Tag Archives: The Statesman

President speaks of paid news, dumbing down

The following is the full text of the speech delivered by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, at the inauguration of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) in New Delhi on Thursday, 27 February 2014: *** By PRANAB MUKHERJEE “Seventy-five years ago, the world was a very different place. Our country…

‘You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war’

Modern journalists not used to the thrills and travails of sending despatches on the telegram and the teleprinter and the telex machine from the back of beyond will not understand the hoo dash ha in today’s papers on the decision of the Bharat sanchar nigam limited bracket open BSNL bracket close to wind up the…

How Tavleen Singh fell out with Sonia Gandhi

The columnist Tavleen Singh has just penned what she calls her “political memoirs”. Titled Durbar (Hachette, 324 pages, Rs 599), the book charts Singh’s view of the corridors of power in Delhi from the inside out—from Indira Gandhi‘s Emergency in 1975 to her assassination in 1984; from Rajiv Gandhi‘s rise to his downfall and death…

Will Barack Obama be page one news tomorrow?

Will Barack Obama‘s reelection be front-page news in your newspaper tomorrow? Not if your paper has a “jacket advertisement” in this Diwali season, in which case it will technically be on page 3. Not if your paper two jacket ads, in which case it will be on page 5. In many ways, Indian newspapers have…

Why N.J. Nanporia bought a carved table

sans serif records with regret the demise of N.J. Nanporia, the half-Parsi, half-Japanese former editor of The Times of India and The Statesman in Poona. He was 88 years old. Sunanda K. Datta-Ray pays a warm tribute in Business Standard: “No other Indian I have known in 54 years in journalism has been so reluctant…

Kuldip Nayar on Shekhar Gupta, N. Ram & Co

Kuldip Nayar, 89, the grand old lion of Indian journalism—former editor of the Statesman in Delhi, former managing editor of the United News of India news agency, former correspondent of the London Times, former media advisor to the late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, former high commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, and above…

Rajya Sabha TV tears into Reliance-TV18 deal

The fears over what happens when a big business house with deep pockets and political influence across parties funds a big media house to legitimise its hitherto-hidden media interests, are coming true even before the controversial Reliance Industries -Network18/TV18-Eenadu Television deal can be inked. Obviously, the political class is silent. Obviously, TV18’s competitors won’t touch…

6 pages for Ambedkar; 393 pages for ‘The Family’

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: For all the lip service it pays “dalits and the downtrodden”, for all the tokenism of a Dalit as speaker of Lok Sabha, and for all the buzz about a possible Dalit replacement for Manmohan Singh as prime minister, the Congress-led UPA government has issued a measly six pages…

EPW, the ‘Economist’ of emerging countries?

The former West Bengal finance minister, economist and left ideologue, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph, Calcutta: “Gentlemen do not engage in public brawl; if they have a grievance to air, they write to the London Times. That was the British code…. The Indian gentry, as could only be expected, inherited the code of the ruling nation….  For…

Times, Express groups get most anniversary ads

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: For the final anniversary of the year of India’s “Family No. 1”—the birth anniversary of the nation’s first woman prime minister Indira Gandhi—there are 70 advertisements amounting to 32 published pages in 12 English newspapers that have been surveyed through the year by sans serif. With this anniversary, the…

323 ads, nearly 160 pages to mark 5 anniversaries

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There are 58 government advertisements amounting to 26¼ pages in 12 English newspapers today to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In contrast, there were 108 ads amounting to 48 pages to mark his grandson, Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday in August. All told, so far…

Indira: 64 ads, 32 pages vs Patel: 9 ads, 3 pages

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: After the advertising blitzkrieg to mark Rajiv Gandhi‘s birth and death anniversaries, and the death anniversary of his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru earlier this year, Union ministries and Congress-led State governments and departments have once again splurged heavily to mark Indira Gandhi‘s death anniversary today. In the 12 newspapers surveyed,…

Rajiv Gandhi birthday: 108 ads across 48 pages

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There is yet another advertising blitzkrieg by Union ministries and Congress-led State governments and departments in today’s newspapers on the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday. And it beats the number of ads on Rajiv’s death anniversary hollow. While there were 69 ads amounting to 41 published pages in…

Jug Suraiya on MJ, SJ, Giri, Monu & Mamma T

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: Books about The Times of India are like city buses. There isn’t one for years, and then two come along around the same time. And on both occasions, punsters imported from Calcutta are the ones steering the wheel. Bachi Karkaria came out with Behind the Times, “a poorly structured, poorly…

Jawaharlal Nehru: 24 ads, 11 pages in 12 papers

A week is a long time in politics, especially if you are a dead Congressman. On May 21, the 20th death anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, various ministries, departments and State governments unleashed an advertising blitzkrieg in the media. Result: 69 ads totalling 41 pages in 12 newspapers. Today, on…

Rajiv Gandhi: 69 ads over 41 pages in 12 papers

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: On the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s 20th death anniversary today, different ministries of the Congress-led UPA government are falling over each other to demonstrate that the “collective flame of political sycophancy” continues to burn brightly and shamelessly. While Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi and their son Rahul Gandhi…

Lessons for Vir & Barkha from Prem & Nikhilda

By T.J.S. GEORGE Journalism started going astray with the birth of financial dailies in the 1960s. With full-fledged newspapers devoted exclusively to business, corporate houses became hyperactive. The next thing we knew was press conferences ending with gifts of expensive sarees and suitlengths to reporters. That was innocent child play compared to what has hit…

15 things you didn’t know about K.M. Mathew

The passing away of the doyen of Malayalam journalism, Kandathil Mammen Mathew, better known as K.M. Mathew, on Sunday has resulted in a rare outpouring of coverage, with Indian media proprietors burying their usual pettiness about competitors to salute one of their own. So much so that the news of the death of the chief…

Why (perhaps) BJP sent Chandan Mitra to RS

Chandan Mitra, the editor-in-chief of The Pioneer, has been elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha for a second term, this time as a nominee of the BJP. In a piece in his paper, Mitra once again addresses the conflict of interest in being the editor of a paper and an active politician. “While it is…

‘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…