Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

Who brought Subhash Chandra of Zee to his knees—‘The Economic Times’, ‘The Wire’, or that usual suspect, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries?

Who broke the story of the troubles of the Zee conglomerate which led to a notional crash in stock prices by as much as Rs 14,000 crore on January 25, which then led to its founder “Dr” Subhash Chandra‘s extraordinary mea culpa? Was it Mohit Bhalla of The Economic Times who set the stage more than a month…

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…

“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,…

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…

The jailing and killing of journalists—and the physical and verbal assaults—can’t move Modi & Co, but calling the PM’s interviewer ‘pliable’ does?

*** Journalists sucking up to people in power is so old school. In #NewIndia, the done thing is for journalists to cosy up to the religious amongst them who have sneaked into the sanctum sanctorum—and make the right noises at the altar so that the presiding deities and priests know that they are outside. #Sabarimala Twitter…

Editors Guild of India expresses ‘concern’ for an Editor caught in a multi-crore chit fund scam in which lakhs of poor were taken for a right royal ride

*** Suman Chhattopadhyay, the editor of Ei Samay, the Bengali newspaper published by The Times of India group was arrested last month by the CBI for embezzlement of money in the chit fund scam. And the Editors Guild of India has issued this extraordinary statement. The Editors Guild of India has expressed concern over the…

‘Dainik Jagran’ gets another ‘stamp’ of approval as it turns 75

The world’s largest newspaper, Dainik Jagran, has just completed 75 years of existence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a postage stamp and posed with the Gupta family which owns it. Jagran‘s growth in the 1990s coincided with the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and media scholars say it was a key force-multiplier in the communal mobilisation of the…

How ‘The Indian Express’ is covering the #Rafale scandal—and a scandal it is—compared to the way it covered #Bofors

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi has addressed five press conferences on the Rs 140,000 crore Rafale aircraft deal involving the Narendra Modi government and the bankrupt businessman Anil Ambani. These press conferences have been on 30 August, 22 September, 11 October, 25 October and 2 November 2018, and they have all been held in New…

Megaphone for Megalomaniac: How a high-school essay without one original thought made it to every edit page today

The demise of the editorial page as the voice and conscience of a newspaper is much lamented by the thinking class. But we in the journalism business have ourselves to blame for devaluing it by publishing tripe. On the eve of the unveiling of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel‘s statue, the prime minister’s office sent out a high-school…

Why ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ decided to boycott all news of Vasundhara Raje

Barring honourable exceptions like The Telegraph, Calcutta, mainstream English media has happily abdicated its principal duty in a democracy: to stand up and speak truth to power; to reveal the worts; to expose the hypocrises; to oppose the brutalities. To paraphrase L.K. Advani‘s oft-quoted comment from the Emergency era: “When asked to bend, the media crawled…

‘News TV covered Modi US trip like govt media’

Like town criers in the old days, who arrived before the Maharaja and extolled his virtues, Indian news television reporters were in the United States even before prime minister Narendra Modi had set foot in God’s Own Country. And, over nearly a week, provided breathless coverage that left little to the imagination. Superman (or was…

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…

When NaMo joins hands with a journo, it’s news

The BJP’s “prime ministerial candidate” Narendra Modi has, at best, enjoyed a tenuous relationship with the media and media professionals. Although media houses which he spurned are now eating out of his hands, the Gujarat chief minister continues to be generally more comfortable with owners, whom he gives helicopter rides or calls on personally while…

Can the Indian media ask Modi tough questions?

Interviews of Narendra Modi are like city buses. There is not one for ages, and then two come along at the same time. The first with the journalist-academic and undisguised Modi shill, Madhu Kishwar, for India News and NewsX; and the other for the Mukesh Ambani-owned ETV Rajasthan. In the Indian Express, Shailaja Bajpai compares…

Signature campaign against CSDS poll tracker

As the Chinese might say, the Indian media is living in strange times even before the advent of Narendra Modi. The Aam Aadmi Party accuses TV stations of being bought over by Modi. Sting operations reveal that opinion pollsters are willing to up their estimates of Modi for a price. News channels show unedited feeds…

Is ‘Modi media’ paving way for ‘soft-Fascism’?

In an opinion piece in The Times of India, the academic and international affairs analyst Kanti Bajpai says an India under Narendra Modi will be marked by “soft-fascism—a society marked by slightly less extreme levels fo authoritarinism, intimidation, chauvinism, submission and social Darwinism as classical fascism—and he includes the media as being among the four…

‘Modi Wave’ can also touch a CPI(M) newspaper

From Buzzword, the gossip column of The Sunday Guardian: The Communists in Kerala were left red-faced when the CPI(M) newspaper Deshabhimani carried a full page advertisement by Narendra Modi‘s Gujarat government. The advertisement, highlighting Gujarat’s Mahatma Gandhi Swachchata Mission, features a huge Modi portrait. When taken to task, the newspaper management defended their act by…

Question: India’s best political reporting is in…?

Although India’s best and biggest corporate scams—from Satyam to Sahara and everything else in between—routinely escape the business papers and business magazines and business channels, for quite a while, the best political reporting has come from The Economic Times.  And The Times group is losing no opportunity to drum home the message, even as it…

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…