Tag Archives: Facebook

J-POD || Podcast || “Google and Facebook think tying up with Reliance Jio will open doors, shut out competitors. Indira Gandhi bludgeoned media with ‘jhatka’; Narendra Modi uses the ‘halaal’ technique” || Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

There once used to be a time when any new announcement by Reliance Industries would be put under the microscope by the media and examined with a fine toothcomb.  A rights issue, a new venture. a tie-up, even a routine annual general meeting (AGM). Everything would be inspected with forensic detail by newspapers like the Indian…

J-POD || Podcast || “Journalism is a form of public service. It is dangerous to undermine institutional news. All of us need to become more critical readers and users of social media”|| Alan Rusbridger, former Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian

*** The role of social media in distorting societies by pouring unfiltered information directly into the pockets and phones of users has been evident for nearly a decade now.  But it took the American presidential elections of 2016—which installed Donald Trump in office—for Google, Facebook and YouTube to come in for scrutiny.  At first, Mark…

From ‘The Indian Express’ to ‘The New York Times’, everyone is concerned at the global infodemic unleashed by social media

In April, Bhaskar Chakravorti, the Dean of Global Business at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, wrote in The Indian Express of the need to flatten the curve of the “infodemic”. It is about time, he wrote, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook/WhatsApp), Sundar Pichai (Google/YouTube), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Zhang Yiming (TikTok) stepped up and helped us all practise…

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…

How N. Ram’s reporting of the #Rafale scandal in ‘The Hindu’ sped across the digital world and into the phones of readers before the Narendra Modi government could put its pants on

Behind the investigation of India’s two biggest defence scandals—the Bofors deal under Rajiv Gandhi and the Rafale deal under Narendra Modi—is one common newspaper and one common byline, The Hindu and N. Ram. But with one big difference: the first scandal was reported when hard-copy, ink-and-paper journalism was king; the latter in the digital age, when…

In Meghalaya, an Editor’s posts on Facebook prove costly as she fights (and loses) a contempt of court notice against ‘The Shillong Times’ in three months flat

*** The editor and publisher of The Shillong Times, a well-regarded newspaper from Meghalaya established two years before India became independent, have been held guilty of contempt of court in an extraordinary case that has implications for freedom of expression enjoyed by mainstream and social media voices across the country. The Meghalaya High Court rejected the…

‘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…

In the battle against “fake news”, the most admirable Indian in the world says the solution may lie in science, not cosmetic surgery to avoid ‘liability’

As India heads towards epoch-making general elections, the role of “fake news”—as a device to spread lies, untruths, propaganda, hatred, misinformation and disinformation, to change or make up voters’ minds—is on many a lip. In the backdrop of the US elections, social media platforms are making cosmetic changes to steer clear of the law. WhatsApp…

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…

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…

NDTV’s Prannoy Roy ‘Sir’ is the kind of generous teacher those aspiring to join Morgan Stanley should get

Every new year, Ruchir Sharma, the precocious Morgan Stanley banker sits down with NDTV’s Prannoy Royfor one hour of ad-free programming, in which he makes predictions for the year ahead. It is first-class television: calm, clean, chummy, insightful—and fun. The “Limousine Liberals”—Sharma gives a bunch of journalists and pollsters a 7-star ride before every major…

In a family-owned paper, only furniture is fixed

Nothing is what it appears to be in the thicker-than-water but funnier-than-fill-your-metaphor-here world of family-owned newspapers. Siddharth Varadarajan, installed as editor of The Hindu in a G.Kasturi-N.Ram putsch in 2011, ostensibly to professionalise the paper but allegedly to prevent Malini Parthasarathy from ascending the throne, has resigned dramatically via a Twitter announcement. “With The Hindu‘s…

‘UFO’ sends South Indian papers into a tizzy

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Two south Indian newspapers, the Malayala Manorama (in picture, above) and the New Indian Express, have reported the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) in Kannur district in Kerala. According to Manorama, the picture was taken by Major Sebastian Zachariah, an Indian army officer serving on the UN…

How to pass IAS: read newspapers & magazines

It is not often these days that news consumers have something good to say about newspapers. And magazines. And TV stations. And blogs. And websites. Individual and institutional transgressions—paid news, private treaties, medianet, Radia tapes, shrieking anchors, sensationalism, jingoism, corruption, etc—have all contributed enormously to the cynicism of the media among the consuming classes. How…

The man who hasn’t read a newspaper for 5 years

Nikhil Pahwa, the editor and publisher of the media website Media Nama, is among the “37 Indians of tomorrow” in India Today magazine’s 37th anniversary issue. The 29-year-old digital journalist paints a scary picture of the future for dead-tree media professionals who still latch on to the innocent belief that their word is gospel. “The…

What they’re saying about Express ‘sue’ report

A 10-page defamation notice sent by the legal advisors of The Indian Express to Open magazine, over an interview granted to the latter by Vinod Mehta, editorial chairman of Outlook* magazine, criticising the Express ‘C’ report, is now in the public domain. The letter—on behalf of the Express, the paper’s editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta, its reporters…

Poonam Pandey, Sachin Tendulkar & Telegraph

There are many pertinent questions to be asked about the unbridled (and burgeoning) use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media as a source of news by newspapers and TV stations—not to mention websites like these. One of those questions faces The Telegraph, Calcutta, which carried a picture* posted by the actor-stripper Poonam Pandey on…

Why hasn’t India thrown up a media mogul?

Indian media houses, promoters and practitioners are gung-ho about foreign direct investment (FDI) in all sectors except the media, under the specious argument that the media is not a “commodity”, etc. Media barons who justify the worst excesses of modern Indian media under the this-is-what-the-consumer-wants logic, somehow find it convenient to block FDI in media…

Sanjaya Baru quits BS to join strategic thinktank

Sanjaya Baru is stepping down as editor of Busines Standard less than two years after he took over from T.N. Ninan. On his Facebook page, Baru, former media advisor to prime minister Manmohan Singh, posted this status update: “OK, now it is final! From 1st November I step down as Editor, BS and take over…

Kannada Prabha uses reader-generated headlines

“Interactivity” has been the buzzword in the English media for over a decade now. Readers have always written letters to the editor in the past, but now they also do film reviews, shoot and caption pictures, draw cartoons, ask and answer questions from other readers, take part in citizen journalist shows, post realtime comments by…