of Humbert Wolfe: You cannot hope to bribe or twist  (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do  unbribed, there’s no occasion to. Screenshot: courtesy The Telegraph Advertisements

Pinch yourself: BJP’s Mysore candidate Pratap Simha—a well-read newspaper columnist—had taken out a pre-publication gag order against 49 media organisations two months before “sex audio” went viral today

*** The BJP candidate for the Bangalore South constituency in the 2019 general elections Tejasvi Surya hit national headlines on March 29 when he secured an ex-parte temporary injunction against 49 media organisations from a Bangalore court, after allegations of sexual assault and misbehaviour against him began doing the rounds on social media. After editorials in The Indian…

EC’s poll code bars ‘The Times of India’ from displaying an interview with Narendra Modi. But the rule does not apply to ‘Vijaya Vani’ and ‘Dighvijaya News’, the Kannada newspaper and TV channel owned by former BJP MP Vijay Sankeshwar.

The Times of India has an “interview” with prime minister Narendra Modi on the eve of the second phase of #GeneralElections2019, but it is only available in hard copy, in the print editions of the newspaper. On its website, ToI has blanked out the PM’s interview with the line: “In view of the 48-hour silence…

‘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…

On poll eve, BJP government allots prime Bombay land meant for public housing to journalists—50% reserved for those covering “state affairs and politics”

There are several ways for Air Traffic Control to find out if a stormy election is en route, and if a ruling party is feeling the ants in its pants. MPs suddenly become active, inaugurating projects long-ago announced or inaugurated. Ministries announce quotas, sops and ‘special packages” for interest groups they had diligently ignored. Macho ministers…

Pakistan does a surgical strike on media: brings print, electronic and internet-based media under one regulatory body, with the same laws applying to all

Pakistan has done what India has been threatening for a long time to do: merge its various media regulatory bodies into one outfit. Imran Khan‘s government has approved the formation of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) which will comprise the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP). Pakistan’s…

In the tragedy of errors that is Rafale and CBI, former Press Council chief Markandey Katju provides all the comedy, with 48 tweets in four days

A somewhat comical, even if self-serving, side play in the Narendra Modi government’s brazen (and thus far successful) attempts to fool the Supreme Court—not once, but twice—in #Rafale and #CBI, have been the interjections of Justice Markandey Katju*. Justice Katju has tweeted 48 times on or around the “transfer” of CBI director Alok Varma by…

“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,…

Editors Guild of India expresses ‘concern’ for an Editor caught in a multi-crore chit fund scam in which lakhs of poor were taken for a right royal ride

*** Suman Chhattopadhyay, the editor of Ei Samay, the Bengali newspaper published by The Times of India group was arrested last month by the CBI for embezzlement of money in the chit fund scam. And the Editors Guild of India has issued this extraordinary statement. The Editors Guild of India has expressed concern over the…

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…

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…

Are journalists already poised to ride Modi wave?

As the 2014 general election campaign gathers steam, the masks are beginning to come off, as journalists who make no pretence of their political and ideological inclinations (without disclosing it publicly) walk over to the other side, just as they did in previous elections. Ashutosh of IBN-7 is officially the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from…

On TV, Congress loses to BJP, Left loses to AAP

The point has been made before, that the current political coverage, especially on television, is more than somewhat skewed, tilting unabashedly towards Narendra Damodardas Modi of the BJP vis-a-vis Rahul Gandhi of the Congress. Now, the CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri explicates it a bit more in the Hindustan Times, comparing the TV coverage of Arvind…

BJP man’s suicide threat “live and in full colour”

Long years ago, a TV studio participant in the United States pulled out a revolver and shot himself—“live and in full colour”, as a prominent American magazine headlined it. Something similar has (nearly) occurred several continents away in Mysore. S.A. Ramadas—a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and a former medical education minister in…

Has a ‘desperate party’ paid huge sums to TV?

The Indian Express television critic Shailaja Bajpai recently mooted the idea of “equal coverage” (a la the United States) to remove the growing distortion of news TV coverage of contemporary politics. The veteran broadcaster Ravi M. Khanna (formerly of the Voice of America) adds his weight to the proposal in his column in the industry…

‘Media irresponsible in Kishtwar coverage’

The incidents in Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir on the eve of Id, the culmination of the holy month of Ramza, leading upto Independence Day, occupied plenty of media attention, as the BJP smelt political capital ahead of general elections. The State’s chief minister Omar Abdullah sparred with the leader of the opposition in the…

‘For cash-stuck TV, Modi is cost-effective TRP’

Shailaja Bajpai in the Indian Express: “If it’s Saturday, it must be Narendra Modi. If it’s Sunday, it must be Modi. If it’s Monday, it must be Modi and even if it’s Tuesday, it must be Modi. You get the general drift? “Every day is Modi-day on television news. One morning, they telecast his speech…

‘Modi’s backers, media owners have converged’

Harish Khare, former media advisor to prime minister Manmohan Singh, in The Hindu: “During a recent three-week stay in the United States, I was often asked to explain the Indian media’s current obsession with Narendra Modi. The only reasonably cogent answer to give was the convergence between the corporate ownership of the electronic media and…

South media baron among top political donors

Mobile phone turned media baron and member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, continues to be a prominent donor to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, according to a list compiled by the asociation for democratic reforms (ADR). Chandrasekhar, an independent member of the Rajya Sabha elected with BJP support, who owns the Malayalam news channel…