Tag Archives: Sanjaya Baru

‘The media adviser to the PM has absolutely no role [in the prime minister’s office]. He is a nobody.”

The post of media advisor to the Prime Minister is much coveted by journalists, past and present, as the very apogee of their careers. A number of worthies have held the title: H.Y. Sharada Prasad, H.K. Dua, Prem Shankar Jha, Harish Khare, Pankaj Pachauri. And there are at least a dozen journalists hoping to be…

Why Shobhana Bhartia was late for PM’s breakfast

As is only to be expected, a number of journalists figure in former Economic Times, Times of India and Financial Express journalist Sanjaya Baru‘s book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister‘ (Penguin), on his days as the PM’s media advisor. But a few publishers and head honchos do too, including Prannoy Roy of NDTV, Samir Jain of…

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…

Manmohan, Washington Post & The Caravan

The Washington Post article on prime minister Manmohan Singh, by its India bureau chief Simon Denyer, has stirred up yet another media tsunami, after Time magazine’s “Underachiever” cover. The government’s media handlers have gone into a tailspin, demanding an “apology” from the Post, even labelling it “yellow journalism”, while the government’s detractors are celebrating another…

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…

When a paper announces a new editor, it is news

The appointment and removal of editors in Indian newspapers is an opaque affair, shrouded in mystery, secrecy and intrigue. It is as if the maaliks and managements have all convinced themselves that they owe no obligation whatsoever to inform the reading, viewing, surfing, shareholding public as to why editor X has been replaced by editor…

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…

‘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…

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…

Barkha Dutt breaks silence in NYT interview

For 15 days, as the media storm over the Niira Radia tapes raged around her, NDTV’s star-anchor Barkha Dutt opted to speak to the world through an official press release, an online essay, and a pre-recorded inquisition by print editors. Dutt declined to appear on a Karan Thapar show and in a Headlines Today debate,…

‘Go to bed knowing you haven’t succumbed’

Business Standard, the financial daily edited by Sanjaya Baru, the former media advisor to the prime minister, carried an editorial last week on Ratan Tata‘s 2010 revelation that an “advice” to bribe a Union minister Rs 15 crore was what had put his group off from launching a private airline in the late 1990s. “Name…

Why Aroon Purie ‘elevated’ Prabhu Chawla

After being badgered left, right and centre online for his jetlag-inspired plagiarism, India Today editor-in-chief Aroon Purie finally gets some old-fashioned good press, courtesy the “dirty old man of Indian journalism”. Khushwant Singh uses a session on the couch with Headlines Today host Koel Purie Rinchet to throw light on her father and grandfather Vidya…

And who’s afraid of the face-to-face powwow?

Manmohan Singh, prime minister of the world’s largest democracy, completes six years in office on May 22 without once being subjected to hard-nosed questioning by an Indian journalist—print, television, radio or internet—in a face-to-face, one-on-one, on-the-record interview. He will, however, seek the safety of the crowd once again when he addresses the media at a…

A ‘relook’ at relooking at Jyoti Basu’s Bengal?

Amid the torrent of unctuous praise raining on the communist leader Jyoti Basu, Business Standard had a sharp piece by the former Pioneer journalist Kanchan Gupta on Saturday, 16 January, on its op-ed pages. “Had it been Jyoti Banerjee lying unattended in a filthy general ward of SSKM Hospital in Kolkata and not Jyoti Basu…

When editor makes way for editor, gracefully

The change of editorship at Indian publications is (usually) a graceless cloak-and-dagger affair, done in the dead of night after the janitors have left the building. Media consumers are rarely ever told why the helmsman has left or why a new one has come in, especially when there is a cloud shrouding the midnight operation.…

It’s all official about the return of Sanjaya Baru

For days and weeks, New Delhi was abuzz with rumours of the return of Sanjaya Baru (in picture). Would he go back to the Prime Minister’s Office, where he had served as media advisor? Would he be sent to the Planning Commission? Would he be in charge of programme implementation? Well, it turns out he…