Tag Archives: Congress

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…

“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,…

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…

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…

The UPA minister who is a TV news editor is…

Virendra Kapoor in The Sunday Guardian: BENDING THE MEDIA There is this senior minister in the UPA government, who is so sensitive to what the media says and writes about him that he invariably gets on the phone to the media owner to complain against even a passing mention which may not be too complimentary…

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…

Is ‘Modi Media’ biased against Rahul Gandhi?

In a cash-strapped election season which has seen “corporate interest and media ownership” converge, it is arguable if Narendra Modi is getting a free run. Every whisper of the Gujarat chief minister and BJP “prime ministerial aspirant” is turned into a mighty roar, sans scrutiny, as the idiot box ends up being a soapbox of…

Look, who’s putting up a statue for press freedom

Of all the noxious fumes that emanated from the coal allocation scam that hit UPA-II in 2012, was the perils of political and business interests of media owners and groups, which extend beyond the media. For, among the impressive list of beneficiaries of “Coalgate” was the name of Vijay Darda, the Congress MP who runs…

‘Licensing journos: recipe for total state control’

The following is the full text of the statement issued by N. Ravi, president of the Editors’ Guild of India, on the proposal mooted by minister of state for information and broadcasting, Manish Tewari, on a “common examination” for student-journalists and a “licence” for journalists to perform their function: “The suggestion of the Union minister…

‘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…

The anti-Congress journo who fell for Priyanka

From the gossip column of the Hindustan Times: “Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not think for a second before announcing that she would be contesting from Rae Bareli again in 2014, while speaking to reporters at the UPA anniversary dinner in May. “Ask her,” she had responded to a question as to whether Priyanka Gandhi…

How the Press Council of India took shape

As the fulminations of the chairman of the Press Council of India, Justce Markandey Katju, swing from the ludicrous to the ridiculous, time to look at the day—50 years ago—the PCI took seed, not for its quixotic chief to plead for a convict’s sentence to be commuted or for a sovereign nation to be declared…

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…

What they said when Shankar shut his Weekly

The capitulation of the Congress-led government at the Centre in the Ambedkar cartoon controversy was welcomed with the thumping of desks by parliamentarians who seemed to have little appreciation of the legendary Shankar‘s work and even less of what its inclusion in a school textbook meant. From Congress president Sonia Gandhi (whose mother-in-law Indira Gandhi…

So many reporters, so little info on Sonia Gandhi?

Nothing has exposed the hollowness of so-called “political reporting” in New Delhi, and the fragilility of editorial spines of newspapers and TV stations across the country, than the Congress president Sonia Gandhi‘s illness. Hundreds of correspondents cover the grand old party; tens of editors claim to be on on first-name terms with its who’s who;…

Is the prime minister right about Indian media?

Like a bad host, who abuses his guests after calling them home, the prime minister of India launched into the media today after calling a bunch of five editors for a much-delayed interaction. It took Manmohan Singh just 25 words in his 1,884-word opening remarks to stick it into the editors. “An atmosphere has been…

Everybody loves (to claim credit for) an expose

Indian television news channels, whose fortunes rise and fall each week, routinely advertise their ratings “victory” after each major event: the Union budget, the general elections, the Obama visit, etc. It looks like newspapers are quickly following in the footsteps of television in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, and this even as the Supreme Court…

Survival of tallest when politics hits a new low

Initially barred from entering the Karnataka legislative assembly to cover proceedings on the day the trust motion moved by the BJP government of B.S. Yediyurappa was coming up, television cameramen compete with each other to capture the chaotic (and shameful) scenes in Bangalore on Monday. Photograph: Karnataka Photo News