Tag Archives: M.J. Akbar

Whiff of a land scam at ‘National Media Centre’

Acquisition of land from farmers, tribals, shopkeepers and residents and others for industry and infrastructure projects has become a hot-button issue all over the country. Mediapersons, it seems, are not immune. The high-profile National Media Cooperative (NMC) housing society in Gurgaon—home to 190 of the capital’s boldfaced names in imprintlines—has landed bang in the centre…

107 headlines from ToI on Commonwealth Games

Pride of the nation? No, shame of the nation. The following is a list of the 107 “negative” headlines on the Commonwealth Games that have greeted readers of The Times of India (Delhi market) from August 1 to September 2, 2010: •    Now, two top cyclists fall victim to dengue •    Dengue threat right at…

‘News is the subtlest form of advertising’

M.J. Akbar in Deccan Herald: “News is the subtlest form of advertising. Perhaps we should be generous to journalism and qualify that: news can become the most subtle form of advertising, particularly when it comes dressed in quotation marks…. “We customers of democracy buy words without enquiry about their value. This encourages those in power…

‘Hindu and HT were worst offenders in 1975’

With  nearly 60% of India reputedly being under 25 years of age—in other words, with three out of five Indians having been born after 1985—it stands to reason that the 35th anniversary of the declaration of Emergency by the Indira Gandhi government should have come and gone without creating a ripple. That, and the fact…

‘N. Ram is stalling Malini Parthasarathy’s ascent’

The veteran journalist, author, civil rights activist, and former Indian high commissioner to London, Kuldip Nayar, weighs in on the tussle within the boardroom of The Hindu, in the latest issue of M.J. Akbar‘s weekly newspaper, The Sunday Guardian: “I wonder why N. Ram, 65, is so reluctant to retire. People may have differed with…

Wall Street Journal editor ‘denies’ minister’s SMS

M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday Guardian dishes out the garam masala of the day, outing the mischievous minister who allegedly sent allegedly inappropriate text messages to an editor of the Wall Street Journal after her recent interview with him. Last week, the Delhi tabloid Mail Today had mentioned the gossip in its columns, two days in a…

Why Jethmalani started ‘The Sunday Guardian’

The well known criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani on his increasingly testy relationship with the media, at an interaction with journalists of the Indian Express: Pragya Kaushika: You have criticised the media but you have invested in a new paper, The Sunday Guardian. Why this sudden interest in the media? Ram Jethmalani: It was due to…

Will M.J. Akbar recreate The Telegraph magic?

New Delhi has a new Sunday paper, The Sunday Guardian, edited by the veteran editor, author and columnist M.J. Akbar. The 40-page weekly, priced at Rs 3, hit the stands on 31 January with the renowned lawyer Ram Jethmalani as chairman of the board of MJP Media Pvt Ltd. This is the second weekend paper…

The difference between 386 and 23 is 363 words

How does the mainstream English media in India report the alleged transgressions of one of its own? S.N.M. Abdi, the Calcutta-based journalist who broke the “Bhagalpur Blindings” story in 1979-80 (in which police blinded 31 undertrials by pouring acid into their eyes) for M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday magazine, and now works for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Hong…

A businessman behind an iconic common man

India’s greatest cartoonist, Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman aka R.K. Laxman, inaugurates an exhibition of his work at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists in Bangalore on Friday. Wheeling the legendary Times of India linesman, at right, is ‘Master’ Manjunath, the boy who played “Swami” in the television show Malgudi Days, based on Laxman’s brother, R.K. Narayan‘s famous…

Pseudonymous author spells finis to Mint editor?

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Journalists at Mint, the business daily launched by the Hindustan Times group as “an unbiased and clear-minded chronicler of the Indian dream”, are in a state of shock after the dramatic weekend announcement of the resignation of its founding editor, Raju Narisetti (in picture), less than two years after…

In fractured media, the word is the common fact

M.J. Akbar in The Gazette, Montreal: “Mass media take a superpower’s monologue into millions of homes. We think of mass media as a fractured range: oratory, print, radio, television, Internet. There is one common fact to this range, the word. The medium may be diverse but manipulation of the message is through the massage of…

Editor charges Indian Prime Minister of sabotage

M.J. Akbar, who the grapevine says was ousted from the editorship of The Asian Age due to his staunch opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, goes for the jugular in his column in the Khaleej Times of Dubai: “The Manmohan Singh government has been unable to bear the burden of an alliance with George W.…

‘Media can’t be in a state of permanent war’

“There is nothing called ‘fiercely independent’ or ‘tamely independent’. You are either independent or you are not independent. I don’t believe in media as a crusade. I believe media is for disseminating truth. That’s our job. It’s not our job to go into a permanent war with somebody. I am not interested in a permanent…

Rest in peace: Jyoti Sanyal

Sans Serif records with regret the passing away of editor, teacher, writer and language terrorist, Jyoti Sanyal, in Calcutta on Saturday, 12 April 2008. A former assistant editor with The Statesman, whose stylebook he wrote, Sanyal spent 30 years in the Calcutta newspaper, where he gained a well-earned reputation, in his own words, of being…

‘It’s all about irreverence, not subservience’

Indian journalist Seema Mustafa on the genesis of her opposition to the India-US nuclear deal, which some speculate could have contributed to M.J. Akbar being eased out of his position as editor of The Asian Age: “It had to do with a certain commitment with which I joined the profession—a belief that journalism was powerful…

Khushwant Singh on his last day at the Weekly

The dirty old man of Indian journalism, Khushwant Singh, has used the occasion provided by M.J. Akbar‘s unceremonious exit from The Asian Age to describe his own departure from The Illustrated Weekly of India in the latest issue of Outlook: “The journal, like all others published by Bennett Coleman, including The Times of India, had…

Look, who inspired R.K. Laxman’s Common Man!

As India gets ready for its annual budget exercise, amid hints of its likely to be a populist one on the eve of a general election, M.J. Akbar, editor-in-chief of The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, writes in the Khaleej Times: “The Common Man is getting a budget; does the Common Man have a face?…

Will this man be the next US Secretary of State?

When Indian journalists like M.J. Akbar, Arun Shourie, Chandan Mitra, Sudheendra Kulkarni et al cosy up to politicians, tout a particular ideological line, stand for elections, grab non-journalistic posts, negotiate deals, etc, we look at them with a slight degree of circumspection. Are they, you wonder, misusing their editorial positions and platforms to advance a…