Tag Archives: M.J.Akbar

‘The Sunday Guardian’ goes after its pet-hate (P. Chidambaram) for the ‘coup’ report in ‘The Indian Express’. But Rediff had reported the story 22 days earlier and the Army itself had held a briefing.

The Indian Express‘s front-page, full page, three-deck, four-byline, eight-column banner story in 2012—hinting at an attempted “coup” against the Manmohan Singh government, but without using the C-word—has come back to haunt the newspaper five years on, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemingly raising the issue in his last address to Parliament. Modi hinted at a report in The Sunday…

Kind attention: M.J. Akbar, Vinod Dua, Prashant Jha, K.R. Sreenivas, T.S. Sudhir, Gaurav Sawant et al

In October 2018, New York Review of Books (NYRB) published a piece by Jian Ghomeshi, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) host. Four years earlier, i.e. before #MeToo, Ghomeshi had been fired after more than 20 women had filed complaints of harassment and physical harm. Ghomeshi was subsequently acquitted of all charges which included hitting, biting,…

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…

Jessica Lal, Tehelka, Bina Ramani & the media

It was in South Delhi socialite Bina Ramani‘s Tamarind Court restaurant that Jessica Lall, a “model who worked as a celebrity barmaid”, was shot dead in 1999 by Manu Sharma, the son of Congress politician Venod Sharma. Initially exonerated of the charges, the case turned full turtle for Sharma following a sting operation by Harinder…

‘International Herald Tribune’ becomes INYT

The legendary International Herald Tribune (IHT) has published its last print issue today with its current mastead. From tomorrow, 15 October 2013, it will be sold under the name-plate “International New York Times” (INYT). IHT’s name-change isn’t the first. The New York Herald, launched in 1887 in Europe, became the New York Herald Tribune, which…

How corporate ownership shapes TV news?

Virendra Kapoor, former editor of the Free Press Journal, in his column in M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday Guardian: Money speaks The growing intrusion of corporate money into the media is beginning to show in myriad ways. For instance, ever since a big industrial group made a huge investment in a multi-channel television group, its news channel…

How Tavleen Singh fell out with Sonia Gandhi

The columnist Tavleen Singh has just penned what she calls her “political memoirs”. Titled Durbar (Hachette, 324 pages, Rs 599), the book charts Singh’s view of the corridors of power in Delhi from the inside out—from Indira Gandhi‘s Emergency in 1975 to her assassination in 1984; from Rajiv Gandhi‘s rise to his downfall and death…

Salman Khurshid, India Today & Sunday Guardian

Salman Khurshid, the Oxford-educated Union law minister, has taken the India Today group to court in Delhi, Bombay, Lucknow and London claiming damages of Rs 243 crore following Aaj Tak‘s sting operation that accused the trust run by his wife, former Sunday magazine journalist Louise Khurshid nee Fernandes, of a discrepancy of Rs 71 lakh.…

The new kid on the block announces an eclipse

The front page of Ei Bela, the new Bengali tabloid launched by the Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) group in Calcutta, as a “buffer” to counter the launch of a Bengali newspaper from The Times of India group, on the day Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamool Congress walked out of the Congress-led UPA. This is the second tabloid…

How the media viewed Express ‘C’ report

Editorial in Deccan Herald: “There is reason for deep concern over the report in a national daily, The Indian Express, about an ‘unexpected (and non-notified) movement’ of two army units towards Delhi on the night of January 16-17… To insinuate that General V.K. Singh would attempt a coup to settle scores with the government is downright…

‘Mail Today’ rises in the land of ‘The Daily Mail’

Making use of the five-and-a-half hour time gap, Mail Today, the tabloid daily from the India Today group, has expanded its footprint to the United Kingdom. Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie explains the move in a note on page 3: “Targeting the large south Asian population in London, Mail Today wants to connect with the diaspora by…

The TV anchor who’s caught Omar Abdullah’s eye

Nora Chopra, the diarist/ gossip columnist of M.J. Akbar‘s weekly newspaper, The Sunday Guardian, gives a delicious little rumour floating around in Delhi some more oxygen. “If the Delhi grapevine is to be believed, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and his wife Payal are getting divorced by mutual consent. “The reason behind the…

Jug Suraiya on MJ, SJ, Giri, Monu & Mamma T

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: Books about The Times of India are like city buses. There isn’t one for years, and then two come along around the same time. And on both occasions, punsters imported from Calcutta are the ones steering the wheel. Bachi Karkaria came out with Behind the Times, “a poorly structured, poorly…

The journo married to the Rs 100,000 crore heir

In all the wide-eyed reporting on the gold tumbling out of the vaults of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum, reporters have (generally) missed out on one delicious fact: the fact, that one of our ilk is married into the erstwhile royal family of Travancore. That lucky somebody is M.D. Nalapat (left), former resident editor of…

‘The most prolific journalist of our times’

Khushwant Singh on his Illustrated Weekly of India protege M.J. Akbar, in The Telegraph, Calcutta, the “unputdownable” Calcutta paper founded by Akbar in 1982: “M.J. Akbar must be the most prolific journalist of our times. He heads the editorial board of India Today, edits The Sunday Guardian financed by Ram Jethmalani, and writes for many…

Niira Radia, Mukesh Ambani, NDTV & Prannoy Roy

In conversation number #132 in the infamous Niira Radia tapes, the lobbyist whose name has become synonymous with the 2G scam, talks to M.K. Venu, then of The Economic Times, in July 2009: Venu: Is Manoj (Modi) is here (in Delhi) today also, no? Radia: Yeah, he is here, he is leaving in the afternoon,…

‘Media standards not keeping pace with growth’

Sanjaya Baru, editor of Business Standard and former media advisor to prime minister Manmohan Singh, delivered the second H.Y. Sharada Prasad memorial lecture on media, business and government at the India International Centre on Sunday, 17 April. This is the full text of his address: *** By SANJAYA BARU I first met H.Y. Sharada Prasad…

Prabhu Chawla: My greatest feat, and failure

A fresh selection of media questions from readers to the editorial director of The New Indian Express group, Prabhu Chawla, and answered with trademark candour. Vol 1. No III. *** Q: Why did you quit India Today group? I am asking this question because I am a big fan of your show Sidhi Baat. A:…

Will The Sunday Standard set the Yamuna on fire?

Dummy editions of The Sunday Standard, the weekly newspaper from the Madras-based New Indian Express group, have begun doing the rounds. The eight-page dummy printed on standard newsprint seems to suggest that the 21st century weekend paper will have a conventional, 1990s design. Edited by former India Today editor Prabhu Chawla, the paper was originally…

‘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…