Tag Archives: The Hindu

‘Mr KN’, a legend at ‘The Hindu’: a “Dronacharya who moulded a generation of Ekalavyas”, an elder brother who helped faraway correspondents scale new heights

Journalism is more than just bold-face owners and editors, whose face appears on TV or who advertise their greatness on social media every few minutes. There are many unsung heroes down the food chain, quietly going about their job with dignity and dedication. The Hindu lost two former news editors on the recently. Here, Mathihalli…

Newspaper front pages on acquittal of Babri Masjid accused show how Indian media has been hollowed out of courage and conviction since 1992

When the domes of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya were brought down in 1992, the year after the liberalisation process began, there was great clarity in the news media and its consumers on the foundations on which the Republic of India stood. Blazing front-page editorials minced no words in denouncing the conspicuous destruction of the…

‘KN’, a long-standing News Editor of ‘The Hindu’, and his successor ‘GD’ both pass away on the same day. And the encomiums are a reminder of journalism as it once was.

K. Narayanan, the former news editor and later readers’ editor of The Hindu, has passed on, at age 88. And so has the man who succeeded him at the post: Gomatam Dwarakanath, at age 86. Both on the same day, 29 September 2020. The Narayanan obit highlights his penchant for hard work, integrity, wide knowledge,…

Except ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Telegraph’, most newspapers can’t join the dots between arrested journalist Rajeev Sharma and NSA Ajit Doval

The arrest of Delhi-based journalist Rajeev Sharma, for violating the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by allegedly passing on “defence secrets” to China, is remarkable for the consistent quality of stenography. Only The Hindu (above) categorically reports Sharma’s association with the right-wing thinktank Vivekananda International Foundation, whose founder-director was the national security adviser, Ajit Doval. ***…

J-POD || Podcast || “Phone is king. Less is best. Follow stories, not editions. Newsrooms must be a zoo of different animals” || Life-lessons from news design guru Mario Garcia

At a time when consumers are exposed to beautifully crafted products from around the world, the first object Indians pick up every morning is The Daily Shame. Barring the odd exception, most Indian newspapers in every language look like a dog’s meal—a mishmash of leftovers of all colours, shapes and sizes with barely any clarity…

45 years after Indira Gandhi’s Emergency, ‘The Hindu’ publishes an ad announcing the death of media in Delhi, in 2020, under Narendra Modi

When Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in June 1975, a young journalist took out a 22-word classified advertisement in The Times of India in Bombay. It read: “O’Cracy, D.E.M., beloved husband of T. Ruth, loving father of L.I. Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justicia, died on June 26.” The journalist was Ashok Mahadevan, then…

In editorials on Dr Kafeel Khan’s release, 6 out of 8 English newspapers cannot even take the name of his chief detractor, “India’s No.1 CM” Yogi Adityanath

Dr Kafeel Khan is, without doubt, one of the most egregious victims of majoritarianism in contemporary India, where a vengeful state unleashes the blunt instruments at its disposal to “teach a lesson” to a member of the minorities—and is cheered on in this naked display of brutality. The paediatrician’s cardinal sin was to flag the…

J-POD || Podcast || “A large section of media doesn’t want to dwell on stories that present the government in a bad light” || Ananth Krishnan of ‘The Hindu’ on the tepid coverage of Chinese ingress

*** India is locked in its biggest conflict with China in recent times. Twenty Indian soldiers have died. Massive tracts of Indian land have been lost. In response—without naming China—India has banned Chinese apps, curtailed visas for Chinese citizens, raised the entry barrier for Chinese investors, and banned the study of Mandarin. The two nuclear…

“There can be no finer guarantee to a nation’s welfare than a free press in the service of a free nation”: Mountbatten’s 1947 message

The following is the full text of the message sent by Lord Mountbatten, the outgoing Viceroy, on India’s Independence Day in 1947. *** “I send my greetings and best wishes to the Indian press and all your readers on this historic day. It is good to know that paper restrictions have been relaxed to enable…

“India has ceded territory to China”: near-unanimous newspaper editorials call the Modi government’s bluff—and reaffirm the value of print journalism

Editorials in India’s major English newspapers on the “mutual disengagement” that India and China have agreed upon, are nearly unanimous in their verdict: under “strong man” Narendra Modi, India has surrendered its territory to China. The mature and considered reading of the newspapers is in marked contrast to TV news channels parroting the BJP-led NDA…

24 things that happened to the media during the Emergency, besides the three you already know

The Emergency of 1975 is in danger of becoming a cliche, pulled out with rhetorical flourish around June 25 each year to remember Indian democracy’s darkest 21 months. It’s used so loosely as a catch-all scare-word—even by those who have much to hide, especially by those who have much to hide—that for the 81% of…

“Ambiguous. Beseiged. Confusing. Disappointing. Dismaying. Evasive. Frightening. Unpardonable. Unsatisfactory. PM should speak again”: editorials on ‘Surender’ Modi’s cop-out

The major English newspapers all have editorials on Narendra Modi‘s brazen lie, without taking the name of China, that “no one has intruded on Indian soil, nor is any one sitting on Indian soil, nor has any post been seized by anyone”, which made a total mockery of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers last…

‘The Hindu’ virtually sounds the death knell for its Mumbai edition, tells 25 ‘elite’ staffers to leave, as COVID wreaks havoc to revenue streams

*** The Mumbai edition of The Hindu, launched with much fanfare five years ago, has run into serious turbulence with over two dozen staffers being asked to leave the 142-year-old organisation at less than a fortnight’s notice. The indicated last date is June 30. Almost all those whose resignations have been sought, orally, had been…

J-POD || Podcast || “COVID has given us a brain scan of media thinking. National newspapers devote 0.67% of front page to 69% of India. Corporate media is the bed on which religious and market fundamentalists cohabit” || P. Sainath

*** Less than 2% of India’s population is invested in stocks and mutual funds. Yet, India has at least half-a-dozen business newspapers in English. And just as many business news channels. Every newspaper in every language, in every part of the country, has a page—or half of page—dedicated to business news. Or what they think is business…

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…

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…

J-POD || Podcast || “Media freedom in India has sunk even lower after COVID. Social media has smashed our notion of what is news. The time has come to reconsider the valorisation of news media”|| ACJ chief Sashi Kumar

  *** Largely because of the low road it has taken in the last couple of decades, and directly as a result of the challenges thrown up by the COVID pandemic, the time has come for Indian news media to press the reset button once again.  A hard reset actually. Force-Quit. No one knows what…

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…

J-POD || Podcast ||”Pakistan media has not tried to find a scapegoat for #Coronavirus like Indian media. Imran Khan has handled media better than Narendra Modi” || Mehmal Sarfraz on what No. 142 can learn from No. 145

*** Coronavirus has had a strange effect on Indian media. Pakistan has vanished off the radar. Well, not entirely but substantially. A sudden intimation of mortality has distracted desktop dvesh bhakts from their core group activity, of protecting India’s borders—by building walls in the minds of Indians; by spitting hatred at their neighbour so that it…