Tag Archives: Sans Serif

In the good old days, when journalism was still fun, before the nerds and “grads” arrived and sucked the oxygen out of the newsroom…

Khushwant Singh said he cooked up the weekly astrological predictions for The Illustrated Weekly of India for a couple of weeks when the designated crystalball gazer was rendered hors de combat. The claim was difficult to ascertain given the general record of its source. In the Bombay tabloid Mid-Day, its former staffer Mark Manuel recounts…

Propaganda is king as newspapers open their sanctum sanctorum to be defiled by the ghostwritten schoolboy essays of Narendra Modi & Co

Newspaper maaliks and managers may think no one reads the editorial and op-ed pages. But thankfully the media managers of the Narendra Modi government do. So, to mark the first anniversary of the second term of the BJP-led NDA government, newspapers allow their sanctum sanctorum to be defiled by ghost written schoolboy essays of various…

One by one, Indian newspapers look over their shoulders and start climbing the pay wall, but will readers give a leg up?

Squeezed on multiple fronts, including by their own imagination, India’s leading English newspapers are slowly getting into “pay mode” in the post-COVID season to generate revenue. The Times of India group, which led the race to the bottom with predatory pricing and dumping, now offers a monthly subscription for Rs 200 for its e-paper editions…

When a teenage prodigy with 34,347 international runs grinds his way to a slow and steady 25, it is news to celebrate

In the Bombay tabloid Mid-Day, its group sports editor Clayton Murzello marks the silver jubilee of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar‘s wedding, 25 years ago today. Clayton writes that he gifted the couple a marble Ganesh idol, and recounts Behram “Busybee” Contractor making mental notes for his Round & About column in the Afternoon Despatch &…

Are all journalists #CoronaWarriors since the news media is among “essential services”?

Doctors and nurses are among those being feted for being “frontline workers” in the battle against the COVID pandemic. But how about journalists? In Uttar Pradesh, the death of a Dainik Jagran journalist has sparked a row over who is a “Corona Warrior”, notwithstanding the militarisation of the combat a la #ExamWarriors. The designation of…

What you (really) need to know today: Jubilant Generics, the “single-source” of 82% COVID cases in Mysore that went below the media radar, because, maybe, it wasn’t in Delhi, or the Tablighi Jamaat

For over 50 days now, R. Sukumar, the editor of the Delhi newspaper Hindustan Times, has written a daily wrap titled ‘COVID-19: What you need to know today‘. But three words have never appeared in it: Jubilant Generics, Nanjangud. Jubilant Generics, is a subsidiary of Jubilant Life Sciences, a pharmaceutical company founded by Shyam S.…

Soon streaming on a screen near you: Anushka Sharma-backed Amazon Prime show, based “on a line” from ex-Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal’s true story of his assassins

Say what you will, Anushka Sharma is a woman of her word. In March 2019, the actor backed a web series based on disgraced Tehelka editor Tarun J. Tejpal’s book The Story of my Assassins despite the cloud of sexual harassment charges hovering over him. The Bombay tabloid Mid-Day reports today that the project is…

Two examples to show how journalism has become a dangerous activity in the time of #Coronavirus

The Indian Express published a scorcher of a story by Mahender Singh Manral on Saturday, May 9, that showed that the whole #TablighiJamaat drama was built on what Delhi police now says was a doctored audio, perhaps stitched up. The reporter was summoned after the paper published the standard denial, threatening legal action which includes…

Amit Shah and the Streisand Effect: how newspaper readers who did not know he was unwell, are being told that he is in fine health!

Home minister Amit Shah has been mostly missing in action since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Although the absence set social media abuzz every now and then, only The Telegraph bothered to cover it as a news story on April 19 (above). *** On May 5, Mumbai Mirror sneaked in a gossip item of Shah becoming…

When a warm tribute to a dead journalist is mostly about a humourist who never met him despite 32 years in the same city

Jug Suraiya pays tribute to R.V. Smith, the former news editor of The Statesman, in a column in today’s Times of India. The tribute is interesting for three reasons. One, it is mostly about Jug Suraiya, not the recently deceased Smith. Two, despite having lived in Delhi for over 30 years, Jug Suraiya admits their…

J-POD || Podcast || “Hindi media has swung majorly towards Modi govt. Big newspaper chains have become mammoth like Google and Facebook. News desks are at the forefront of communalisation” || ex-Hindustan editor Mrinal Pande

*** Hindi journalism has been such an unquestioning and uncritical proponent of majoritarian establishment causes for so long that it is an accepted axiom now, but the outbreak of #Coronavirus has decidedly taken it to the next level. The ease with which newspapers and news channels in the heartland have surrendered their professional tasks and…

Srinivasan after Srinivasan: The Hindu’s business editor will be the next editor of ‘The Hindu Business Line’

The Hindu group has announced Raghuvir Srinivasan as the next Editor of Business Line. He will succeed Raghavan Srinivasan upon his retirement. A former chartered accountant, Srinivasan has been with the group since 1993, alternating between the flagship and its business daily.

A true love story: How a Parsi journalist at ‘Current’ met the Editor of ‘Onlooker’ magazine and lived happily forever, but got excommunicated from her community

Two weeks after her death in the middle of the COVID pandemic, The Telegraph‘s fine London correspondent Amit Roy has a long obituary of Gulshan Ewing nee Mehta. Gulshan Ewing was the editor of the women’s magazine Eve’s Weekly for 23 years, from 1966 to 1989, and also editor of the film magazine Star &…

J-POD || Podcast || “If you cannot afford the people that you have, however good they are, do not think twice before rightsizing” || ‘Ananda Vikatan’ chief B. Srinivasan on the big lesson from Corona

*** In the manner in which the mythology of contemporary Indian media is constructed, it would appear that concepts like “reader-friendly” and “marketing” and “brand innovation” were alien in our journalism till Samir Jain of The Times of India arrived on the scene in the mid-1980s. It is only then, we are told, that Indian…

When a journalist gets a proper obituary, it is news: R.V. Smith of ‘The Statesman’ get the kind of salute that underlines the value of print journalism

*** Ronald Vivian Smith aka R.V. Smith, the nomadic chronicler of all things quaint and quirky in India’s national capital, has received the kind of obituaries to die for. Mr Smith, who worked for The Statesman in its hey day, gets a warm and wonderful sendoff from all newspapers except, of course, The Times of…

Everybody in the media loves a good sop from the government in the time of #Coronavirus. (Sorry about exhorting the State to let “market forces” do their job in happier times.)

Since its publication in 1996, the title of the journalist P.Sainath‘s book Everybody loves a good drought has been ready fallback for sub-editors stuck for a headline. (A lot like the movie title The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.) #Coronavirus is as good a time as any to doff the mask to Sainath’s book which,…

Will readers pay for the digital content of Indian newspapers and magazines, when they can get PDFs of the world’s best offerings free on WhatsApp?

The folly of Indian print media being overly dependent on advertisements to sustain and grow the business has come into sharp focus during the time of the COVID crisis. An average 16-page daily newspaper costs about Rs 10 to produce. In the quest for circulation numbers, publishers have followed the “penny press” model propagated by…

Supreme Court admits journalists’ unions’ PIL on post-COVID job losses; issues notice to Centre, INS, broadcasters

Amid lay-offs and salary cuts in the media industry during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre in a petition filed by journalists’ unions. The Bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana observed that the plea filed by among others by the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ), Delhi Union of…

In the make-believe world of TOI’s brand managers, and spurious surveyers, #Coronavirus has led to a miracle in Indian newspaper readership

Trust and credibility, the foundational principles of good journalism, were long destroyed in India by privately vegetarian but publicly carnivorous media barons who destroyed the distinction between real and fake, between news and advertising. This front-page anchor in The Times of India in #Coronavirus season today provides visual proof. As editions get slimmer (today’s TOI…

“Advertisers are reluctant to spend on Marketing right now”: 10-40 per cent salary cuts at NDTV for those earning over Rs 50K per month

Hi, Together we have withstood formidable crises that would have left most groups ducking for cover. Our courage and our resilience is drawn from our commitment to free and fair journalism, from our determination to side only with the Truth. Most importantly, as we have demonstrated over and over, our strength and our courage is…