Tag Archives: Manmohan Singh

Why India’s position is not rising on the World Press Freedom Index: exhibit 139 and exhibit 140

Since modern Indian civilisation began in 2014, the Guinness Book of Records has kind-of replaced the Constitution of India and the Bhagwad Gita as the epics to emulate. Under Narendra Modi, the preferred goals are Olympian—citius, altius, fortius. Therefore, the world’s largest khichdi, the world’s tallest statue, the world’s largest yoga gathering, the world’s longest monologue…

Why NaMo shouldn’t take media on foreign trips

As Indian journalists come to terms with a Narendra Modi dispensation that doesn’t want to court them or take them on foreign junkets, K.P. Nayar, the former Washington correspondent of The Telegraph, Calcutta, writes that the US administration is no better. Each correspondent who accompanied US president Barack Obama on his trip to India had…

The quasquicentennial of ‘Malayala Manorama’

Malayala Manorama, once India’s largest selling newspaper before being overtaken by Dainik Jagran and The Times of India, has just completed the valedictory of its quasquicentennial celebrations. Above is the first issue of the paper, which began as a weekly, published on March 22, 1888. Below is the March 13, 2014 issue, which captures prime…

A ‘mile-high experience’ for the hack-pack

A picture tweeted by the prime minister’s office (PMO) of the media scrum accompanying Manmohan Singh, as he answers questions in mid-air on his way back home after a five-day visit to the United States. Among those identifiable, Raj Chengappa, editor-in-chief of The Tribune, Chandigarh (in suit, ahead of mikes); Jayanta Ghosal of Ananda Bazaar…

How seven cartoonists drew one TOI cartoon

As part of its dodransbicentennial celebrations, The Times of India has published “a cavalcade of cartoons over 175 years”. Titled “Jest in Time“, it is put together by Ajit Ninan, Neelabh Banerjee and Jug Suraiya. At its launch in New Delhi on Monday, seven well-known cartoonists—Sudhir Tailang from Deccan Chronicle, Manjul from Daily News and…

‘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…

New health cards for PIB accreditated journos

Good news for journalists with bad hearts, lungs and kidneys, from the gossip columns of the Sunday papers. From The Telegraph diary: Manmohan Singh has decided to extend a helping hand to journalists. The Centre has accepted a long-standing demand by scribes that new health cards be issued to accreditated journalsits. These health cards will…

Who wrote the Prime Minister’s TV address?

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s televised address to the nation on 21 September, the day the Trinamul Congress withdrew support to his Congress-led UPA government over the hike in diesel prices and FDI in retail, has set tongues wagging about its authorship. In her column in the Indian Express, Coomi Kapoor suggests that the media advisor…

Brother, sister spar over seat on PM junket

From Delhi Confidential, the gossip column of the Indian Express: FAMILY FRACAS The inclusion of Team Anna member, former TV anchor Shazia Ilmi, in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media team for his trip to the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, has been the cause of much fuss in the PMO and in the MEA over the…

‘The Indian Express’ stands by its ‘C’ report

Everybody from the prime minister to the defence minister have dismissed the Indian Express front-page story on the coup that wasn’t in Delhi on the night of January 16-17. Now, the paper has published a formal statement standing by the story on its website. Below is the full text: *** “The Indian Express report “The…

‘Business journos deserve credit for reforms’

India’s second oldest business magazine, BusinessWorld, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. A special issue to mark the occasion features all the  editors of the fortnightly turned weekly magazine from the Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) stable talking about their respective tenures: Dilip Thakore (now editor, Education World): I served as editor of BusinessWorld for seven years…

Assam journalists plea to PM on detained journos

Two journalists of the newly launched (and rather awkwardly named) northeast daily, Seven Sister’s Post, are missing after they went into Burma on a story and one of their colleagues reportedly put up a Facebook status update that they had gone in search of the ULFA founder Paresh Baruah. What initially seemed like good publicity…

Roasted almonds, biscuits & tea for gang of five

The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, with the five newspaper editors he met for an interaction in New Delhi yesterday. Seated from left, clockwise, are the national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Divya Marathi editor Kumar Ketkar, Nayi Duniya editor Alok Mehta, the PM’s media advisor Harish Khare, The Tribune editor Raj Chengappa, PTI…

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…

On AI 001, all the newspapers fit to read

On board Air India One, the official aircraft of the President and prime minister of India, a pile of newspapers awaits the attention of the gentlemen (and women) of the media scrum accompanying him in the briefing section of the aircraft. Thirty-three media personnel are accompanying the PM on his five-day trip to Ethiopia and…

What the media toilet at PMO says about India

The state of Indian newspapers and news channels (and magazines*) can be judged by the condition of their toilets. And so, it seems, can the state of the most important address in the country—that of the prime minister of the democratic, socialist, secular republic of India. A correspondent for an English news channel forwards a picture of…

Straight drives from the man behind Seedhi Baat

Former India Today editor Prabhu Chawla has taken his interactive “Ask Prabhu” column to The New Indian Express, which he recently joined as editorial director, answering questions on this, that and the other with earthy candour. Many of the media questions directed at Chawla and his responses are illuminating. Chawla confirms market rumours  that the…

How well is the PM’s media advisor advising him?

Of all the reasons being trotted out for prime minister Manmohan Singh‘s declining equity, his media management skills rank somewhere near the very top. Despite a full-fledged media advisor in his entourage, the bush telegraph is that Manmohan has been poorly served by Harish Khare, the former deputy editor of The Hindu. Although Manmohan Singh…

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…

Never believe anything till it’s officially denied

Can anything be off-the-record when the prime minister of the largest democracy in the solar system has a rare celestial confluence with the stars and satellites of the media galaxy? More importantly, should anything be off the record? And merely because a media minder says so, should it remain off the record, howsoever important the…