Communally provocative

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-06-04

TV anchors conduct communally provocative debates, and our self-regulating TV industry does nothing about it. On June 1  this News 24 news show conducted a debate titled 'Has the Muslim vote bank reappeared in India's politics?' When one of the  panelists gave a measured reply the anchor would say 'you are mincing..

Prove it or apologise

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-06-04

The Tribune reports that the Delhi Minorities Commission has served a notice to Sudarshan TV for a report it aired allegedly referring to some local people of the Bawana area of North Delhi, as “Rohingyas” and “Bangladeshis”. The channel has been asked to reply by June 12 with proof to..

Paranoid prognosis

IN Books | 2018-06-02

Ravish Kumar’s chronicling of fear and hate in the times of The Great Leader and his IT Cell.

Mint's Kochar exclusive denied

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-06-01

This Mint exclusive on June 1 about Chanda Kochar being asked to go on indefinite leave until the probe on her announced by the bank is over, has been denied by the ICICI board. The Mint report said the decision was taken on advice of a majority of the 7 independent directors..

A new media command room?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-30

The I and B ministry under the new minister may have dropped the idea of regulating online media but will now monitor it. Bloomberg reports that the ministry has posted a tender online calling for a company to provide analytical software and professionals to "power a real time New Media..

Hoot archives on Pushp Sharma

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-28

For what its worth, here's what we have on Pushp Sharma, who did the Cobrapost sting,  in our archives. Just to provide more inputs on the narrative developing around him on WhatsApp. Halfway down this article  is what we have on the circumstances surrounding the March 2016 arrest. And this brief tells you..

When a virus goes viral

IN Digital Media | 2018-05-28

Social media in Kerala has been spreading falsehoods and panic over the Nipah virus

Amateurish sting traps gullible media managements

IN Media Business | 2018-05-26

That so many fell for this sting says a lot for the amorality that may have begun to pervade the media business.

How the Spy Chronicles took shape

IN Books | 2018-05-24

Reflections on working with Dulat and Durrani and what it took to make their experiences readable and gripping

Paid news is free speech

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-23

Paid news falls within the citizen's right to free speech and the Election Commission has no business trying to stop it, according to the Delhi High Court. ET reports that while the EC thinks paid news is a major challenge to conducting free and fair elections, and 15 cases of paid news..

Deccan Chronicle is hiring

IN Opportunities | 2018-05-23

Deccan Chronicle is looking for journalists in three states.

Targeted by TN police

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-22

Journalists covering the ongoing protest of residents of the coastal town of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu were at the receiving end of police violence and found their cameras and cellphones snatched. The residents were demanding immediate closure of Vedanta Sterlite's copper operations and the agitation turned bloody, leaving 9 persons..

Laid off by ABP

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-21

According to this report  34 people who were employed by  ABP Ltd through contractors for different departments, and were fired,  have been protesting outside the ABP premises for almost a month now but there has been no media coverage. Their troubles began when they formed a union in response to not..

Fake news and religious hatred on WhatsApp in Karnataka elections

IN Digital Media | 2018-05-19

Real news about fake news: fake audio on WhatsApp in India, and a fake pre-election poll purportedly sponsored by the BBC, showing a big victory for the BJP.

Fake news rides on election outcome

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-18

Fake news propagators are active in Karnataka following the  hung assembly results. Boomlive reports that posts like this one on Twitter are fake news, using a video dating back to attacks on churches in Karnataka in 2008,  to claim that BJP cadres in Mangalore had just attacked a church to "to install bhagwa and..

Tom Wolfe elevated journalism into enduring literature

IN Opinion | 2018-05-18

He was one of the New Journalists, who wrote nonfiction using the techniques of fiction.

Keeping their counsel

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-17

Editorial writers on Thursday morning either did some plain speaking on what they thought of the Karnataka governor's decision to swear in a BJP government--ET, TOI, and   Business Standard--or looked for other subjects to write on--HT, The Hindu and  Mint. The Indian Express chose to ignore the messy ground reality and focus loftily on..

Disappointed anchors

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-15

When the morning's leads dissipated to a final number short of the halfway mark in the Karnataka Assembly,  you got the sense that Times Now anchors Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar were feeling even more let down than the BJP itself.  Shivshankar could not stop fuming and spluttering at a..

New man in Shastri Bhavan

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-15

Rajyavardhan Rathore, the new I and B minister decided to thank the prime minister for his elevation by suddenly appearing on TV to deliver a monologue on how the BJP's strong performance in Karnataka was a vindication of the prime minister's approach to ruling the country, aiming to uplift the..

Now C'garh police use sedition against journalist

IN Media Freedom | 2018-05-15

Journalist Kamal Shukla waits for a court verdict about the sedition charge against him over posting a cartoon on Facebook

Counting day winner

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-15

NDTV was trailing early on in getting the accurate trend in Karnataka, compared to  CNN News18 which lead  all the channels in coming closest to the eventual result. It announced early on that it had is own reporters in every counting centre in Karnataka, and was showing the yawning gap..

Whew--Smriti Irani exits

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-14

 Smriti Irani's ten months in the I and B Ministry were tempestuous to put it mildly. She transferred at least 120 officers of the Information Service cadre, some of them against posts which did not exist. She restructured the publicity units of the ministry, and then took to making pronouncements..

Speaking up for frustrations of ordinary people

IN Opinion | 2018-05-14

Ravish Kumar chooses issues that affect large numbers of ordinary people in small towns. And the authorities are taking note.

RSTV Hiring spree

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-13

Rajya Sabha TV is on a recruitment spree, and has advertised 28 media positions, the salaries ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 2 lakh. This includes editors, production staff and programme consultants. The channel has been administered by Prasar Bharati ever since the Vice President changed last year.     ..

Censoring suggestive content

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-13

 Asian Age reports that the latest development in the I and B Ministry's determination to tackle online offenders head on  concerns dodgy content put out in the digital domain by film makers like Ram Gopal Varma and Ekta Kapoor. The intent, according to this 'source' based story,  is to monitor such content..

Kabul attack suggests ISIS is now targeting journalists

IN Media Freedom | 2018-05-11

Foreign journalists have been abandoning countries that have become too dangerous, and local journalists who replace them are now in the line of fire.

Now you can see those wicked ads

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-11 reports  that the US Congress has just published all the political Facebook ads purchased by Russian groups accused of wanting to sow discord before and after the 2016 U.S. election.These are the  ads that were purchased by the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed online troll farm, both before and after the..

Still in jail

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-09

Does the media need to revive its  interest in the Gorakhpur BRD medical College story so that more of the arrested doctors can get bail? Or does social media need to champion their cause too? While a media campaign for Dr Kafeel Khan resulted in bail for him on April 25, three..

TOI defrauded of Rs 15 Crore

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-08

The Bennet Coleman and Co Ltd, which publishes the Times of India and other publications ,was defrauded of Rs 15 crore from 2013-17 and an FIR has been lodged in Mumbai's Azad Maidan police station. According to a news report, an editorial coordinator created fake bank accounts and vouchers in the..

J Dey murder case verdict: conspiracies that did Jigna Vora in

IN Media Practice | 2018-05-08

The feisty reporter lost seven years of her life to pain and humiliation on account of fellow journalists who bought the theories the police planted,

BusinessWorld teeters as wages go unpaid

IN Media Business | 2018-05-08

With a salary backlog of four months, the mood among BW journalists is grim, even as they hang on in hope of collecting past dues.

RSS workers arrested for attack on photojournalist

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-05

The Week reports  that two RSS workers were arrested by Kerala police on Friday for attacking a photojournalist inside  the Malappuram Press Club. The police had earlier registered a case against 10 RSS activists over the attack.  Fouad, a photographer with the Malayalam daily Chandrika, was attacked when he took photographs of a few..

How North Korean media outlets covered the summit

IN Media Practice | 2018-05-05

Are North Korean media outlets signaling that the regime is getting serious about diplomacy? They showed the two leaders interacting on an equal footing,

Press Council sends notice on sedition case

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-04

 The Press Council of India (PCI) has sought a report from the Chhattisgarh government on the filing of a sedition case against Kamal Shukla, the editor of 'Bhumkal Samachar' published from Kanker district. The case was filed against him for sharing on a social media site a cartoon that allegedly carried a..

Reporting the Jigna Vora arrest

IN Media Practice | 2018-05-03

From the Hoot archives: Incredibly, news reports quote crime branch police sources (unidentified, of course) who state that the case against Vora became stronger when the gangster himself called up several journalists and businessmen.

J Dey murder - Jigna Vora acquitted

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-02

A special MCOCA court in Mumbai sentenced gangster Chhota Rajan and eight others to life imprisonment for the murder of journalist J Dey in June 2011. The court acquitted journalist Jigna Vora, accused of providing information about Dey to the  gangster and Paulson Joseph, who had been a SIM card provider.Vora was arrested in..

Sports broadcasters irked at latest ministry fiat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-05-02

 On April 25 the ministry of information and broadcasting made it mandatory  for private sector sports channels to display a ticker during the live broadcast of  “national interest” events that the game can also be viewed on Doordarshan. These broadcasters who are already made to share the feed of such events with..

Journalists remain in the cross hairs

IN Special Reports | 2018-05-02

Free Speech in 2018: Murder, violence, threats, gags, and policy clampdowns – that’s how the year started.

Heavy media toll in Kabul

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-30

Al Jazeera reports that at least nine journalists have been killed in twin suicide blasts in Kabul today which claimed 29 lives. Their reporter said the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee..

SAWM writes to Mamata Banerjee

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-29

As World Press Freedom day approaches 39 women journalists from across the country who are members of SAWM (South Asian Women in Media) have written to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee drawing attention to the attacks on journalists in the state, including the attacks, threats and confinement that women  journalists were..

Not news without a communal angle?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-28

Do journalists not jump on something unless they sniff a communal angle? Three doctors from the BRD Medical Hospital were made scapegoats and arrested  in the Gorakhpur crisis where 30 children died. Dr Kafeel Khan, hailed by the media as the ``hero'' who  had arranged oxygen cylinders,  was  charged with attempt to..

The Chinese model of news control spreads across Asia

IN Media Freedom | 2018-04-26

The RSF Index 2018 shows China-type media control seeping into Vietnam and Cambodia, as also Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Twitter updates privacy policy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-25

Amidst the global furore over the privacy policies of tech companies and the data they share with third-parties, Twitter has announced its updated        privacy policy to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, to come into effect on May 25, 2018.Users, Twitter says, will be better able to control..

Kerala’s WhatsApp hartal

IN Regional Media | 2018-04-25

Kerala youths were drawn into violent protests over the Kathua case by anonymous WhatsApp calls made by shadowy forces with ulterior motives

Republic of fake news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-23

In the explosion of fake news, where one report is worse than the other, social media users were taken aback to see a post with the Republic TV logo quoting journalist Rana Ayyub to the effect that the government ordinance to hang rapists of minors was directed at Muslims! Ayyub..

How Facebook could reinvent itself - three ideas

IN Digital Media | 2018-04-21

It could take responsibility for the content it publishes and start competing to provide the most accurate news instead of the most click-worthy.

A genial giant of a journalist

IN Opinion | 2018-04-20

Nihal Singh did everything journalists dream of doing. It was a good life as reporter, editor, author, rubbing shoulders with the famous, and travelling the world.

Kathua case lawyer sends legal notice to Zee News

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-20

Even as Zee News has been running programmes  questioning  the chargesheet filed in the Kathua rape case, Deepika Singh, lawyer for the Kathua victim’s family, has sent a legal notice To Zee Hindi News for a programme run by Zee Hindi News on April 17 in which Sudhir Chaudhury had alleged that Deepika Singh..

Journalist, not granddaughter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-18

Lakshmi Subramanian of The Week who had to suffer the misogyny of a cheek-pat from the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit dismissed the Governor's defence of his action saying that she was like his granddaughter. In an interview to Sam Daniel of NDTV she explained her views clearly : "The Governor is..

“Stop killing journalists in the Commonwealth”

IN Media Freedom | 2018-04-18

With 57 dead over five years, the heads of state arriving for CHOGM will be given a code of conduct to force them to pay attention

TN Governor: Patronising and insulting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-18

Journalists are up in arms against Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit who, in a patronising gesture, patted the cheek of a senior woman correspondent instead of answering some tough questions. The incident occured at a press conference that the Governor called to answer allegations of his involvement in the Nirmala Devi sexual..

A gentleman editor, elegant writer, a liberal to the core

IN Opinion | 2018-04-18

He edited many newspapers in his career and was widely read as a foreign correspondent from many capitals.

Petrol bomb attack on editor's home

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-18

Masked men on a motorcycle threw a petrol bomb at Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim's home on Tuesday night at 8.35 pm. She  escaped unhurt, but posted on her Facebook page," I am shocked. Those who did this ugly deed need to be arrested.. I heard the explosion and saw the..

Nihal Singh: a journalism stalwart passes on

IN Opinion | 2018-04-17

Reporter, foreign correspondent, editor--his writing was trenchant till the end. The media space is poorer today because a principled man of words is gone.

Cartoonist gets death threats

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-17

Cartoonist Swathi Vadlamudi received deaths threats on Facebook after her cartoon, posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, depicting Ram and Sita in the wake of violence against women, went viral.  A complaint by the Hindu Sanghatan, an ultra-Hindu right group, was lodged under Sec 295 of the Indian Penal Code in Saidabad police station in..

Reporting rape: Court notices for naming Kathua victim?

IN Media Practice | 2018-04-17

The Delhi High Court levies a Rs 10 lakh fine on media houses which named the victim, but the offenders were many more than those issued notices by the court. How the Indian media reports such cases merits constant scrutiny,

AIR--gearing up for 2019

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-16

The Print reports that I and B minister Smriti Irani used a new programme series on All India Radio to launch an attack on the Opposition for the washed out session of Parliament. With the 2019 polls in view, this programme called  ‘Jan Seva Samvad’ which will be broadcast over the entire AIR network,..

TV9 defends its coverage

IN Media Practice | 2018-04-14

TV9 Telugu does not need to be taught lessons on women’s rights, ethics or the right to privacy. We know what we are doing.

SC on The Wire's writ

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-13

The Supreme Court decided on April 12 to send the Wire's writ seeking quashing of the criminal defamation case initiated against it by Jay Shah, son of BJP president Amit Shah, to another bench of the Supreme Court, as the same judges were  also involved in the ongoing Aadhaar matter...

Actor strips, industry acts

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-13

Actor Sri Reddy’s stripping protest on April 6 against the sexual exploitation of aspiring actresses in the Telugu film industry has led to  the institution of a Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) in the industry, announced on April 12. As also a sexual harassment redressal panel with participation from the..

Two blows against censorship

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-11

A Supreme Court ruling and the debut of a film on Netflix together signify a push back for censorship by society and the state. On April 10 the SC criticised the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee for imposing restrictions on the film "Nanak Shah Fakir" and cleared its release on April..

Is Facebook's business model going against human rights?

IN Digital Media | 2018-04-11

Social media was initially a boon for human rights, but human rights abuses might be embedded in the business model that has evolved for social media giants in their second decade.

Swarajya's slander in Nagaland

IN Media Practice | 2018-04-09

An amazing article accusing former CM T.R. Zeliang and the Baptist Church of Nagaland of funding terror drew a threat of legal action and a denial of Swarajya's claims from the Army.

MIB clean chit on paid news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-09

According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) news channels are free of the 'menace of paid news' . In a reply to the Lok Sabha, junior minister of MIB Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore informed that no specific instance of paid news in electronic media (private satellite TV channels) has..

A Salman Khan free for all

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-07

A news event ends up becoming a news peg for all kinds of stories. So whereas at one end of the spectrum an Indian Express report looked at the status of the blackbuck  after it was put on the endangered list on par with the tiger,  TV channels went to town with..

Online regulation: another hasty move?

IN Law and Policy | 2018-04-06

PM Modi and Smriti Irani need to tread wisely if their legacy is not to be a hasty one which does more damage than good. The media policy legacy of an earlier BJP government was a positive one.

How Gandhi led Niranjan Takle to the Judge Loya story

IN Media Practice | 2018-04-06

At a commemorative meeting in Mumbai the journalist who did the story for Caravan talks about how Loya’s family decided that he should be the one to tell their story.

Now Goa journos protest guidelines

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-05

Its the season of curbs on accredited journalists! Scribes in Goa are battling other guidelines restricting their coverage of Assembly sessions. A statement from the Goa Union of Journalists says the new set of “Guidelines for accreditation of media organization and their representatives” will block access for a majority of..

What the Imam said

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-05 points out that the only thing that is being reported by the media is the appeal to his followers by Maulana Imdadullah Rashidi  of  Noorani Masjid, Asansol to maintain peace and not to retaliate following the brutal killing of his son . But the media did not care to report the rest of his..

Character assasination by Telugu media and its fallout

IN Media Practice | 2018-04-03

In pursuit of scandal, a Telangana channel invades the privacy of upright police officers who are then removed from crucial cases. Did the channel also serve a political agenda in the process,

PMO orders withdrawal of fake news circular

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-03

What the I and B ministry  proposes the PMO disposes. After the  ministry decided  in its wisdom to amend the guidelines for accreditation to penalise those journalists who peddle fake news, there was an uproar and press bodies got busy drafting statements. The PMO moved to quickly withdraw the circular and said that the..

Chandrasekhar quits Republic board

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-02

Rajeev Chandrasekhar has resigned as a Board of Director from ARG Outlier Asainet News Private Limited in-order to ensure the neutrality of Republic TV as an apolitical  media entity. His resignation was effective from 31st March 2018 and the decision was taken after his recent alignment with BJP and being elected for Rajyasabha under..

Mr Nice Guy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-04-01

The Congress is delighted with this Facebook post by a journalist who is described as a ‘RSS sympathiser’.   Shashi Tharoor tweeted it as a ‘fascinating take.’  It says  that Rahul Gandhi met for 90 minutes with a group of ‘political enthusiasts/social media influencers’, was punctual, polite, listened to all present,..

DB Corp: Steaming ahead or floundering?

IN Media Business | 2018-04-01

DB Corp has had some misses but has been chugging along comfortably overall. However latest figures suggest improving profitability will get harder.

Lost in translation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-30

Karnataka BJP MP Prahlad Joshi  mis-translated BJP President Amit Shah's pre-election rally speech to say: 'Prime Minister Modi has done nothing for the poor and dalits, he will destroy the nation' when Shah actually said, in Hindi, that Cong Chief Minister Siddharamaiah had done nothing for Karnataka! Times Now has a clip on..

Postcard news founder arrested

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-29

Karnataka police arrested   Mahesh Vikram Hegde, founder of the right-wing site Postcard News, often called out for carrying fake news, for its news report that a Jain muni was attacked by a Muslim youth. According to reports, the monk was knocked down by a car, but the fake news site manufactured..

Nationalist desk at Mirror?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-29

Neutrality should be a report's hallmark, but headlines often betray bias. As did this one on pg 1 of Mumbai Mirror. "MLA's red flag saves state blushes on Kashmir" it said.  The text was on a BJP MLA's report to the Assembly that an "anti-national" talk on 'Military occupation of Kashmir: Sexual violence on..

Blooper to beat bloopers

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-28

This is hilarious, even by Doordarshan's goofy standards. The Hindu reports that DD  used the Australian government's MyGov website logo instead of the Indian one when it broadcast PM Modi's Mann ki Baat programme on Sunday. The paper quotes an official saying, “It was hardly there for 45 seconds, no..

Why everyone likes a dead journalist in Kashmir

IN Regional Media | 2018-03-27

Maqbool Sahil is dead. For 20 years, he struggled to make ends meet. No one bothered. At his death, everyone woke up.

Removing mikes in haste?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-26

Cobrapost's Operation 136 has its reporter Pushp Sharma entrapping, as it were, a bunch of media houses with a paid news proposal from a fictitious Hindutva outfit. The list cover's Rajat Sharma's India TV, Amar Ujala,  Univarta, Punjab Kesari,  DNA, Dainik Jagran and several other including ScoopWhoop. The number 136 refers to India's place..

Journalists run down in 2 incidents

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-26

In two separate incidents in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, over the last 24 hours, three journalists were run down by speeding vehicles. Police said that Sandeep Sharma, a television reporter who had done a sting operation on a  sand mining mafia in Bhind, was mowed down by a truck on March..

Broadcasting self-regulation: An unattainable goal?

IN Law and Policy | 2018-03-25

When channels transgress and viewers complain, how are the complaints handled by the NBSA? It’s a mixed bag…

Reporting Communal Issues – Part II

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-25

Hadiya’s conversion and marriage suffered the biased, hate-filled, anti-Muslim treatment that is now routine for some TV channels.

Tampering with TRP ratings

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-24

 A Hindu report datelined Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh says a case has been registered  with Huzurabad police on March 17 against five persons for "manipulation, tampering, cheating, and  breach of trust for forcing the television viewers to watch particular channel serials by bribing them in order to increase TRP ratings  of particular..

Facebook: is the party over?

IN Digital Media | 2018-03-22

The Cambridge Analytica controversy should make us all think more critically about Facebook and what it does

So Smriti Irani wants to regulate online news?

IN Law and Policy | 2018-03-22

First, though, she needs to curb trolling and the spread of poison on social media, including by BJP supporters.

Curious 'Twitter' resignation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-21

Of all the resignations announced on Twitter, this one was the most curious: Nitin Sethi, deputy editor of the website,  announcing his resignation today, added a link to the last story he filed on the Adani Mundra port, setting off intense speculation in media circles that the Adanis were behind his exit...

How Zee and ABP News sowed communal poison

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-20

Their coverage of Ankit Saxena’s murder was a master class in hate-mongering. Reporting Communal Issues - Part I

Russian media’s united anti-Western front

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-19

The reaction to the Salisbury attack in the Russian government-controlled media has been full of mockery and contempt. Russians are starved of alternative viewpoints,

Dividing India?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-19

Times Now's daily harangue against the Congress Party got fresh grist with Karnataka's Congress government declaring Lingayats as a separate religion. Anchor Rahul Shivshankar took personal credit for his channel not having been taken in by Rahul Gandhi's speech at the Congress plenary on Saturday claiming that the Congress would..

Regulating online news content

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-18

Online media has not been subjected to licensing and regulation so far but I & B minister Smriti Irani suggested at CNN News 18's Rising India Summit on March 16-17 that this may be changing. When it comes to content on TV, radio or newspapers there is a code of..

Rock star PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-18

Prior to Narendra Modi's address at CNN TV 18's Rising India summit on Friday, the Group's Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi made such a flattering  introductory speech about the PM that even Mr Modi  looked a trifle embarrassed. He narrated how much the PM had achieved while leading from the front, and said the..

Cocking a snook at the NBSA-self regulation is not working

IN Law and Policy | 2018-03-18

One month after Zee News was ordered to apologise on air, pay a fine and remove a programme, nothing has happened. Channels continue flout norms, violate ethics and give partisan or fake news,

Naga media, the elections and ‘solutions’

IN Regional Media | 2018-03-18

Naga newspapers’ unwillingness to engage with the real issues plaguing the state was on display in the recent elections.

AIADMK, why so creepy?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-16

 The hilarious 'ABVP, why so creepy' song, needs to be edited to include AIDMK, it appears. The party’s Health Minister C Vijayabaskar upped the creepy quotient when he persisted in responding to a woman journalist's questions about a late night meeting of party MLAs with compliments on her spectacles and..

Keeping politics and journalism apart

IN Opinion | 2018-03-16

Do nominations to the Rajya Sabha compromise journalism? If you are an editor yes, If you are a media owner perhaps, but not if you are a talking head on TV.

BJP’s Tripura man

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-15

Anyone who is 45 minutes late for a press conference  should apologise. But BJP's man in Tripura Sunil Deodhar offered neither apology nor explanation when he turned up at 3.45 pm for a 3 pm meet at the Mumbai Press Club. Deodhar is from Mumbai, and should have known how..

Blocking media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-14

India Today channel was reporting and running a ticker saying : "media blocked from Gorakhpur counting centre".The reporter pointed out that at 11.45 am five rounds have been counted but only one round has been declared, while other centres like Phulpur were declaring five rounds. Then it became clear that the Samajwadi..

Role of advertising in the Nagaland polls

IN Special Reports | 2018-03-13

With party ads playing a big role, the issue for the media is how to ensure a level playing field so that money does not decide the election outcome. But civil society placed ads too.

Gitanjali Gems and DB Corp

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-13

Guess which media group escaped being a victim of the Modi-Choksi fraud? The Bhaskar Group had a private treaty agreement with Gitanjali Gems which it ended in FY 2016-17.  As of March 2015, DB Corp owned 60,54,960 shares of Gitanjali Gems valued at Rs 24.95 crore, with each share valued at..

When a 'non-story' becomes a story!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-12

The online news site The Wire is having a good laugh at the work that the pro-BJP site OpIndia is doing for it.  OpIndia wrote that The Wire was working on a story about the contract entered into by the law firm of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's daughter with Geetanjali Gems, aborted after media..

Trending on twitter but silence elsewhere

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-11

A farmers' long march with the #KisanLongMarch has been trending on top spot on Twitter all afternoon. Thousands of farmers have marched more than 200 KMs to Mumbai to demand loan waivers and the transfer of forest land to tillers. The Mumbai traffic police have had to issue a traffic advisory too...

Ketkar for Rajya Sabha

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-11

One more journalist gets nominated to the Rajya Sabha by a political party. Senior journalist Kumar Ketkar, ex-editor of Loksatta,  and a storehouse of political and historical knowledge about not just Maharashtra but the entire country, just became the Congress's nominee from Maharashtra. The veteran has always held progressive views,..

Mizo journalist beaten up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-11

Assam police lathi-charged journalists during a protest by Mizo students at the Assam-Mizoram border area in Kachurthal on Saturday. Police paid no heed to the journalists' protestations that they were covering the protest. Emmy Lawbei, journalist with a television channel was mercilessly beaten up by the police though she showed..

China’s media serves up stereotypes of Africa

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-11

The skit might not have been ill-intentioned. But it was both culturally and racially insensitive.

Reporting on “History Battles”

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-10

A Reuter’s report reveals the bias, clichés, and laziness that crop up on the subject of Hindus and India’s ‘first inhabitants’.

Issues of transparency in the Advertising business

IN Media Business | 2018-03-10

The dishonesty starts with the pitch. Even if they don’t actually fudge the numbers, often an agency in a pitch does a great deal of window dressing to what it presents.

Waging identity wars in the Nagaland press

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-08

Naga citizens, pastors and reverends included, took to the op-ed pages to shape the election discourse in the newspapers.

Regional TV market bigger than Hindi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-08

The regional TV market in India is now larger than the Hindi TV market with a higher viewership share and a growing advertiser base. The media industry gathering at FICCI Frames was told on March 7 that 270 out of 500 channels measured by BARC India are regional. Regional viewership is now  at around..

Another media gag in the offing?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-07

Retired Odisha High Court judge I.M. Qudussi, currently in the dock for the medical college bribery scam, has sought a ban on media coverage of the CBI case, specifically targeting The Wire, TOIIndiaNews and ABP TV. The case will come up on Mar 11, says Wire editor Siddharth Varadarajan ,  cautioning that the judge is..

Prasar Bharati Chairman clarifies

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-06

Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash has said that the Hoot's assertion that  the Chairman of Prasar Bharati, a Part-time Member of the Prasar Bharati Board a was made a full-time Member by a notification of the Government without amending the Act as such, is "incorrect, misleading and malafide." The letter..

Prasar Bharati’s autonomy: Is it only about Smriti Irani?

IN Media Practice | 2018-03-05

Journalists chasing a story seldom step back to look at the bigger picture. What price administrative autonomy when there is no political autonomy?

Fulsome question

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-05

Why are the questions asked by journalists muted in telecasts of Amit Shah's press conferences? Don't viewers need to hear them? One such gem that could be heard at his press meet after the NE results, where the BJP party president was beaming all the way,  was:  ``Kya ab BJP..

Head in the sand

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-03

 CNN New18 had a telling map of  the political contours of the NE when Narendra Modi became PM (all states with the Cong except two) and what  it looks like now, no states with Congress except one that it just might hang on to. But what was the Congress tweeting..

Lecture on the role of the CJI

IN Opportunities | 2018-03-03

On March 9 Justice A P Shah will give a lecture titled "Chief Justice: First Among Equals"

The Congress’ hits and misses on Twitter

IN Digital Media | 2018-03-01

Analysing the tweets for a month revealed what works and what doesn’t, and that Rahul Gandhi does better than his party.

Mahaa News hits back at critics

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-01

In a programe titled "Mahaa News responsible for true journalism"  the channel criticised widely for its reporter-in-a-bathtub coverage has hit back at arrogant urban critics who do not understand the need to explain the use of a bath tub and how Sridevi  may have lost her life, to millions of her rural fans. It..

Justifying Sridevi coverage

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-03-01

On Feb 28 night at  prime time on TV 18  there was a discussion on the media's role in covering  Sridevi's death. Vir Sanghvi and Dhanya Rajendran said TV channels had sunk to new lows,  but Bhupendra Chaubey justified the coverage saying that news television's  present revenue model was responsible..

Sridevi: plumbing new depths

IN Regional Media | 2018-03-01

With reporters lying in bath tubs to report on Sridevi, is news TV dead? If so, can someone order an ‘autospy’ please?

Bathtub journalism?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-27

Sridevi's death by drowning triggered TV hysteria that was both bizarre and tasteless. This story shows  the number of channels that did what it calls 'bathtub journalism', with anchors holding forth in a bathroom with speculative props such as a glass of wine (ABP News). Telugu channel Mahaa News took the..

Sexual harassment in newsrooms still a challenge

IN Law and Policy | 2018-02-27

It’s still there. And it’s still very difficult for women to get effective remedies. Stronger mechanisms are needed.

Ritu Sarin: one of a kind

IN Media Practice | 2018-02-26

She’s a solid, old school, investigative reporter, the kind they don’t make any more. Sarin’s award is well-deserved

Hooked on long form video

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-25

Hotstar has put out what it calls its India Watch Report for 2018 which says the country has seen a five times growth in video consumption over the last year, with 96 per cent of all usage being focused on long form video.  Penetration of video consumption in smaller cities with less..

Tributes to Neelabh Mishra

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-24

The National Herald has announced  that Neelabh Mishra, Editor-in-Chief of National Herald and Navjeevan, died on February 24 after a long illness, in Chennai. He was formerly editor of the Hindi Outlook until 2015, and became editor of NH in 2016. He began his career from the Navbharat Times in Patna, and launched Eenadu..

The right to privacy vs the right to know

IN Privacy | 2018-02-24

The Supreme Court’s new ruling that poll candidates and their relatives must reveal the source of their income, infringes their fundamental right to privacy

Dangerously selective

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-23

The Hindu, The Times of India and  Hindustan Times reported the most controversial parts of the Army chief's Feb 21 speech on immigration in the North East and the growth of the AIUDF as a party. It was only Indian Express that reported a longer excerpt, in which he spoke of amalgamation rather than..

Gag order against Caravan vacated

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-22

The Delhi High Court has vacated the injunction order against Caravan Magazine in the 50 Crore defamation case filed by IIPM founder Arindam Chaudhuri. Chaudhari had filed the case after the magazine published an article titled "Sweet smell of success – How Arindam Chaudhuri made a fortune out of the aspirations and insecurities of..

Parrikar's illness

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-22

 The crackdown on media coverage of the hospitalisation of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has gone to ridiculous lengths. While journalist Harish Volvoikar, who runs, was barred from entering the Goa Assembly for alleged inaccurate reporting,  Mumbai's Leelavati Hospital, where Parrikar was admitted, issued a press statement denying all media speculation.      ..

Amit Shah feeds his fever

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-21

The Hindu's news report on BJP President Amit Shah campaigning in coastal Karnataka has inadvertently has caused much merriment. It gives graphic details of Mr Shah's strict adherence to the dictim that  a fever must be fed...and how!  That's not all. The Hindu changed its headline (original : Fever did..

Zee yet to telecast apology

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-21

When does Zee TV plan to telecast the apology directed by the NBSA on the complaint labelling scientist and poet Gauhar Raza an 'anti-national' in its episode titled 'Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira'? Zee was to telecast it at 9 pm on Feb 16 and deposit Rs one lakh within a week..

Judges push back against gag orders

IN Judgements | 2018-02-20

After a spate of court orders gagging the media, two judges buck the trend in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Pachauri cases

Murders in crime reporter's family

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-18

In a horrific incident, the mother and daughter of Ravikant Kamble, a crime reporter with a newsportal Nagpur Today, were abducted on Saturday, February 17. Kamble put the news out on Facebook, appealing for information, but their bodies were found the next day. Police Commissioner Dr. Venkatesan told the portal..

Scholars on India’s media economy

IN Books | 2018-02-17

A new collection of essays provide a magisterial overview of the empirical and critical scholarship on the subject.

Fluff piece on Modi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-17

This Nirav Modi profile in The Hindu on the "silent" diamond trader "who now faces a bleak future" reads like a fluff piece on a man who is at the centre of a massive scam. Based on what the writer says could be the last interview he gave (in November 2017) to the Indian..

NIA's guidelines for reporting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-16

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), set up to deal with combating and investigating terror-related crimes in India, has taken it upon itself to define the work of journalists. In its chargesheet  against Kashmiri photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf, in jail since September 5, 2017, the NIA said videos accessed of his work..

Journalists get Rs 30 lakh settlement

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-16

A Mumbai Press Club release says a dispute between a security agency which inflicted injuries on journalists in late 2016 and the three journalists who brought charges against them has been settled with the company Tops Security agreeing to pay Rs 30 lakh towards a journalists welfare fund. The dispute..

PM visit spawns fake news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-14

Gulf news had a report  screaming Fake News! about a video clip aired by Times Now and Zee TV which showed a man in Arab dress saying Jai Siya Ram, and claimed that it was the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.  Apparently the man was a UAE-based columnist at a Morari..

Prannoy Roy writes to PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-13  has put out  a letter written by Prannoy Roy to PM Modi arguing that BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s  accusations of  US corporations doing money laundering and indulging in "sham transactions" with NDTV, are damaging India's chances of getting FDI, because they have shocked industry leaders around the world. The letter says..

How YouTube shapes modern culture

IN Books | 2018-02-12

The platform created celebrities out of virtual nobodies, millionaires out of paupers, and showed that it could shape political propaganda and give rise to movements.

Indira Jaising excoriates the Express

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-12

Senior advocate Indira Jaising's strong tweets on the Indian  Express's "atrocious reporting"  on the Supreme Court's Feb 9  hearings in the petition on the death of Judge Loya, may have forced the newspaper to 'update' its report. It dropped the reporter's byline  and corrected the mix up over which judge was transferred, and the wrongly..

Robots, kittens and Netflix: Turkish curbs on the media

IN Media Freedom | 2018-02-10

But continuous censorship and regulation is becoming a potential catalyst for creative dissidence,

Contemptuous of coalitions?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-10

Was he playing Devil's Advocate or is he really contemptuous of coalitions? Rajdeep Sardesai, anchoring the inaugural "election boardroom'' as Feb 9's 9pm broadcast on India Today TV was grandly called, kept referring to the Opposition  as a "gaggle of parties''. He then went on to ask whether Sonia Gandhi..

Taming Zee News

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-10

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has rejected the appeal by Zee News on its order of September 2017 to pay Rs one 1 lakh as a fine for its report ‘Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira’ broadcast on March 9, 2015, targeting poet and activist Gauhar Raza and to tender an..

Only four offenders in 2017

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-10

There's a sharp dip in the number of television channels violating the programme and advertising codes since 2014, informed Minister for Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. From 17 private television channels that violated the code in 2014 and 2015 and  16..

"Its about Adani"

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-08

Last year ABC Four Corners, an Australian news team, was threatened by the Crime Branch of Gujarat Police in October while it was at Gujarat’s Mundra port to investigate the Adani group. It was forced to leave Gujarat and India. Now comes  this post from an Indian origin Australian journalist working..

Pune girl livens up Republic Day

IN Media Practice | 2018-02-07

The girl got the Keystone Cops treatment, going from suicide bomber to aspiring pharmacist in 11 riveting days.

The right to privacy will impact journalism

IN Law and Policy | 2018-02-06

Can privacy rights be enforced against the media? Will the government now unleash a data protection authority on journalistic establishments?

Media moan

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-05

Even as the pay scales laid down by the Majithia Wage Board  have affected the viability of several media outlets, leading to increased lay-offs and more contract employment, the National Alliance of Journalists and the Delhi Union of Journalists have demanded the constitution of another wage board in a statement..

Trial begins for defamatory tweet

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-04

 Rising Kashmir reports that the trial has begun in the criminal defamation case filed by its Editor-in-chief against social activist Madhu Kishwar. She appeared via video conferencing in the Tis Hazari Courts in Delhi as permitted last year  by the  Supreme Court. The case is being tried in a local court in..

Press freedom in China: A decade of decline

IN Media Freedom | 2018-02-04

Detention and imprisonment is a means to silence those working in the unregulated media sector.

Man of the match?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-03

The ever-smiling Shireen Bhan, Managing editor of CNBCTV18, was such a tireless presence at channel's own budget event, presented on the channel, that the sponsor announced awards during the show, and named Bhan Man of the Match. Man?            ..

Media underplays the pruned outlays

IN Media Practice | 2018-02-03

It was left to the politicians, not journalists to look closer at the actual numbers. And even when they did the Modicare math, they did not play it up.

Too many studio guests

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-01

NDTV lined up more guests for its night time discussion on the Budget than it could accommodate, so as others waited patiently you had the spectacle of Prannoy Roy and Vikram Chandra hustling  West Bengal finance minister  Amit Mitra to  finish even as he was rolling out devastating  statistics on..

Token Hindi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-02-01

The much-touted part-presentation of the Budget this year in Hindi turned out to be a rather token component. Almost all of the substance of the the FM's Budget speech was in English. DD News chose not to have a Hindi translation, though ABP News, Zee News, Aaj Tak, News 24..

The Post reminds us what true news should look like

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-31

In a space of three years Hollywood has produced two masterpieces which bring home the indispensability of a free press.

Telangana govt in Rajasthan footsteps?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-30

After the Rajasthan government tried its infamous ordinance to restrain media coverage of cases of corruption of public officials, the Telangana government has gone a step further: it has decided that local police can file FIRs under Secs 506 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code (dealing with punishment for..

Social media raps media persons

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-30

A senior journalist, Abhisar Sharma took to Facebook live to call out Aaj Tak anchors, Sweta Singh and Rohit Sardana and slam them for distorting news and spreading lies on the Kasganj Republic Day celebrations clash that led to one death. Now, after social media criticism over the inflammatory tweet..

Its now Money Today

IN Media Business | 2018-01-28

In the past five years TV Today has seen a sharp acceleration in revenue growth and profit margins.

Mood of the nation?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-26

How do you report the findings of a poll?  With the PM's personal popularity holding,   or with the fact that the ruling alliance NDA would not get a majority?  Or that in vote share the UPA  is just two percent points  behind the NDA?  Surely not getting a majority..

Patriotic high

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-26

After the Republic Day telecast Times Now was fulminating  about the decision in J&K to withdraw cases against 9000 stone pelters. Rahul Shiv Shankar was thundering:"they will be back on the streets! These nasties will be back on the streets! The Mufti government is playing the worst kind of appeasement..

Timber mafia attack journalist

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-25

A freelance journalist Biplab Dey from Garo hills, was assaulted by timber smugglers at 10.30 pm on Jan 23  in Athiabari, West Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya, when he went to capture the evidence of illegal transportation of timbers from Garo hills to Assam. His camera and mobile phone were taken away to destroy..

Online journalists arrested in Kerala

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-25

Kerala police arrested two journalists - Abhilash Padachery and Ananthu Rajagopal-Asha on Sunday Jan 21, when they were shooting a Facebook live video of protests following  the demolition of a 'caste' wall in Ernakulum district for, an online news channel. The police claimed they were instigating the protestors and had..

Déjà vu: 'Mastermind' Tauqeer resurfaces

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-25

Over ten years three police agencies have contradicted each others’ claims about Tauqeer, but the press faithfully parrots whatever is put out.

Bombay HC sets aside media ban order

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-24

Justice Revati Mohite-Dere of the Bombay High Court set aside the special CBI court order banning the media from covering the Sohrabuddin encounter death trial, in two petitions, filed by nine court reporters and editors of news websites and the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists.             ..

‘Where is Prageeth?’

IN Media Freedom | 2018-01-24

The cartoonist disappeared 8 years ago this day. His wife’s struggle to find him shines a light on Sri Lanka’s dismal record on enforced disappearances

The media betrayal over Aadhaar

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-22

Patchy, inconsistent, unfocused coverage is what we got. Consistent investigative reporting would have told us long ago what we know now

Mevani, Republic TV and the solidarity in Chennai

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-21

Both refusals: the journalists’ and Mevani’s, can be seen as justified. Who then was right?

Shed the black

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-20

A video put out by the website jantakareporter shows an ANI journalist being asked by cops to remove his black jacket at the entrance to a rally in Varanasi which was to be addressed by the UP CM Yogi Adityanath and BJP President Amit Shah. Even as he refuses, pointing out there's..

The climate for free speech in India

IN Special Reports | 2018-01-20

The Hoot’s annual report attempts a state-wise overview of the climate for media freedom and free speech.

Mevani and ‘that mic’

IN Opinion | 2018-01-18

Mevani’s rejection of Republic TV raises a question: if media houses operate as hate-mongers, are they entitled to professional access?

Freelancing: freedom or folly?

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-17

With more journalists becoming freelancers, it’s time to attend to the issues of pay, ID, and safety.

Mevani vs Republic

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-16

The ongoing battle between Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and Republic Television took a new turn when he was to address a press conference in Chennai today. Mevani at first objected to the Republic journalist being present but agreed to his being there if he didn't ask any questions. The journalists initially agreed..

Framing Kashmir as ‘us and them’

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-14

The man appointed by New Delhi to restore dialogue in Kashmir says he has to contend with the damage done by the mainstream news channels.

But the same judges silenced past critics with contempt!

IN Censorship | 2018-01-13

The Supreme Court’s promiscuous use of contempt laws towards criticism has led to the volcanic eruption of a press conference.

Hathaway switches off Times channels

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-13

Television Post reports that the MSO Hathaway has switched  off the Times Network owned channels from its platform for non-payment of outstanding dues.  Hathaway had apparently been running scrolls informing subscribers about the impending switch-off. Hathaway and Times had signed a one year fixed fee deal which Times Network wanted revisited, though the contract..

Why new research must be better reported

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-13

Research-led stories usually start with “researchers have found”, with little mention of their names, institution and who funded their work.

Prescient op-ed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-13

On Jan 12, the day four judges of the Supreme Court called a press conference, lawyer Dushyant Dave published an op-ed in the Indian Express which was uncannily prescient in its timing. It was on the matter of allocation of cases to benches by the CJI which the four senior most judges spoke about..

Sniffing a conspiracy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-12

Times Now was indignant at the left-liberal conspiracy against the Modi government which is what the  four judges' press conference on Jan 12 morning  represented in their view. The channel kept showing Indira Jaisingh giving her views, and D Raja arriving at Justice Chelameswar's house, to prove  its point. "Both..

Reporter attacked, advised not to complain

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-12

A Facebook post by Damayantee Dhar who reports for The Wire records an attack on herself and another reporter from the Ahmedabad Mirror on January 7  by a "mob of 15-20 dalit men". She says the two of them were heckled, manhandled and had their press cards and mobile phones snatched and..

Ploughing their own furrow...

IN Opinion | 2018-01-11

.....Kashmiri women reporting on issues unrelated to the conflict and a farmer’s daughter on local radio.

Caught pilfering? Oh dear

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-10

Twitter was abuzz with reports  that a few senior journalists who accompanied West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on a trip to London were caught on CCTV pilfering the cutlery from a posh hotel during a reception. One was even fined £50 by the hotel staff when he denied the charge,..

Booked for exposing data breach

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-07

 When a journalist tries to do an investigative story  by pretending to be a client for an advertised service, she risks  being booked for impersonation, apparently.  Indian Express reports that the  UIDAI has filed an FIR against the paper and the  reporter of The Tribune of Chandigarh for an article on how anonymous users accessed..

Thou shalt not mock an Ambani

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-06

Alt News reports that eight websites deleted their stories on Ambani junior, Anant Ambani's speech at Reliance Industries' 40th anniversary event. His speech apparently took social media by storm, with lots of memes surfacing on Twitter. Stories on that trend which appeared on sites like ScoopWhoop, Storypick and DailyO were soon taken..

Internet shutdowns become chronic

IN Digital Media | 2018-01-05

There was not a single month in 2017 when an internet shutdown was not in force in some part of the country.

EPW finally gets an editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-05

The Economic and Political Weekly has appointed political scientist Gopal Guru who currently teaches at JNU as editor, the Sameeksha Trust announced yesterday. The search for an editor was on after Paranjoy Guha Thakurta resigned in July 2017. The previous two editors have been journalists.              ..

Adanis sue The Wire

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-05

The Adani group has filed a Rs 100 crore civil defamation suit against The Wire for an analysis published on November 11, 2017 which asked if it made economic sense for the state-owned  Indian Oil Corporation and Gail India to pick up stakes in the Adani group-promoted LNG terminals in Odisha and Gujarat...

Check duration of ads on TV, MIB told

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-04

Television Post reports that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) has asked the  I&B ministry to regulate the duration of ads aired by TV channels because consumers are subjected to unlimited advertising during programmes. TRAI had attempted to regulate the number of ads a few years ago and its recommendation..

Sound and fury, signifying nothing….

IN Media Practice | 2018-01-03

That’s a fair description of Times Now and Republic TV’s treatment of dalits commemorating the Bhima Koregaon battle.

A good year in the courts for free speech

IN Judgements | 2018-01-03

It’s been win some, lose some but some of the more significant rulings have been in favour of media freedom,

Journalists exploited, says MP

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-02

On January 2 Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal (Samajwadi, UP) raised the issue of media houses hiring journalists on contract, in the House. He said journalists were being exploited by owners of newspapers and TV channels even as lip service is paid to press freedom. He also spoke of media..

Perils of journalism

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2018-01-02

Republic TV reporter Shravan Sen was covering a clash in Kurla Chembur junction when suddenly protesters snatched his camera and phone and insisted he shut his camera and stop videographing the violence immediately. The screen blacked out and only the audio could be heard. He was covering the violence that..

Rajinikanth steps into TN’s reel- to-real life politics

IN Opinion | 2018-01-02

The film star’s promise of a new ‘’spiritual politics’ may sit uneasily in a state where rationalism and atheism have held sway for 50 years.

Setting the agenda for the Telangana elections

IN Regional Media | 2018-01-02

The media’s coverage of a dalit protest reveals how it played into the BJP game, promoting its agenda by repeating its claims and slogans,

Why media players are chasing regional audiences

IN Regional Media | 2017-12-29

Everyone is offering news and services in regional languages because that is where the audiences are

Times Now, same old tricks

IN Media Practice | 2017-12-29

On triple talaq, the channel imputed nefarious motives to an NGO for ‘contacting’ MPs and later took down the video to alter the look and feel of the debate. Why?

Fellow journos to the rescue

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-28

Though freelance journalists without press cards are vulnerable everywhere in India, the experience of Bombay journo Priyanka Borpujari shows that being  part of an urban  network of other journalists who can mobilise social media instantly, helps. She was roughed up by the Mumbai police, had her phone snatched away and..

Censoring the arts in 2017: advent of the NOC!

IN Censorship | 2017-12-28

In a bad year for creative freedom an astonishing variety of reasons were cited for censorship, even as the courts upheld filmmakers’ rights in some cases.

Kashmir govt gags social media use

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-27

The J&K govt has barred  govt servants from using their personal social media accounts for sharing or endorsing the “posts or tweets or blogs of any political figure". The gag order issued by the PDP-BJP govt also  says that  employees must not use their accounts in a manner that could reasonably be..

Anguish in Kashmir over mothers’ deaths

IN Media Practice | 2017-12-27

The death in firing of two mothers who leave behind babies has provoked another wave of outrage on social media.

Journalists challenge media ban

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-26

Nine journalists from Mumbai have filed a petition before the Bombay high court to challenge the ban on the media coverage of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter trial before the special CBI court. On Nov 29, CBI judge SJ Sharma passed an order on a plea by the defence counsel that..

Sun TV moves NCLT against Big TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-23

Sun TV Network has filed an insolvency petition against  Anil Ambani’s Reliance Big TV in the National Company Law Tribunal Mumbai. Big TV’s DTH operation  owes more than Rs 100 crore to leading broadcasters like Star India, ZEEL, Sony Pictures Networks India, TV18, Viacom18, Sun TV, and Discovery Communications India...

Campus censorship in TISS, Mumbai

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-22

TISS, Mumbai cancelled a scheduled programme on 'Contemporary politics of hatred: cow vigilantism, caste atrocities and Islamophobia', to be addressed by RPI leader Prakash Ambedkar and social activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad, on Friday, Dec 22, 2017. The authorities said the meeting couldn't be held because multiple programmes were fixed..

Press Club of India writes to Roy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-21

Following reports of NDTV planning to lay off 25 per cent of its staff, the Press Club of India has written to Prannoy Roy to say that the move is disturbing and that the club would like to invite him to address a meet at their premises to explain to..

Mint gets a new editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-21

 HT Media has announced that Vinay Kamat  who is editor of Khaleej Times, Dubai will be the new editor of Mint. It said that he brings with him 30 years of editorial experience across platforms.                              ..

Watch out--next time it could be you

IN Opinion | 2017-12-20

Journalists should condemn the Congress barring Times Now and Republic TV from its press briefings instead of colluding. It could be their turn next,

A labour of love in Kashmir

IN Regional Media | 2017-12-19

Danger, frustration, internet shutdowns, poor pay and unsupportive employers make journalism a labour of love, says an IFJ report

Pune police make amends

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-19

After this incident  of a Pune police officer assaulting and threatening a Loksatta journalist the ACP in question, Nilesh More has apparently been transferred pending an enquiry.  The police officer also tendered an apology, according to the Pune Union of Working Journalists which took up the matter with Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla...

Whose exit poll was bang on?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-18

When you give yourself a range of  upto 15 seats in an exit poll prediction, you can say later that you were bang on, whatever the outcome. The India Today-Axis exit poll gave the BJP 99-113 seats, and Congress 68-82  in Gujarat, so through the evening prime time  the channel..

Why governments must not block social media criticism

IN Digital Media | 2017-12-17

This is the paradox of social media as a tool for political dissent: Exercising freedom of expression is easier than ever before, but so is censorship.

Stay order continues in Quint journalist case

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-15

The Bombay High Court has extended  the stay order on investigation into the case against Quint journalist Poonam Agarwal on charges of OSA and abetment to suicide of jawan Roy Matthew following her sting exposing the exploitative sahayak system. A bench comprising Justices Naresh Patil and Nitin Sambre said the..

JNU enquiry on Rashid tweets

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-15

News18 reports  hat The JNU administration has asked student activist Shehla Rashid to appear for a proctoral inquiry over her claims on Twitter about "Internet censorship" on the campus. Rashid, a former JNU students' union vice president, had tweeted on November 11 that students were unable to access content from AIB, The..

Maoists disown pamphlet threatening journalists

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-15

Journalists in Bastar were abuzz with news of a pamphlet circulated purportedly by a Maoist group that they would face 'dire consequences' if they misreported encounters in Bijapur district. Last week however the Bijapur press club received a pamphlet from  the South Bastar Divisional Committee of the Maoists which said the news..

Gujarat 2017: How did the media fare?

IN Media Practice | 2017-12-14

Though partisan channels batted for the incumbent, there was enough clear-eyed reporting on offer to unsettle the ruling party.

Politician, not psephologist

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-13

Bhupender Chaubey had Yogendra Yadav on a poll eve panel on CNN News 18, and  flashed the unflattering predictions Yadav had made about how the BJP would fare in the Gujarat elections. Thereafter he kept rubbing it in every now and then during the show that Yadav was no longer..

HT appoints EE, but Mint still headless

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-12

HT has made Kunal Pradhan, its Delhi editor for the past few months, Executive Editor of the paper. But it has still not named an editor for Mint, after its editor Sukumar Ranganathan moved to HT as Editor-in-chief.            ..

Excited reporter, invisible crowd

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-12

The seaplane episode in Gujarat had the Republic TV reporter so excited that she kept repeating herself.  “The seaplane coming to Gujarat for the first time is development…the PM is trying to promote tourism...  All of these people ready to see the seaplane.. trying to get a glimpse of it…Just ..

Ravi Belagere and the Kannada tabloid genre

IN Regional Media | 2017-12-11

TV channels are holding debates and discourses on Ravi the editor and chronicling his almost rags to riches story including the murky underworld and its relation to crime.

Fake list of bribed journos?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-09

Journalists following up on a story on a secret diary that indicated the bribing and corruption of members of the Tamil Nadu cabinet by industrialist and mining baron Sekhar Reddy found that another diary was quickly doing the rounds, this time with the names of  journalists and alleged payouts to them in..

Tabloid editor arrested

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-08

Ravi Belagere, editor of Kannada tabloid Hi Bangalore, was arrested on Dec 8 on allegations  of hiring a contract killer to murder a fellow journalist, his former employee  Sunil Heggaravanahalli. Police found guns and ammunition in his home.  In June this year he was one of two editors to attract..

Apna university

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-08

At the bottom of page 4 in the Delhi edition of the TOI (Dec 8) there is a nice little puff job on the university this group has opened in Noida in UP-- Bennett University has Ivy League ties. The item is not pegged to any particular news development but tells you..

Life after 100 pellets pierce you

IN Regional Media | 2017-12-08

Journalist Javed Mir’s struggle to recover from 100 pellets in his body, with no help, mirrors the experience of hundreds of other victims in Kashmir

Reliving the demolition

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-07

Journalists who reported the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 talk about their experience in this video on The Wire.  Watch Mark Tully, Ruchira Gupta, Seema Chishti, Vrinda Gopinath and others describe what it was like on that fateful day in Ayodhya.                  ..

Direct questions on Zee

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-06

On Dec 6 Zee News’ edition of “Game of Gujarat” held in Sabarkantha was quite incredible.  For starters the anchor thrust his mike at one person after another in audience asking,  when you see Bhagwan Ram in that state in Ayodhya, does it make you sad? Dukh hota hai?   Then..

Loksatta exposes land grab by babus and judges

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-06

Loksatta, the Marathi daily of the Express Group, used RTI to publish a major investigation on Dec 3  titled ‘ Civil Servants Aawas Yojana’, on land grab in prime locations in Mumbai by bureaucrats and judges. It named them and carried pictures of the housing colonies concerned, in Churchgate, Andheri,..

Covering NCRB data: how newspapers fared

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-12-06

As statistics grow more important in public debates, here is an analysis of how the media covered – or muddled - the latest crime figures

Sedition charges against 111 in UP

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-05

Sedition charges have been slapped against 111 people for allegedly raising anti-national slogans during the victory march of a Congress candidate in Lakhimpur Kheri who had defeated her BJP rival at the recently concluded civic bodies poll in UP, reports TOI. The candidate denied that the slogans were raised by her followers.          ..

Rebutting an under-informed critic

IN Media Practice | 2017-12-05

I have severe objections to writers like Sabith use a broad-brush technique to see the 'Myanmar authorities' as one single monolith.

Feel-good news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-04

Young inheritors are running empires in several Indian media groups, but contributing to the journalistic side is  less common. Times of India proprietor Samir Jain's daughter Trishla Jain does write a regular lifestyle blog for the paper called 'Begin Within'.  But a four-column piece published on Dec 3 in the..

Is the Western media really biased on Rohingyas?

IN Media Practice | 2017-12-03

There are instances in Bhaumik’s article which make one wonder whether it was written to defend and justify actions of the Myanmar authorities.

Is Srikrishna privileging privacy over free speech?

IN Law and Policy | 2017-12-02

Will journalism of the kind that published the Radia tapes, involving private conversations between private individuals, be precluded by a possible data protection law?

NCRB data on attacks on journalists

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-01

How many templates does the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) need to get right its data collection on attacks on journalists? Data on attacks on journalists is missing from the latest NCRB report released with much fanfare by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and the report says a new..

Scribe killed in Kanpur

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-01

Naveen Gupta, a contributor with Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead by unidentified persons near the Nagar Palika market in Billhaur, about 60 km from Kanpur, on Nov 30, 2017. While it is as yet unclear whether this is related to his journalism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered..

Why so negative?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-12-01

PM Modi told the Hindustan Times Summit on Nov 30 about the many changes his govt had brought in the lives of ordinary people and quoted former president APJ Abdul Kalam to ask why the media here was so negative. “Why is it that we don’t acknowledge our capacities and..

Gavai meets press over Loya controversy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-28

In a move that has raised eyebrows, Justice Bhushan Gavai of the Bombay High Court called a press meet in his chambers yesterday to tell court reporters there was 'nothing suspicious' about  the death of Justice Loya in Dec 2014. Justice Gavai was quoted in the Indian Express report, following up on..

Sun TV: In search of the next big idea?

IN Media Business | 2017-11-28

Profitability has never been an issue for this Southern giant, but the growth rate of net profits has been coming down.

Loya story evolves--and how

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-27

Media investigations in the Loya story get curiouser and curiouser. Caravan's initial story raised dire suspicions about the judge's death but with each subsequent follow-up  the facts are becoming transformed. The auto rickshaw in which the judge was taken to hospital remained an auto rickshaw in the NDTV follow up, with its use being..

Justice Loya-another narrative

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-26

The Caravan story which raised questions about the manner in which Justice BH Loya (who was hearing the Sohrabuddin case) died was met by silence in most of the print media. But now has produced a follow up story which revisits the individuals and institutions mentioned in  the original story  to..

Allahabad HC gag order in Adityanath case worrying

IN Censorship | 2017-11-26

Since the proceedings involve the CM and serious criminal allegations against him, public interest surely outweighs concerns about inaccurate reporting?

Media not barking

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-25

Caravan breaks a story on the death of the CBI Judge hearing the Amit Shah case, the link is widely shared. But the media silence in the aftermath has been deafening. Speaking at a book launch on Nov 24 Arun Shourie called it a criminal silence and said that mainstream media had..

Western double standards in Myanmar reporting

IN Media Practice | 2017-11-25

The western media has taken a line on the Rohingya crisis and anything that contradicts that line, such as jihadi barbarism, is ignored

The sinning health minister of Assam

IN Media Practice | 2017-11-24

Himanta Biswa Sarma sinned against reason and compassion when he said cancer was divinely ordained. He won his 15 minutes of notoriety

TRS commandant held for murder of reporter in Tripura

IN Media Freedom | 2017-11-22

Bhowmik’s body was brought by four TSR personnel to the Agartala Government Hospital at 2.15pm, two hours 15 minutes after he was shot dead.

Another journalist killed in Tripura

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-21

Two months after a journalist was killed in Tripura by mob violence, another scribe was shot dead today by the personal security officer of a commandant of the Tripura State Rifles. Shantanu Bhaumik's murder in September this year was followed by the murder on Nov 21 of Sudip Datta Bhaumik who was..

Burning newspapers in Imphal

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-21  reports  that  Imphal-based newspapers left their editorial columns blank to protest  the burning down of a daily on Nov. 18,  allegedly by members of the BJP’s youth wing. "Copies of the vernacular newspaper   Poknapham were set on fire by unidentified miscreants in front of BJP’s party office at Nityapat Chuthek on..

Facebook’s community censors curb free speech

IN Censorship | 2017-11-21

Accounts that are satirical, expose hate speech, or are totally harmless are being blocked for ‘violating’ Facebook guidelines.

Tireless AIR

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-21

All India Radio, unsurprisingly, is a tireless promoter of the PM's Mann ki Baat.  At this year's India International Trade Fair AIR has a stall on the theme of MKB, which is a big tourist draw, we are told by DD News. People are queuing up at the stall to drop their..

Scaremongering over HIV and Aadhaar

IN Media Practice | 2017-11-19

A Scroll report that patients will stop treatment revealed a lack of understanding and objectivity, adding to the misinformation.

How the Pew report on Modi was covered

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-11-19

Holes, slanted and selective fact-picking, and weak analysis contributed to projecting an overly positive image for the PM and BJP

IFFI begins, minus Nude and S Durga

IN Censorship | 2017-11-19

The directors are indignant at their films being dropped but the reasons are somewhat more complicated than simple ‘censorship’.

Pollution: Forget politics, focus on smog science

IN Media Practice | 2017-11-17

It’s not the crop burning, stupid. It’s vehicles that create smog and the media should educate the public.

Rajasthan Patrika rubs it in

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-16

In observance of National Press Day today Rajasthan Patrika carried  a blank editorial saying that it was a day meant to celebrate independent  and responsible journalism. But in Rajasthan this was endangered by the black law the state government was seeking to introduce. It said it opposed a law which amounted to..

Film tribunal’s rulings: good, bad and arbitrary

IN Censorship | 2017-11-16

The FCAT is doing a good job of overruling the CBFC’s bizarre diktats but it could be less arbitrary about its own orders

Zee News does its bit

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-15

 Zee News has rolled up its sleeves  to do battle on behalf of the BJP as the Gujarat elections approach.  On Nov 14 they played the Hardik Patel CD at prime time,  and when it showed precious little that was incriminating the voice over said the channel was not playing..

Damp squib

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-14

On Tuesday night (Nov 14) ABP News went from communal sensation-mongering to rendering its own expose a damp squib in the space of a single news story at prime time. Its reporter set out to find out why some homes  in Ahmedabad's housing societies woke up in the morning to..

MIB drops films, jury head resigns

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-14

NDTV reports that Director Sujoy Ghosh, head of the  jury for the Indian Panorama section at the 48th International Film Festival of India, has resigned. Last week the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting reportedly removed two films from a list picked by the jury to be screened at the festival.  Missing from the..

Journo remand extended

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-14

Journalist Vinod Verma's judicial remand has been extended till November 27. The journalist whose arrest in Ghaziabad on Oct 27 created a stir, was subsequently taken to Raipur in connection with a sleaze CD case involving a Chhattisgarh minister. His bail plea has been rejected.          ..

Wifi censorship

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-12

This HT story says that "a section of JNU students" allege "that they cannot access any videos relating to JNU student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and politicians Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamta Bannerjee. Other members of opposition parties  are showing no results”.  Apparently access  to news sites of NDTV, The..

Demonetisation in numbers—how statistics were used

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-11-12

Two aspects of partisan commentary stood out: adjectives coupled with decontextualised statistics create an illusion of success, and favourable “facts” are mentioned in numbers, whereas inconvenient ones are stated in words.

Four things the Paradise Papers tell us

IN Opinion | 2017-11-10

They tell us that tax avoidance is a booming industry, that secrecy prevails through trusts, and highly complex tools are used.

Oh dear!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-09

After The Hoot wrote this brief  on how the Indigo fracas was covered it seems we goofed in praising TOI, which in turn had goofed in labelling  the employee who shot the video as a whistleblower who was sacked. The airline says that far from being a whistleblower the man was the real culprit..

NDTV’s loss and profit

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-09

Television Post reports that NDTV’s standalone net loss has jumped 35% to Rs 17.92 crore for the 2nd quarter of FY ‘18 as against Rs 13.29 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. It adds that revenue from operations has fallen 22.18%.  The standalone result is of financials for the TV news..

Paying for the Panchkula damage

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-09

The Chandigarh Press Club had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to be clubbed with others who had sought compensation from the Haryana Government for damage to property  during the 25th August violence in Panchkula. Media persons and organisations suffered damage to  vehicles, OB vans and other equipment. The..

TOI scores

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-08

While the Hindu, Express, New Indian Express and Hindustan Times had reports on the incident of a scuffle between an Indigo airlines passenger and its staffers, with the latter allegedly thrashing the passenger (the video shows manhandling and dragging rather than thrashing) only the Times of India reported  additionally that the airline sacked the whistleblower--the employee who shot the..

Tribune fights back

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-08

In a heartening development the Tribune Trust which governs the Chandigarh Tribune, is reported  to have removed the Trust President Justice SS Sodhi and replaced him with J&K governor NN Vohra. What triggered this is the belief that the paper published an abject front page apology  to a controversial politician because of..

Zee, HT, Sun, Network 18 linked to offshore havens

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-07

The second day's Paradise Papers revelations in the Indian Express link four major media companies with offshore havens. Transactions made by the Zee Group  Hindustan Times Group  the Sun Group, and Network 18 have been detailed, and a radio company owned for a short period by NDTV news, has been linked with Astro, the Malaysian company whose..

Editors or Commandos?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-07

 Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson of the India Today Group had reason to be exhilarated at the number of awards her channel TV Today bagged at the Indian Television Academy awards ceremony on Sunday night. But her reference to their news room as a war zone and her editorial honchos as..

Actively avoiding the news

IN Research Studies | 2017-11-07

People across countries say they avoid news because it depresses them, and they cannot rely upon it to be true.

Julian Assange carps

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-06

Julian Assange tweeted about the Paradise Papers revelations: “Great sourcing! But ICIJ is still based in DC, is Ford, Soros, Omidyar funded and still "sits on" nearly everything.” The last is a reference to this tweet by Bastian Obermayer of the Süddeutsche Zeitung which obtained the documents: “PARADISE PAPERS is..

Savvy CM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-05

Kerala's state-owned Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT)has a new role. It is producing a half hour weekly TV series featuring CM Pinarayi Vijayan  answering questions on his government's performance.  The half-hour show, “We, Forward” will be anchored by journalist-turned-legislator Veena George, and will be shown on various channels..

Ravish Kumar’s magnificent obsession

IN Opinion | 2017-11-05

The NDTV India anchor has been exposing in relentless and riveting detail the shameful state of India’s universities

Impunity prevails, but what is the solution?

IN Media Freedom | 2017-11-04

In 50 percent of the killings of Indian journalists since 2010 there have been no arrests so far. We need to come together to protect our tribe,

Patrika to boycott CM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-11-02

The Rajasthan Patrika announced in a front page editorial on Nov 2 that it had decided to boycott all news related  to the chief minister Vasundhara Raje until she revoked the gag ordinance which protects public servants from having charges against them reported without permission from the government. (The Hindu)..

GM food issue: PCI orders retraction

IN Media Practice | 2017-11-01

The Financial Express is forced to apologise for ad hominem insinuations about activist Kavita Kuruganti

Irani not amused

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-31

Radio Mirchi has been sent a show cause notice by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to explain why it should not be penalised for a jingle which discourages foreign tourists from coming to India, and thereby violates the  AIR Code. It aired a campaign #MatAaoIndia after yet another attack..

Tribune apologises to controversial leader

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-31

The fact that the Chandigarh Tribune has carried what is being described as an abject apology to controversial senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia in its Oct 29 Sunday edition, has lead to disquiet in the paper, including employee union protests. The apology has apparently been forced upon the paper's editor by the Trust which..

Arrested journalist has Cong affiliation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-30

Perhaps because of the accusations against him of collusion with the Congress in framing a BJP minister with a sex CD, the cries of indignation in Delhi at least over the arrest of a journalist have become rather muted.  Vinod Verma who was arrested a couple of days ago in..

Trolling Irani

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-30

If the comments on this TOI story concerning I and B minister Smriti Irani are any guide,  trolls on the other  side are just as vicious.  The Times Group which is unlikely to want to showcase anything overtly offensive to the powers that be, should take a look at the highlighted top..

Targetting Rahul Gandhi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-28

The fake video factory targeting Rahul Gandhi  is getting creative. Boomlive did a fact check  on a video,  ostensibly of Rahul Gandhi speaking at a rally in  Gandhinagar in Gujarat in October where money was being distributed to those present.  The original video was uploaded in March this year, and is supposed..

DD Bharati's bad habits

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-28

The public broadcaster has been guilty of recording and telecasting a live concert of  Shubha Mudgal without  permission and the furious singer has written to DD, copy to I and B Minister Smriti Irani. This was four days ago, no news yet as to what the minister had to say. She was..

Decoding the dynamics between Adivasis and Maoists

IN Books | 2017-10-28

“I have spent most of my working life so far studying the lives of people in what we casually refer to as ‘conflict zones’… as a journalist and chronicler, I approached them through a completely different route,”

Hadiya: a media spectacle

IN Media Practice | 2017-10-28

The life of Hadiya – confined for converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim - has become the property of her father, the media, and the courts

Polarisation in the news media

IN Research Studies | 2017-10-27

There is large variation across nations in the degree to which the audiences for the most popular news brands are polarised along the left–right spectrum,

Journalist arrested in NCR

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-27

Journalist Vinod Verma, formerly with the BBC and with Amar Ujala, was picked up from his home in the early hours of 27th October by the Chhattisgarh police (in plain clothes) and UP police and taken to the Indirapuram police station in Ghaziabad. The have seized his laptop on suspicion..

NDTV promoter shareholding attached

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-27

NDTV has written to the stock exchanges on October 26 that it has received a notice from the Income Tax department provisionally attaching the entire 29.2 per cent shareholding of RRPR Holding Private Limited, one of its promoters.  RRPR is in the process of seeking legal advice the letter said...

Self censorship on Star Plus

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-27

The Wire reports that  comedian Rangeela who recorded a mimicking of PM Modi for Star Plus's reality show  ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’  has alleged that the channel  refused to air his act. He said that he got a phone call from the production team almost a month after the episode was originally recorded..

Russian meddling and American desperation

IN Digital Media | 2017-10-25

Last week, three senators introduced “The Honest Ads Act” to regulate political advertising on the Internet and plug the gap in existing laws.

Hollywood needs more women movie executives

IN Media Business | 2017-10-23

More women are graduating from the world’s top film and television schools and often outperforming their male counterparts, so why are they not in positions of power equal to men,

Rajasthan's new ordinance may survive legal challenge

IN Media Freedom | 2017-10-23

The Supreme Court’s shaky jurisprudence on Article 19 (1)(a) has provided a foundation for the legislature to push for more restrictions on free speech.

Rahul Gandhi, ANI and BJP

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-23

In the controversy over the ANI story on accounts from Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia retweeting Rahul Gandhi's tweets, has found  that the BJP's IT cell head Amit Malviya tweeted a screenshot of one of  the Twitter accounts taken two hours before ANI's story was published at 1.05 pm. The screenshot..

Jagran stringer who was RSS functionary killed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-21

The Hindu reports that a  journalist with the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and a member of the RSS, Rajesh Mishra, was shot dead in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. His brother was also shot at and critically injured. Several rounds were filed at him by unidentified motorbike-borne assailants. Police said suspected enmity..

A brief recent history of media self-censorship

IN Censorship | 2017-10-20

Are media establishments self-censoring more since this government came to power? Or were some equally mindful of the UPA’s sensitivities too?

Others speak up at NDTV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-19

Self censorship at NDTV is a can of worms whose lid is prised open occasionally only to be tamped down again. But the most recent disclosure by Sreenivasan Jain a couple of days ago has led to a long outpouring by Barkha Dutt on her Facebook page about the selective censorship at that channel...

A status quoist, not transformative right

IN Books | 2017-10-18

The enactment of Article 19 of the Constitution made merely a rhetorical change, not a substantive one, to the right to free speech in India,

NDTV gets cold feet on Jay Shah

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-18

Srinivasan Jain of NDTV posted on his Facebook page that a report by him and a colleague  on loans given to Jay Shah's companies was taken down from NDTV's website because the channel's lawyer said it needed to be removed for 'legal vetting'. He adds that it has still not been..

Succession at India Today

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-17

Aroon Purie, chairman of the India Today Group, announced today that he was handing over charge to his daughter Kalli Purie, who will now become Vice Chairman. All those who report to him will now report to her his letter said, but the Group Editorial Director, publishing, and the CFO..

HT reporter targeted in Mansa

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-16

The Press Club in Mansa district of Punjab has filed a complaint with the CM Capt Amarinder Singh on the intimidation of  HT journalist Mohammad Ghazali by the local district administration. It says, the DC Dharam Pal Gupta alleged that Ghazali's story of farmers being denied entry into local grain..

This does not look like 66A through the back door

IN Law and Policy | 2017-10-15

The new hate speech provisions will apply only when likely to incite an offence or threaten public order. But making them cognizable is a cause for worry,

Victimised by the victim?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-14

Outlook carried this story on the journalist Shweta Kothari who resigned from Republic TV, based on a statement she had put out on Twitter. She said she had been accused of being a mole for Shashi Tharoor and talked about the "constant humiliation" meted out to her while working at the channel...

How the Pakistan media fed Qandeel to the jackals

IN Opinion | 2017-10-14

A documentary incriminates the media in the events leading up to the murder of Qandeel Baloch, a young woman with big dreams.

No free speech on Twitter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-14

Looks like the TOI is not so out of line after all in the social media guidelines it set for its media employees. The NYT has now come up with this:  “In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do..

Implicated by the media

IN Media Practice | 2017-10-13

In the Aarushi Talwar murder case, the media had scaled new heights of irresponsibility by spreading canards and defamatory stories. The Talwars have now been acquitted by the Allahabad High Court.

Murdoch and the tech Goliaths

IN Media Business | 2017-10-12

Helped by their role in muddying in the US election, Rupert Murdoch’s campaign to whittle away Google and Facebook’s supremacy is showing results.

Covering the North East cauldron

IN Books | 2017-10-11

What are the constraints and dilemmas of newspapers in the North East as they seek to cover current and ancient conflicts? A new book has insights.

Amit Shah's musings

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-10

On Saturday, TOI  the Indian Express and The Hindu wrote stories quoting at length from BJP president Amit Shah's blog on his September visit to Jharkhand. The blog spoke about how apart from the Vajpayee government and now Narendra Modi's government, all other governments had exploited the mineral resurces of tribal land, without giving the..

Jay Shah: highly selective coverage

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-10

Coverage of the Jay Amit Shah story on The Wire by other media is becoming quite hilarious. Two days after it broke you will find no  shows on it on Republic TV, Times Now, Doordarshan, and CNN News 18. Mirror Now had a story which detailed the Congress allegations. ABP..

The latest trends in digital publishing

IN Media Business | 2017-10-09

Publishers are losing direct traffic, regional language sites see an uptick, WhatsApp is India’s largest media consumption platform, and start-ups find that millennials are willing to pay for news.

Journalism without self censorship?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-08

When The Wire published this story on the "Golden touch of Jay Amit Shah" on Sunday its website crashed at the surge of traffic and then came back up. The story has been reported by former ET journalist Rohini Singh who, Wire founding editor M K Venu says, has joined them..

Defamation case withdrawn

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-07

The Wire reports that the Essel Group has withdrawn a defamation case against it for a story published in June this year based on a CAG report, about lottery irregularities in Mizoram. The Gauhati High Court's Aizawl bench stayed the defamation proceedings in the case. The interesting part is that the case..

Relying on PM's Twitter pix

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-07

The Hindu chose to use pictures tweeted by @PMOIndia to illustrate a story on the PM's Gujarat visit. As a result the captions did not even identify the others in the pictures, which included the chief minister.                  ..

Selective reporting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-05

If you watch Times Now you encounter Navika Kumar aggressively asserting that Modi baiters should apologise to the PM because the Gujarat High Court has  said Modi had no role in the larger conspiracy of  the Gujarat riots. She does not mention (until a panelist brought it up) that the..

Hard to live this down

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-05

The Hindu has apologised for an incredible story it published in its Mumbai edition on October 1,  saying that a video had recorded a  woman dying in the stampede at Elphinstone station being molested by a bystander. The apology said "A perusal of the clip does not warrant such a conclusion." It admitted..

Safai bandwagon

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-04

The India Today Group is on the Swachh  Bharat bandwagon. Its editorial director Kalli Purie told the audience at the Group's Safaigiri Singathon that three years ago PM Modi had nominated India Today editor-in-chief Aroon Purie a brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission  and ever since the group has been gving annual Safaigiri..

CBFC's U/A binge

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-04

Under its new head the CBFC has been handing out U/A certificates to films which you would expect to be certified 'U'. Newton, which is  about a polling officer's efforts to conduct elections in a Chhattisgarh village, has got U/A certification. So has Chef, starring Saif Ali Khan, because the..

Countering TV anchors

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-03

The J&K Tourism Department has decided that an ad agency it uses will produce positive programmes on Kashmir.   This is an effort to counter the harm that the state government thinks is done  by "hyper nationalistic media in India (which)  ran shows on prime time selling lies about Kashmir..

Deaths and attacks mount, protests also mount

IN Media Freedom | 2017-10-02

October 2 will see protests across the country as journalists gather to protest killings. But to assess the vulnerability of journalists look at the attacks as well.

Covering deaths

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-02

How should the gruesome aftermath of a stampede be covered? TV cameras at Elphinstone Road zoomed in on dead bodies, one capturing a shot of someone placing in finger below the body's nose to check if he was breathing. Red arrows pinpointed which among the tangle of bodies crammed between..

Glaring example?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-10-02

From the Sunday Pioneer: "Chief Minister Sabarnanda Sonowal condemned the demise describing Radhika Mohan Bhagawati as 'a glaring example of journalistic excellence who immensely enriched the field of journalism in the state'."                              ..

Paranoid anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-30

In a long, convoluted open letter to the PM published by The Wire, NDTV India anchor Ravish Kumar wants to know from Narendra Modi if his life and job are in danger. He says he believes he could be fired from his job just as Bobby Ghosh, editor of the..

The glacial pace of delivering defamation rulings

IN Judgements | 2017-09-30

In two cases involving CNN IBN-Cobrapost and the ToI, the judiciary took 10 and 20 years respectively to decide cases of civil and criminal defamation.

AIR committee meets after 34 years

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-28

An advisory committee of All India Radio met after nearly 34 years earlier this week to discuss the revival plans of its external broadcast division, PTI reports. The last meeting of the 'Standing Advisory Committee on External Broadcast' was apparently held in 1983, and the committee has been "revived and..

Threats to data privacy from non state actors

IN Privacy | 2017-09-28

The absence of a legal framework compelling maximum disclosure by corporations on their use of customer data, is dangerous.

Firspost chief reporter threatened

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-27

Huffpost India reports that the chief reporter of Firstpost  in Delhi, Debobrat Ghose, has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police about threats received by him, through phone calls as well as messages on WhatsApp. One f the calls told him that he would face the same fate as Gauri Lankesh if he..

Not plagiarised, apparently

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-26

 Nothing new about a Hindi film being accused of plagiarism. But sometimes directors are unwilling to let such charges pass. With 'Newton' being accused of being a rip-off of the Iranian film 'Secret Ballot' Anurag Kashyap sent the link of his film to the director of the latter, Marco Muller,..

Will this be a first?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-25

The New Indian Express  reports that the Puducherry government was holding talks with law experts to file a defamation case against Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, according to the chief minister V Narayanasamy. He told reporters that she was  making baseless allegations against the government, and indirectly interfering with the ongoing..

The Privileges Committee is suddenly hyperactive

IN Law and Policy | 2017-09-25

Increasingly, MPs are summoning journalists to defend stories they consider false or defamatory. The list is getting quite long.

Newton and Maoism: mass media finally gets it right

IN Media Practice | 2017-09-24

Newton is a quiet film which delivers a ringing satire on the nature of state intervention in Naxal areas and the sham elections that are held there.

Another journalist murdered

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-23

The third murder of a journalist in the month of September  took place in Mohali in Punjab. Journalist KJ Singh and his mother were found murdered at their house in Mohali on September 23.  HT and Scroll report that he was found with his throat slit and his mother appeared..

New ed for HT

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-23

The Hindustan Times has announced that the editor of Mint, Sukumar Ranganathan  will become the editor-in-chief of the paper. The internal mail to staff said that the appointment of an editor for Mint would be announced shortly. The current editor Bobby Ghosh will remain with the company till October 31, the announcement said.    ..

‘Why did the police not stop the mob?’

IN Media Freedom | 2017-09-22

Shantanu Bhowmick was clearly marked out since he worked for DinRaat channel which was perceived as being pro-CPM,

Tell the court what you think

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-21

The Delhi High Court is inviting suggestions via  a Google form regarding how ongoing court proceedings should be reported. It says, " As per the deliberations of the Committee in its meeting held on 31.08.2017, questionnaires are hereby circulated to the members of the general public to give their suggestions on the..

ICE has melted: IPL rights and the media economy

IN Media Business | 2017-09-21

The expanded profile of bidders this year suggests that IPL rights now attract players from various segments of the ICE business.

Journalist killed in Tripura

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-21

Santanu Bhowmick, a journalist from DinRaat news channel, was killed on Wednesday and several people were wounded in ongoing clashes between supporters of two rival tribal associations in Mandwai, about 28km from the Tripura capital of Agartala, HT reports.  He was covering an agitation and road blockade by the Indigenous People’s Front..

The Right is nasty but liberals are just as bad

IN Opinion | 2017-09-20

In today’s polarized atmosphere, liberals opt for shrill rants, cloaked in moral superiority, while caring little for facts, logic or arguments

Privileges Committee summons

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-20

The back story of the huge apology notice published by the Hindustan Times on September 18 (see this Hoot brief) is to be found in the record of sittings of the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha. The apology was published three days after the last sitting to which the editor of HT was summoned. The..

Big time blooper

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-19

Did it really take the Hindustan Times almost six months to figure out that it had got the figures on the attendance  in Parliament of certain MPs, wrong? Or is there more to why it carried a front page apology covering half the page on September 18? It said, "In the edition..

The rise and rise of Jagran Prakashan

IN Media Business | 2017-09-16

The company that publishes Dainik Jagran goes from strength to strength ten years after its 2006 IPO.

Andhra Pradesh: no space left for independent media?

IN Regional Media | 2017-09-16

With large swathes of the Andhra Pradesh media either owned by political parties or lined up behind them, unbiased news is a rarity.

No longer toothless

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-15

DAVP which releases govt ads to newspapers has suspended publications censored by the Press Council of India from its panel for two months. The list of empanelled newspapers who have been thus punished include Dainik Jagran, The Times of India Bhubaneshwar, and Maharashtra Times, Pune.The PCI censure is for a range of reasons and covers..

NSE withdraws defamation case

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-15

Mint reports that the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd  has withdrawn on September 12  a Rs 100-crore defamation case against Moneylife magazine and its founders Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal.  The case was filed in July 2015 after Moneylife published a whistleblower's letter which alleged that NSE had given preferential access to..

India leads in Internet bans

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-15

With eight internet bans mposed in the first two weeks of September India seems set to retain its dubious 2016 record of having imposed the highest number of internet bans in the world, reports  A total of 55 instances of Internet being banned in different parts in India have been reported this year...

NIA picks up young Kashmiri photo journalist

IN Regional Media | 2017-09-14

Kamran Yousuf has been in the National Investigation Agency’s custody for a week without any charges being brought against him.

Delhi HC denies protection to Madhu Kishwar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-12

The Delhi High Court has refused  to grant protection from arrest to activist Madhu Kishwar in a criminal defamation case brought by Rising Kashmir  editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari. Kishwar wanted interim protection because a non bailable warrant was issued against her by a Srinagar Court. In July she got a Supreme Court order..

Like most journalists, her only bias was truth and non-violence

IN Media Freedom | 2017-09-09

When the news of her murder came through my news feed, I wondered, will assassination of Gauri Lankesh be different? Will the killers be caught and punished this time?

Good sense returns to the CBFC

IN Censorship | 2017-09-09

Under Prasoon Joshi, the CBFC is trying to handle film certification without cuts and make life easier for filmmakers

Demonetization version 2.0: the frozen accounts fiction

IN Media Practice | 2017-09-09

While the wire reports claimed that the government has “frozen” the bank accounts of all the 2.09 lakh companies, the PIB press release did not use the word “frozen” even once.

Congress theory on Lankesh murder

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-08

The Congress publication  National Herald has come up with its own angle on the Gauri Lankesh murder, spinning the theory that "since the saffron forces do not have recourse to the administrative and police machinery in states not ruled by the BJP, they have to kill to silence opposing voices". Its says that..

Ominous footnote

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-07

Journalist Darryl D'Monte offers this  ominous  footnote to the last two days: “I was editing the Sunday magazine of the ToI in the ‘seventies and we were running a series titled “Dying as a Writer” – as opposed to Living as one. We got an angry response to our request..

Software for new commenting system

IN Media Tech Briefs | 2017-09-07

The Washington Post  is rolling out Talk  a new commenting system that will allow the paper to better engage with readers who comment on its stories and help promote civil conversations. The software was developed by the Coral Project, a collaboration between The Post, the NYT and Mozilla, funded by a..

“Hindu terror units killed Gauri Lankesh”

IN Media Freedom | 2017-09-06

Her lawyer B T Venkatesh is clear that the killing was a sinister and pre-planned act by ‘Hindu terror units’, and not linked to the defamation cases against her.

Protest meetings around the country

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-06

Protests against Gauri Lankesh's murder are happening in several cities. Bangalore and Mangalore have meetings at more than one venue, and there is a rally as well in Mangalore. Gulbarga has a protest starting this morning at Dr Kalburgi's house and there are other meetings at Hubbali, in Gadag and..

Her journalism was activism

IN Opinion | 2017-09-06

Gauri Lankesh will be remembered as an intellectual who like her father integrated journalism as a practice to uphold basic values.

Gauri Lankesh's last tweets

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-05

The journalist who was shot dead at her home the same night had tweeted in the early hours of September 5, "Why do i feel that some of `us' are fighting between ourselves? we all know our ``biggest enemy''. can we all please concentrate on that?" And a few minutes..

Kashmir journos on Twitter’s block list

IN Digital Media | 2017-09-05

The two “objectionable” tweets included a photograph in which security forces have made a youth a human shield to prevent protests.

Star, Dish, and IPL

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-05

Now that Star has won the global television and digital rights for the Indian Premier League for the period 2018 to 2022, for a humongous Rs 16,347.5 crore, what happens to Dish TV's complaint to  the  Competition Commission of India? The DTH broadcaster had objected to Star participating in a bid for..

Algorithms and human journalists need to work together

IN Digital Media | 2017-09-04

As a researcher and creator of automated journalism, I’ve found that computerized news reporting can offer key strengths. I’ve also identified important weaknesses,

MP as resident commentator?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-04

What exactly is the difference between a politician who appears on a news show as a spokesperson, and one whom a TV channel retains as a resident commentator? During the live coverage of the cabinet reshuffle on Sunday,  CNN News 18 brought on Swapan Dasgupta, who is a BJP Rajya Sabha..

The Doklam standoff seen through cartoons

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-09-03

Indian cartoons poked as much fun at us as at China and questioned our foreign policy. But China’s cartoons were consistently sneering of India and loyal to the state

Height of speculation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-03

What is media speculation worth in a situation where two individuals hold the cards  close to their chests?  Pretty little, it turns out.  Media patter turned creative in the long period that no hard news on portfolios was forthcoming. First the commentators in NDTV's studio (as in a couple of..

NBSA orders Zee News to apologise

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-09-02

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has fined Zee News Rs 1 lakh and ordered it to publish an apology on the channel at 9 pm on September 8 in large font across the full screen for defaming the scientist and poet Gauhar Raza by calling him a member of the..

Facebook bot that engages with users

IN Media Tech Briefs | 2017-09-01

Propublica has built a  Facebook bot which is a tiny computer program that automatically converses with you over Facebook Messenger to determine you experiences with reporting hate speech on Facebook. Its says its objective is to learn more about Facebook’s secret censorship rules and what the social media determines is hate speech. (Nieman..

New layout increases engagement

IN Media Tech Briefs | 2017-09-01

USA Today has been testing  a personalized design on its mobile website that serves users different content depending on how often they visit the site, how they landed on an article, as well as their location and their viewing habits. Last week it sent mobile users the new layout and  reported that..

A hero’s welcome for Lt Col Purohit

IN Media Practice | 2017-09-01

Never has a terror accused released on bail received the kind of welcome Times Now and Republic TV accorded to Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Purohit.

Delhi HC steps in

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-29

Justice VB Bhakhru of the Delhi High Court has granted  filmmaker Jharna Jhaveri's plea to screen her documentary 'Charlie and the Coca Cola company before the court on Oct 28, 2017, said Senior Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi, who appeared on her behalf. The film maker was challenging the CBFC's denial  of..

The lesson from Sirsa

IN Media Freedom | 2017-08-29

Amoral politics makes journalists more vulnerable. That’s the short lesson to be learned from recent attacks on journalists, fatal or otherwise.

TV channel blamed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-28

BJP leader Vishwajit Rane, who won the Valpoi Assembly bypoll today,  told IANS that his election was opposed by a leading cable channel in the state, Prudent TV. It is owned by a mining company. After his victory Rane made allegations about the editor-in-chief of this channel which the latter has denied...

Justice delayed, but not denied

IN Media Business | 2017-08-28

Last week the Supreme Court upheld a Delhi High Court verdict barring Doordarshan from sharing with cable operators the live feed of cricket matches for which private broadcasters had the exclusive rights.

Sunday morning pastime...

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-27

Counting the number of 'I's, 'Me's and 'My's in Tavleen Singh's column in The Sunday Express. On August 27 a wag counted 38 'I's, 4 'me's, 4 'my's and one 'myself'. It was titled "Waking the Deaf", but could as well have been titled, Tavleen Singh goes to JNU (And what happened thereafter).  ..

Great Supreme Court privacy ruling but…

IN Judgements | 2017-08-26

…the problem for journalists is that it can be used against them when public figures and celebrities want to stop media scrutiny

Muslim countries’ verdict on triple talaq ruling

IN Regional Media | 2017-08-26

The media in Pakistan and West Asia gave wide coverage to the landmark ruling but recognition was tempered by suspicion of the BJP's intentions.

Missing name

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-26

It is mystifying why in six columns of coverage on an inside page of a murder  at St Stephens hospital the Delhi edition of the Indian Express does not mention the name of the accused. It is conspicuously missing. Other papers have it.              ..

Smriti Irani's warning

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-25

Even as television channels bore the brunt of the violence that broke out in Haryana and parts of Delhi after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh was convicted of rape, I & B minister Smriti Irani tweeted a veiled warning to television channels drawing attention to Clause B of the..

Calling out lying politicians

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-25

Politicians who lie, spin or make tall claims are being mercilessly exposed by new fact-checkers – private citizens or websites – fighting against fake news

Star India wins

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-23

An impressive  battery of lawyers lined up by Rupert Murdoch’s Star India have succeeded in securing for the broadcaster an SC ruling which ensures that Prasar Bharati will no longer be able to air the mandatory sharing of sports feed on cable TV networks and pay DTH platforms.  Star India..

Journo complaint baseless, say cops

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-22

Sometimes the police balk at registering a case against a politician. Sometimes they register it and tell journalists at the same time that the allegations are baseless. Which makes you wonder with how much conviction the case will be investigated. HT reports that the Karnal police booked BJP MLA Bakshish Singh Virk..

Taste the Misery

IN Media Freedom | 2017-08-22

Film maker seeks an early verdict on documentary showing the impact on farmers and water supplies of Coca Cola bottling plants.

The BCCL empire—towering over the competition

IN Media Business | 2017-08-21

BCCL has achieved this scale mainly through diversification into a variety of non-print media and ploughing its surplus cash into many venture-fund like investment bets.

Barry's last story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-21

The pix referred to in the brief below has been taken down. Ellen Barry of NYT filed this stunning story-- How to Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India--after her posting in India ended. Published on Sunday (Aug 20) it is a multi-faceted investigation which has received a huge response. However she identifies the..

We own you

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-19

The Times Group is persisting in its efforts to leverage the social media behaviour of its employees for the company's benefit. Newslaundry reports that the Group which began dictating terms to staff who were on Twitter and Facebook from 2014, has just given them guidelines which amount to saying  journalists can’t..

Journalism of outrage in Gorakhpur, minus empathy

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-18

The coverage of a tragedy produced by professional journalists affects how a community and a nation responds to the underlying causes,

Fox News pays out $50 million in harassment costs

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-17

Slate reports that  according to regulatory paperwork filed on August 14, 21st Century Fox paid out about $50 million in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 to cover costs related to a slew of sexual-harassment and discrimination settlements at Fox News. The New York Times  reports that $50 million is $5 million more than..

A short, anecdotal history of DD-AIR censorship

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-17

Sometimes brave, usually timid, the nervous broadcaster’s saga of what to carry or not carry, spans decades and several governments.

How India became Facebook’s biggest market

IN Digital Media | 2017-08-16

Facebook now has more active users in India than in the US, more than sixty per cent of them young males. But the numbers are yet to translate into revenue.

Tripura CM censored

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-16

Thanks to the Hindu and TOI one knows what it was that the Tripura CM said that DD found unpalatable. Indian Express's long story taken from PTI does not give details, nor does the CM's speech figure in IE's inside page round up of CM's speeches. PTI is known for self censoring stories related to media...

Fact checking the PM's claims

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-16 has run two stories which tell you whether the claims of the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort are true, partially true or false. This one checks out his claims on whether his claims on GST, road building, rail track laying, electricity provision, etc. And this one  looks at claims..

Police name journo as suspect in Bastar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-15

The Hindu reports that the Bastar police have named Devsharan Tiwari, a senior journalist with local Hindi newspaper Deshbandhu in the Maoist insurgency-hit region of Chhattisgarh, as a suspect in a criminal case. The case involves a clash between two groups of the Bastar Transport Union.  Tiwari is the fifth journalist from Bastar to..

Tragedy and denial in Gorakhpur

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-14

As the chief minister decried the TV coverage as fake news, the theatre of denial on the airwaves touched a new low in Indian politics.

Free speech in the courts, down the years

IN Law and Policy | 2017-08-14

Its been a colourful history over seven decades of free speech rights being upheld and diluted in turn, as courts struggled with challenges.

Expose gangster-politicians at your peril

IN Regional Media | 2017-08-13

Three violent assaults in Andhra Pradesh show the vulnerability of reporters who cover illegal sand mining by criminal politicians.

Allowing sexist jibes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-13

The Hoot has received a complaint about a press conference at Haryana Bhavan on July 20 where a seasoned news agency journalist launched into an outburst against the CMD of ONGC  for an exclusive interview he had recently given to a CNBC anchor.  The reporter's tirade was allegedly peppered with..

Prasar Bharati CEO given charge of RSTV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-12

The CEO of Rajya Sabha TV has resigned and has been asked to hand over charge of RSTV to the CEO of Prasar Bharati. This is unprecedented. A channel functioning from the house of elders in parliament will now be administered by a body which while being autonomous in theory..

Will Nihalani exit spell reprieve for docu film makers?

IN Media Freedom | 2017-08-12

Nihalani leaves behind a harsh legacy of unresolved court cases filed by documentary film-makers who made politically dissenting films.

Watching Rajiv Kumar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-12

Journalists are having fun digging out Niti Ayog vice chairman appointee Rajiv Kumar's past utterances which contradict each other. This story has examples including one on his views on privatisation of basic services which seem to have changed completely in a week's time.                    ..

New CBFC chief needs to know what his job is

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-11

Pahlaj Nilahani to adman and lyricist Prasoon Joshi is quite a change. But before he gets going in his new job as CBFC chief will the government take a final view on what the CBFC's role should be--certification or censorship?                    ..

The Challenge of Editing the EPW-II

IN Opinion | 2017-08-10

How did it maintain a fine balance between political commentary and academic research? How did it cope with trends in academia?

The Challenge of Editing the EPW-I

IN Opinion | 2017-08-10

In 68 years, the Economic and Political Weekly has gone through significant changes, mirroring the changes in India. Its uniqueness cannot be over-stated,

RSTV and the Gujarat poll

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-09

When the politician who was I and B minister till the other day becomes Vice President and the presiding officer in the Rajya Sabha,  RSTV's performance will be scrutinised closely. After Tuesday's drama over the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat,  a Wednesday eve discussion on the channel between anchor Kavindra..

Can transgender TV characters shape viewer attitude?

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-09

Does the visibility provided by transgender characters on entertainment television lead to greater acceptance of trans people?

No right to criticize

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-06

An additional district judge in Delhi ruled last week that the press does not have any exclusive right or special privilege to comment, "criticise or make imputations or allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen’s reputation".   PTI reports  that the court’s order came as it restrained the managing..

Failing to do justice to the complexity of rape

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-08-06

Part II--By giving rape routine treatment, newspapers hinder a wider debate on prevention and hold back on the understanding of how popular culture and power structures contribute.

Times of India in Kerala demonises Shias

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-05

A one-sided story painting a picture of Shias plotting to take over is a classic example of rumour and conjecture replacing facts.

Selective reporting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-08-02

NDTV announced on its website that its digital revenues for quarter one were up 65 percent. It did not mention the company's consolidated after tax loss of Rs 22.01 crore in the same quarter. Nor the company's consolidated after tax loss of Rs 86.16 crore in FY 2016-17.    ..

You're cordially invited to be lynched in our studio. RSVP

IN Media Practice | 2017-08-01

In the guise of debate, Kashmiris are being subjected to vilification, venom, and finger-wagging by jingoistic anchors. Some are saying ‘no thank you’.

NIA unearths?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-31

TOI had a prominent  story on page 8 in its Delhi edition (july 31) saying the NIA has "unearthed" the Hurriyat's protest calendar. Kashmir journos are amused. They say the agency  could have just read local newspapers instead last year:Resistance issues new protest calendar; calls for Eidgah march on Friday, published on..

NDTV: A legal mountain to climb

IN Media Business | 2017-07-31

The strenuous legal defence mounted by NDTV against the IT Department’s claims of irregularities, could be prolonged.

EPW saga still unfolding

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-30

The  media drama that broke in July regarding a legal notice from Adani Power to the Economic and Political Weekly over an article published by them, with the trustees of the journal asking for two articles  to be taken down  and the editor's subsequent resignation, is a three-cornered one. It has received..

Don't mess with Shah

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-30

Mr Amit Shah's influence  over the Times Group, displayed earlier this year, was again in evidence last week after the BJP president filed his papers for the Rajya Sabha nomination. Stories in the Ahmedabad edition of TOI on his assets, as well as on Smriti Irani were taken down. DNA also took..

Lipstick… Should it have made it to the screens at all?

IN Opinion | 2017-07-29

Do filmmakers like Alankrita Shrivastava have the maturity to decide what their audiences will watch as Shabana Azmi contends,

When the judiciary protected its own right to privacy

IN Privacy | 2017-07-28

On at least three occasions, the Constitutional Courts protected the right to privacy of judges and the judiciary.

Goofs multiply fast

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-28

Minister Smriti Irani tweeted today that the strikingly captioned front page photo in the Indian Express, credited to PTI, was of Chennai in 2015, not of Ahmedabad airport in flooded Gujarat. PTI and Express used Twitter to apologise, and the former said it had sacked the photographer.              ..

Three-pronged attack says NDTV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-27

An NDTV statement on its website today says that the last 24 hours have seen new attacks on the company from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. These follow a demand from the IT department to pay Rs 429 crore in tax immediately.  It claims that the CBI has sent..

Why short films have begun to make it big

IN Special Reports | 2017-07-27

Short films have taken time to get to centrestage in India but looks like they are here to stay,

President Kovind's Twitter debut

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-27

Did President Ram Nath Kovind suddenly acquire 3 million followers the day he took charge as head of state? Republic TV's story claimed he acquired that many in one hour, Zee News said he "earned" 3.25 million followers in minutes, TOI and others said something similar. All that happened apparently..

WB Govt censors Nepali language channel

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-26

HT reports  that The West Bengal government sealed the Siliguri-based office of a Nepali language satellite ABN News Network television channel on July 22, and said it was "a move seen as a crackdown on establishments allegedly promoting the public unrest for a separate Gorkhaland state. Police alleged that the channel had..

NDTV shift to mojo costs jobs

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-26

NDTV put out a statement on July 24 asserting that it was  reorganising its newsroom and resources to focus on mobile journalism. It said, "we are the first major network in India whose reporters are all trained in using mobile phones to shoot stories", and added that  this was not just about..

Rs 500 bribes at NHAI event

IN Regional Media | 2017-07-24

Media kits at Nitin Gadkari function had Rs 500 tucked inside.

NDTV alleges misleading press release

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-24

Was the media complicit in broadcasting misinformation about NDTV? The channel thinks so.  It said in a statement that the press had gone by a misleading press release of the income tax department regarding the ruling of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal suggesting that ITAT had accepted claims of money laundering...

Romila Thapar and others: averse to public debate?

IN Opinion | 2017-07-23

The EPW controversy shows that India’s public intellectuals wish to pay a minimal price for speaking out.

EPW Chaos: Why shoot the messenger?

IN Opinion | 2017-07-22

If the members of the board were concerned about protecting the academic research character of the journal they chose the wrong person to serve as the editor.

Trolling ourselves to death in the age of Trump

IN Digital Media | 2017-07-22

Our dominant media shape not just content, but the entire affective structure of public discourse,

Curbing employee free speech

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-21

The reports that the Washington Post has a new social media policy which says staffers can be fired if their social-media activity "adversely affects The Post's customers advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners." The paper's guild is opposing the policy.                  ..

Lazy bums, happy to copy off Facebook walls

IN Community Media | 2017-07-20

A Facebook post by a Delhi writer is stolen by a plagiarist and then published by journalists too lazy to check or to find their own stories

Unceremonious take down

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-20

The Hindustan Times published this story titled "Hollow power: India is on a path to decline and that is why China is challenging it" and then took it down, as the link shows. Did it get a rap on the knuckles from the government? The story was unflattering in what it said about the..

Pressure from the board

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-19

The facts emerging about the departure of the  EPW editor suggest that  eminent academics don't believe in giving an  editor full functioning freedom. Former DU Vice Chancellor Deepak Nayyar,  historian Romila Thapar, sociologist Dipankar Gupta and Ambedkar University Vice-Chancellor Shyam Menon were among those board members of the Sameeksha Trust who told editor..

Adani vs EPW

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-19

The defamation notice sent by the Adani Group to the Economic and Political Weekly is still a notice, not a case filed against the publication.  The take-down of the two articles ordered by the EPW board may have been done to pre-empt a full blown legal suit. The notice is also against..

Using social media to whitewash sexual assault

IN Digital Media | 2017-07-19

A social media campaign backing Kerala actor Dileep shows how public opinion can be turned in favour of someone accused in a sexual assault case

HT Media shows profits from cost cutting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-18

The first quarter results for HT Media Ltd in FY 18 show an 85.4% year-on-year increase in net profit to Rs 41.55 crore, on the back of lower costs.   It shuttered seven editions earlier this year, did some retrenchment at Mint and HT, and engaged  in a complex carve-out of its content business..

Fourth I&B Min in three years

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-18

With Smriti Irani getting additional charge of Information and Broadcasting after the resignation of Venkaiah Naidu, the ministry gets its fourth I and B minister in three years, two of them holding the portfolio as an additional charge.                ..

Yogi’s first 100 days: poor, average or good?

IN Media Practice | 2017-07-17

According to four papers, it was 'pretty good’. Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran’s coverage was positive while Express and ET were less so - but only slightly.

Mumbai police book AIB, yet again!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-17

The alacrity with which Mumbai police lodged an FIR against comedy group All India Bakchod (AIB) co-founder Tanmay Bhat for its meme of a Snapchat dog filter used with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised eyebrows. Mumbai Mirror reports that several serious cases are still languishing for want of..

Sedition case against Amnesty fizzles out

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-16

Eleven months after booking Amnesty International, India representatives for sedition  following an event in the city, the Bengaluru City Police have filed a B report in the case  for want of evidence to make the charge, reports the Hindu. The case had been booked following an event in the city in August last..

Veiled protest

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-15

Loud remonstrations expose regressive policies but occasionally veiled protests drive home the point rather succinctly. News anchor Pratima Dutta of STV, Haryana News wore a veil during her news bulletin as a protest against the BJP government’s ad in an official journal, asking women to take refuge behind a ghoonghat/veil citing it..

Internet shutdowns have become chronic now

IN Media Freedom | 2017-07-15

Internet shutdowns have risen from eight in Jan-July 2016 to 23 in 2017, with the string of shutdowns almost unbroken since April,

Religion of humanity rises above politics of religion

IN Opinion | 2017-07-14

Highlighting the religion of the driver who saved the Amaranth pilgrims, is doing a disservice to him as well as secularism

Rajnath Singh’s tweet

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-12

A politician can do wonders for his image with a single tweet. Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s tweet on July 11: “The people of Kashmir have strongly condemned the terror attack on Amarnath yatris. It shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive” instantly won him the approval of the..

Mute “cow”

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-12

PTI reports that the CBFC has asked Suman Ghosh, director of a documentary on Amartya Sen  “The Argumentative Indian”, to mute four words in the film. The four words CBFC's regional office in Kolkata wanted muted are 'Gujarat', 'Cow', 'Hindutva view of India' and 'Hindu India'. The film is structured..

Karnataka media needs lessons in sensitization

IN Regional Media | 2017-07-11

From fallacious reporting to threats, some sections of Karnataka media have made lives of two young women miserable

After 1,379 Days, NYT corrects bogus claim Iran ‘sponsored’ 9/11

IN Media Practice | 2017-07-11

With an Official Enemy, no amount of libel—no matter how egregious—merits a meaningful response from the paper of record.

A tale of two Kerala women and the media

IN Media Practice | 2017-07-11

The Kerala media lavished attention on the sexual attack on the film star while ignoring the doctor whose fundamental rights were being violated.

Docu on women reporting conflict wins award

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-11

Velvet Revolution, a documentary about the challenges that women journalists the world over face in covering conflict regions, has won the Best Film Award in the Feature Length Documentary section at  Kashmir World Film Festival held earlier this month. The film is about journalists  combating state and non state actors who try..

Police watched, did nothing, during Chirala assault

IN Media Freedom | 2017-07-10

A fact-finding committee report on the February attack on a journalist in Chirala town confirms that the police acted against him, not his attackers.

Facebook removes Burhan cover

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-10

Greater Kashmir says that Facebook has blocked the official facebook page of the Greater Kashmir  weekly Kashmir Ink on Saturday. The message from Facebook said it was blocked for 24 hours. The social networking site has also removed the cover page of the latest issue of Kashmir Ink which was shared on its official Facebook page on..

Satpathy case quashed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-10

  The Orissa High Court has taken 22 years to quash a defamation case against BJP MP Tathagata Satpathy and others. It was quashed last month. Earlier this year Satpathy introduced a bill seeking to decriminalise defamation   in the Lok Sabha  which if passed would remove the threat of imprisonment for defamatory speech. He..

Inciting a communal free for all

IN Media Practice | 2017-07-09

Television shows on West Bengal’s communal situation did their best to pit Hindus against Muslims,

Will not mess with Fastway

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-07

 Contrary to the stand taken by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu, who is now a minister in Capt Amarinder Singh's government, the CM has said he would not like to go on a "witch hunt" against Fastway cable company which had been monopolising the cable TV network in the state with the blessings of..

NDTV challenges CBI FIR

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-06

NDTV and its promoter company have  filed a Writ in the Delhi High Court on July 6 challenging the CBI raids on the promoters' home and office premises in the first week of June, as well as the FIR issued by CBI.  The High Court has directed the CBI to submit a Status Report..

Arnab the indefatigable

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-06

If you don't get the answer you are looking for, tweak the answer to suit your purpose.Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave an exclusive interview to Republic TV and the first questions were predictably on terrorism and Pakistan. What would he say to Pakistan which is harbouring Syed Salahuddin, followed by..

Communal talk

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-06

Arnab Goswami has discovered Muslim appeasement in Basirhaat in Mamata Banerjee's state and hollered away about it for two nights in a row on Republic TV. On July 4 he thundered that the CM was turning West Bengal into fatwastan and asked repeatedly, "Is there Muslim appeasement in West Bengal?"..

Using RTI in journalism: a lesson in tenacity

IN Books | 2017-07-05

Despite the RTI Act, for the government anti-transparency is a statement of belief and hiding information and passing the buck a favorite diversionary activity,

The media dangerously misuses the word ‘trolling’

IN Digital Media | 2017-07-05

“Trolling” is different from flaming or doxing, as it is from cyberstalking, cyberviolence and cyberhate,

TOI - Govt jugalbandhi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-04

Is  The Times of India now the government's  unofficial mouthpiece?  It would seem so if you look at its edit page over the last few days. On June 30, 2017, Jayant Sinha, Union Minister for Civil Aviation wrote an edit page article, 'The Big Bang Has Come,' focussing on Modi's 3.0 reform;..

Not our view

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-03

News websites routinely carry  articles by outside contributors. Why then did disown a long, reasoned piece that it carried on why the anti-lynching protests did not draw popular and media outrage? The writer compared the public response to the Nirbhaya episode and Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement to the Not in my..

New I&B Secretary

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-01

The Centre has appointed a new secretary of the ministry of information and broadcasting, NK Sinha who was until now the culture secretary. He replaces Ajay Mittal who had a two year stint and has now been moved to Dept of Personnel and Training. (Television Post )        ..

Praise and derision

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-07-01

On television's  big night Republic TV's technology failed  repeatedly ensuring that reporter after reporter that Arnab Goswami cut to after the GST session of Parliament could not be heard. Or was it a fortuitous lapse because it gave him more time to pile on praise for the PM and heap..

Taking quality cinema to smaller cities

IN Regional Media | 2017-06-30

There has always been a disconnect between good cinema and B towns. The Jagran Film Festival which begins in Delhi on July 1 aims to end that

Congress’s Sidhu moves against Punjab’s Fastway Cable

IN Regional Media | 2017-06-29

The powerful cable TV empire that Sukhbir Badal was thought to have influence over, is now under attack from Congress and AAP MLAs.

Re-examining the Mandsaur agitation

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-06-28

A farmers’ agitation that turned violent resulting in six deaths in Mandsaur, MP, prompted a detailed analysis in both the Nai Dunia and the Indian Express

FCAT as arbitrary as CBFC when it comes to certification

IN Censorship | 2017-06-27

The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal’s decisions to overrule or concur with CBFC’s rulings to deny /grant certification are equally questionable

I want your ideas!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-25

Some journalists in the US received this mail in the run up to the PM's visit to the US: "Dear ---ji, ...During my visit I would be holding talks with President Trump on ways to boost India-USA ties. On 25th I would be addressing a community programme in Washington DC, where..

Buzzfeed and the 2017 UK election

IN Digital Media | 2017-06-24

Although Buzzfeed has retained its original quirkiness, its increasingly serious news agenda serves audiences often not regularly exposed to political information.

Now SC says Wage Board pay for contract employees too!

IN Judgements | 2017-06-23

Although the judgment has declined to find newspaper managements guilty of contempt, it has settled 4 questions of law which will have far reaching implications for journalists and newspapers in India.

Jail for Karnataka tabloid reporters

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-23

NDTV reports that two journalists will be sent to jail  after Karnataka's lawmakers decided they should be punished for two-year-old articles in tabloids that were allegedly defamatory about some of them including Speaker KB Koliwad who is from the Congress. It was an unanimous resolution and a first in the state's history. NDTV..

Unravelling the tax travails of NDTV

IN Media Business | 2017-06-22

Does income in the books of a subsidiary count as profit accruing to the main company?

Qatar's crisis is about freedom of expression

IN Media Freedom | 2017-06-21

It is not only a diplomatic crisis, but a crisis for free expression in an already restrictive region.

Sorry, no raise this year

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-20

Employees of the Hindustan Times were told on June 20 that because of the difficult period the company went through last year, and the continuing "challenge on revenues" there will be no salary increase this year.  A Variable Performance Bonus has been paid to "all eligible people," and  a special fixed monthly payment was..

A Muslim journalist's ordeal

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-20

This account  in Caravan published on June 19 describes how a reporter in Delhi was attacked by people he was interviewing for a story on the demolition of a makeshift mosque in Sonia Vihar. They attacked him when they discovered he was a Muslim, snatched his phone and demanded that he..

Most tweeted ODI

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-20

Television Post reports that The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final between India vs Pakistan has become the most-tweeted ODI ever.  The official hashtag #INDvPAK in #CT17 generated a record-breaking 1.8 million tweets. This was partly because for #CT17 Twitter tied up with Nissan for a deal which gave users access to match..

Media and GST

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-19

The following categories of media activity are exempt from the Goods and Services Tax: "Services by way of collecting or providing news by an independent journalist, Press Trust of India or United News of India." Media produced by tax-exempt not-for-profits are also exempt. ( )            ..

Whom to believe?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-18

How much money is the Centre proposing to give UP to improve its road network?  It depends which newspaper you read. Last week on the day this was announced Hindustan said Rs 50,000 crore,  Dainik Jagran reported it as Rs 10,000 crore, and Amar Ujala said Rs 1 lakh crore.          ..

Visual tales born out of conflict

IN Media Freedom | 2017-06-18

All three films not permitted to be shown at the short film festival in Kerala which is currently under way, are now on YouTube. Did the GOI really feel threatened by these?

Is our media under seige?

IN Media Freedom | 2017-06-17

The question is being asked amidst an overarching defense by the establishment: has any media person been arrested or hounded?

Conflicting claims

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-15

Republic TV on Thursday claimed it had 60 per cent viewership in 'super prime time''! "Record break run continues- decimates Times Now - 315 per cent greater than Times Now!" screamed the super on the channel. It put Times Now viewership at 18 per cent and NDTV at 6.5 per cent.  Meanwhile Times Now claimed their channel was..

Want news or views?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-15

The take you got on how Vijay Mallya's extradition hearing went on June 13 depended on whether you watched TV or read newspapers. TOI told you that the court hearing on his extradition has been pushed to December — and might  not happen till next year. It quoted the judge saying:  "Are Indians..

Naga papers: lots of comment, little reporting

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-06-14

Covering Nagaland’s anti-women’s reservation agitation - Part II. Local coverage lacked in investigation and ground interviews.

Coverage of Naga women’s reservation agitation-Part I

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-06-14

How the “national” media covered it. Both Hindu and ToI chose to give more space to violence, disruption, and political intrigue in their limited coverage.

On validity of CBI action

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-14

More on the CBI action in the NDTV case. This article in Business Line argues that the SC ruling in the Ramesh Gelli case which the CBI cited to justify treating private bank officials as public servants, does not necessarily hold good for the NDTV-ICICI Bank case. A nuanced reading of the..

Allegations and answers

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-13

On June 13 NDTV has posted its six-point response to  the oft-repeated allegations against it by government agencies, relating to undisclosed income, money laundering, shell companies, the penalty imposed on it of Rs 2030 crore, and so on. The answers too are familiar by now, the investment by GE and..

Media bias in the British elections

IN Media Practice | 2017-06-12

Owen Jones of the Guardian lambasted the “Tory press” in UK and said they had literally been baying for Corbyn’s blood.

Why was it only all about NDTV and the Roys?

IN Opinion | 2017-06-12

Should it not have moved beyond that? To other attacks on the freedom of the press in the states, even those ruled by non-BJP governments?

Now, bans at Kerala’s Short Film Festival

IN Media Freedom | 2017-06-12

The I&B Ministry stops three movies tackling JNU, Rohith Vemula and Kashmir from being screened.

Parthasarathy and Roy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-10

Even as a section of the Delhi media turned out in strength at the Press Club  of India on June 9 to hear rousing speeches on protecting press freedom, Twitter has been reflecting less supportive takes on the NDTV raids. On June 6 Malini Parthasarathy‏ of the Hindu group had.. and Radiance Weekly debate triple talaq

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-06-10

Coverage of the issue in two publications which focus on Indian Muslims suffered from omissions and contradictions.

An increasingly divided media

IN Opinion | 2017-06-09

The raid on NDTV’s Roys has drawn only selective indignation from across the media spectrum. Can a divided media stand up to this government?

What happened there?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-08

 On Tuesday at 8 pm ABP News did the Roy story. They provided both sides of the story, extensively quoting from CBI and NDTV press releases. Madhu Kishwar, Rajdeep Sardesai, Kumar Ketkar, Om Thanvi, Sharad Yadav were interviewed, and the government  and Congress point of view also presented along with..

Unusual awards

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-08

Media houses for some reason like to give awards. But with so many people  carving up that territory there aren't that many categories left unrecognised.  So India News, sister channel  of NewsX, is handing out  IVF and Gynaecology awards this evening in collaboration with a fertility clinic.      ..

NDTV: Different versions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-07

The Indian Express says  the complaint on the basis of which CBI has been investigating NDTV's Roys and which led to the raid on their premises on July 5 was filed by a former employee Sanjay Dutt who has also been filing complaints with other agencies against the Roys. The CBI clarification..

Overhaul or damp squib?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-07

On Tuesday evening Rajyavardhan Rathore minister of state for I & B met film producers  from states across the country to discuss censorship amendments suggested by the Shyam Benegal Committee.  How much censorship rules will eventually change as a result, remains to be seen...

Zee sues Express

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-07

DNA reports that Zee Media has filed a criminal defamation case against the Indian Express,  columnist Coomi Kapoor (author of the defamatory article), managing editor Viveck Goenka, whole-time directors Vaidehi Chintaman Thakar and Anant Viveck Goenka and Shibhana Subramanian. Though the item which gave offence is not specified, the case probably relates to this item concerning..

Is the ISBN system being misused?

IN Books | 2017-06-06

The time and red tape involved in a publisher getting ISBNs raises fears that they are being rationed to restrict freedom of expression.

Libel: is saying sorry better than coughing up?

IN Judgements | 2017-06-06

A High Court judge says an apology for defamation is often better than damages. The argument is intriguing, but flawed.

No political vendetta?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-05

The CBI becomes the third government agency to go after the owners of NDTV and its holding company, RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd. They are already being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department. This case dates back to 2009, the CBI says it is investigating fraud involving..

Republic stings saffron brigade

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-05

Lest you say Republic TV never investigates constituents of the Sangh Parivar they decided to sting the Shriram Sene in Karnataka, hounding young Hindu-Muslim couples. "Republic stings Bajrang Dal", said the headlines on the channel on June 5. Its Karnataka correspondent unspooled different stings done recently to show the savage attacks on..

Suddenly news?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-05

An article published  on The Wire on June 2 suddenly becomes a news item for Times Now on the afternoon of June 5. In it Partha Chatterjee, described as a social scientist and historian, compared the justification advanced for action by Major Gogoi in the human shield incident in Kashmir with the..

Attack on free press?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-05

NDTV's statement  following the CBI raids this morning on the residence of Prannoy and Radhika Roy and two other locations, termed it a witch hunt by multiple agencies. It also equated the action  with" trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for" and said "we will fight for our country..

Republic TV viewership

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-04

The first 3 weeks of data for English news TV viewing (post-Republic) establish the following: In absolute numbers Republic TV's viewership dropped from 2117 in Week 19 to 1703 in Week 20 (20% drop) and then to 1014 in Week 21 (40% drop). Comparative data for other English news channels is only..

Myriad glimpses of a conflicted society

IN Books | 2017-06-04

During a short tenure which ended in her expulsion, the Hindu’s correspondent covered swathes of life in Islamabad.

Zee drops Zindagi from TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-03

ZEE TV has decided to discontinue Zindagi, its Hindi general entertainment channel, on June 30and shift its content to its video-on-demand platform OZEE from July 1. Last year  it had dropped the immensely popular Pakistani serials from this channel in the wake of the Uri attack, and the resulting outcry against Pakistan. (Television Post)..

Patra was way out of line but does Razdan own the show?

IN Media Practice | 2017-06-03

A professional journalist does not own air time. She has borrowed the time from the public as a trustee of public interest,

NDTV Profit shuts down

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-06-02

Industry publications are seeing NDTV's closure of NDTV Profit as a bid to exit before Raghav Bahl's Bloomberg Quint launches in a few months, to be the third player in the business news television space after  CNBC-TV18 and ET Now. Instead Profit will become NDTV 24X7 Prime, offering technology, infotainment and entertainment. NDTV's..

HT Media: A business in flux

IN Media Business | 2017-06-02

Modest growth, stagnant core business profitability, and poor shareholder returns combined could be the reasons for cost-cutting and streamlining its workforce.

Reporting on FIRs is immune to defamatory lawsuits

IN Judgements | 2017-05-31

Justice Endlaw fell back on a far-reaching principle rather than jurisdiction to dismiss the case before him,

Can't call him names, says judge

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-30

MP Shashi Tharoor's civil defamation case against Arnab Goswami and Republic TV came up in the Delhi High Court on May 29 and the court has issued notice to the former editor-in-chief of Times Now and his newly-launched channel to respond to Tharoor's defamation plea, says PTI.  The judge hearing..

The crisis in social media: where are we headed?

IN Digital Media | 2017-05-29

Should what is not accepted on the streets be accepted online, ask the Germans as they prepare to pass a new law. Facebook’s inconsistent guidelines are damning,

Much partying

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-28

The BJP's celebration of three years of rule has meant multiple bashes for journalists of different kinds. The TV crowd was feted separately from print and digital journalists, one for each category,  combined with other segments such as financial institution professionals. The Amit Shah part of the picture was a..

Manufacturing digital consent

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-28

Union minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has been blitzing her way through the online petition site to solicit support for her draft national policy for women. After a personalised letter to all those on the site's email list, she sent out another personalised letter today to thank signatories..

Is the media failing ordinary citizens?

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-27

In its search for saleable ‘exclusive’ news, it neglects stories that concern common people.

Protest fizzles out

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-27

The protest against TV measurement agency BARC  by NBA-affiliated English news channels has proved to be short-lived.  A week after pulling out of BARC and removing watermarking from their feeds they have quickly returned the fold and reinserted the watermarking.  That means the agency will now continue to capture ratings..

Tharoor sues Arnab Goswami

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-26

The Quint reports that Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, has filed a civl defamation case against Arnab Goswami of Republic TV  for the story recently broadcast by the channel saying that Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar had been murdered.  He is seeking damages of Rs 2 crore from Goswami. At..

Modi Sarkar and the public broadcaster

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-26

How this government jettisoned fanciful notions of autonomy, and converted a failed broadcaster into a winning platform.

Baahubali critics, get a grip, please

IN Opinion | 2017-05-25

Critics who have got their knickers in a twist over the film betray their ignorance and expose the poverty of cinema commentary,

Friendly interview

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-25

While many Delhi broadsheets had full page ads by the Kerala Government completing one year in office, Economic Times went one better and tied up with the state government for  another page at the back of the ad which it called a 'consumer connect initiative'. The interview carried there with..

Bhim Army, Bhim app, what's the diff?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-24

This was ET's blooper for the day. It tweeted its May 24 story on how the Bhim Army uses social media to recruit soldiers, but confused the Bhim Army with the Bhim payment app! So the tweet said, "How @NCPI_BHIM uses social media to recruit its soldiers..."  Someone from the Bhim Army..

BARC could retaliate

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-24

The stand-off between the broadcasters of English news channels who are members of NBA  and the audience measurement agency BARC threatens to  become  serious. If news channels protesting Republic's multiple LCN strategy turn off watermarking BARC can apparently deactivate their login for a long period and is threatening to do so...

Something to pun about?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-23

After the army commended the major who used a human shield in Budgam to get his men out, the Times of India sub-editor thought  it was  okay to pun in the photo caption accompanying the story on May 23. It read, 'No Leetul feat?'  The Major's name is Leetul.  Thats almost as..

Roger Ailes and the Fox News disclosure

IN Media Business | 2017-05-23

If Fox chose to disclose that it paid $45 million over nine months to settle sexual harassment claims, including those against Ailes, it had good business reasons for doing so.

Remembering Ramamohan Rao

IN Opinion | 2017-05-22

PIO to four prime ministers whom he was powerful enough to influence, he was also always available to the juniormost reporters.

NBA vs Republic TV —Pot calling the kettle…?

IN Media Business | 2017-05-22

Republic TV’s entry, its over-the-top first week ratings, and its alleged manipulation of distribution expose the weaknesses of a system where the ratings agency is broadcaster-owned.

Nationalist Zee

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-22

Now the Zee Group has  launched a 'nationalist' news channel! In the morning  there will be one hour of  news content which "will spread hope, positivity and cast a ray of the new dawn." At night at 11pm  there will be a 'CM's Corner’  which will air stories of States Chief Ministers and..

The journo brain

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-21

This article in Business Insider  is about a study conducted on 40 journalists in association with the London Press Club.  The results showed that journalists' brains were operating at a lower level than the average  population because of  drinking too much, dehydration and too much caffeine, and high-sugar foods. It..

Better late than never

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-20

Here is a delicious little piece of investigation by the Hindustan Times. When other newspapers reporter that the octogenarian former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala, convicted in a teacher recruitment scam, had passed the class 12 board exam while lodged in Tihar Jail, HT did a fact check. The story originated from Chautala's son..

High Court notice to Republic TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-20

 The Delhi High Court has  issued notice to Republic TV on the Times Group’s petition alleging copyright violation. BCCL  has filed a petition in Delhi High Court against Arnab Goswami’s ARG Outlier Media and Asianet News saying that said that the audio clips which Republic TV had used in its..

Maharashtra’s new law: high only on political symbolism

IN Law and Policy | 2017-05-19

While the press protection law signals to police and prosecutors that protecting journalists is high on the political agenda, it dilutes protections they already have as citizens,

Ganging up against Republic TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-19

Republic TV does not stop making news. Now other English news channels have walked out of subscribing to the ratings agency BARC in protest after it announced the ratings of the first week of the new channel. They had earlier urged BARC to not release ratings of Republic TV after..

Stunning debut or a manipulated one?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-18

If the Times Group has accused Republic TV and its founder of theft,  Arnab Goswami has got his revenge by way of what the BARC ratings show for Republic's first week. In a target group of males aged 22+ it has double the viewership of Times Now (51.9 per cent..

Paying publishers to use Facebook Live

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-18

The Columbia Journalism Review reports that over the last 12 months Facebook has been paying select media partners to  use Facebook Live, in an effort to promote this live streaming platform. It says the New York Times is among 140 media companies and celebrities whom the social media giant enticed to..

BCCL vs Arnab:Neither looks good

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-17

Times Now has registered a case of theft against Republic TV . The charges are about tapes played for Republic's scoop no.1 and scoop no. 2 after the channel's launch. A segment of the taped conversation between Mohammad Shahabuddin and Lalu Prasad Yadav, and then the tapes played of the reporter Padma..

Purifying journalism education

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-16

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication organised  a yagna on the campus as part of its seminar  on National Journalism in the Current Context. Surely that has to be a first in a government educational institution?                                ..

Cheering the govt on

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-16

Amit Shah is smart. If as reported he was the brain behind the government's decision to pull out of the ET Global Business Summit at the last minute thereby sending the Times Group a message, it has worked wonders. First the paper said flattering things about the Yogi Adityanath government's..

PDP govt circumvents its own social media ban

IN Digital Media | 2017-05-16

Two weeks into the ban, the question to ask is whether the situation has improved and whether protests in Kashmir have abated.

More patriotism than professionalism

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-15

Amazing how difficult it is for our TV channels to do straight professional reporting on an issue involving Pakistan. Wion: 'Pak's claims /India's facts'. 'Pak's cover up at ICJ.' Republic TV: #FightforKulbhushan. 'Pak's old whine in a new bottle.' NewsX: 'Pak's sham defence.' 'Pak yelps lies and lies.'  Times Now:..

Network 18 Part III---Going under

IN Media Business | 2017-05-13

No amount of ‘restructuring’ could turn operations around. Soon a change in management and ownership control became the only feasible course of action.

Network 18 Part IV--- New owner, new broom

IN Media Business | 2017-05-13

The new owner has deep pockets, sees synergy with his mobile empire, and begins the salvage with a Rs 1000 crore write-off.

Network 18 Part II---The restructuring game

IN Media Business | 2017-05-13

Why the promoters acquired control over an obscure non-banking company, pumped cash into it and set it up as the parent company holding investments in the media operations of the Group.

Network 18 Part 1--Beginning with a bang...

IN Media Business | 2017-05-13

The saga of a media group that has had, in the last decade and a half, more ups and downs than a roller coaster in an amusement park.

Goswami and Tharoor: Is defamation now toothless?

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-12

Arnab Goswami’s wild accusations against Shashi Tharoor show that increasingly the fear of being charged with defamation fails to stop scurrilous attacks.

Defaulting scribes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-11

Journalists are becoming notorious for not paying up dues at the clubs they patronise. On Wednesday the Press Club of India expelled 227 defaulters for non-payment of dues beyond the permissible period. And the Foreign Correspondents Club in Delhi also has a very large outstanding of unpaid dues.         ..

Republic TV—out to decimate the opposition?

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-10

When the adversarial function of the media is focused on the oppostion, the firepower is grossly disproportionate to their current spheres of influence.

Tough ban to implement

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-10

Cable operators in Kashmir are hesitating to comply with the ban on transmitting 34 TV channels from Muslim countries, reports Kashmir Observer. The president of the Kashmir Cable Operators Association said that they have told the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar as much because their business depends on these channels. The latter  has however told..

Growth trends in the Indian print media

IN Media Business | 2017-05-10

Latest data released by ABC on May 8, 2017 highlighted continuing growth of print media, but other data suggests that future growth of print will be slower than other media.

Defamatory, but who cares?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-08

Republic TV is certainly breaking new ground. One April 8 it conducted a murder investigation in a TV studio, and kept calling the death of Sunanda Pushkar a murder before anything had been conclusively proven. At one point Arnab Goswami also described Shashi Tharoor as a cold-blooded murderer. Defamation is..

Whistleblowing on Facebook

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-08

Is this incident of a Chhattisgarh jail officer using Facebook for whistleblowing the first of its kind?   This Hindu report says that  a deputy jailer, posted at the central jail in Chhattisgarh's capital city of Raipur, was suspended on Saturday for a Facebook post alleging torture of young  tribal girls while in police custody. She describes..

The India Freedom Report, January 2016-April 2017

IN Media Freedom | 2017-05-07

The Hoot’s comprehensive report on free speech issues in India, released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

Arnab returns

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-06

So I got working on getting back to where you can hear me and see me. The universe conspired to make this happen.

Goswami is back

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-06

Republic TV launched on May 6 in a burst of flag waving, literal and figurative, promising to "give it back to the anti-nationals". It will take on one powerful person a day the channel  promises, and began with Mohammad Shahabuddin in Siwan in Bihar, playing a tape of him hectoring..

Bland exclusive

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-05

The Aaj Tak exclusive, the  first TV interview with Yogi Adityanath on May 5  achieved the near impossible. At the end of over an hour it would have left journalists trying to write a story scratching their heads for a lead. That's how bland and constructive  it was. The best..

There is another side to the Sukma killings

IN Media Practice | 2017-05-05

Without explaining the context, reports on the killing of CRPF jawans in Bastar make little sense except as easy hate-mongering.

Even the torchbearers of press freedom lose their way

IN Media Freedom | 2017-05-03

The World Press Freedom Index shows several European countries – model democracies - sliding in the rankings

The Indian and Pakistan media on the Jadhav ‘’spy’’ case

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-05-03

The media stood by the ‘’national interest” of their respective countries instead of critically examining the case

Unlikely replacement

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-05-01

While Delhiites are consumed by hoardings of Arnab Goswami's Republic TV and India Today's  Anjana Om Kashyap competing side by side on a city bridge, news consumers are in for a tantalising wait. What is one to make of  the Halla Bol anchor of Aaj Tak, anchoring the same show..

The stories that triggered the violence

IN Media Freedom | 2017-04-30

We analyse the reasons for attacks on journalists and who the perpetrators were for the period January 2016 to April 2017.

India 2016-17: The silencing of journalists

IN Media Freedom | 2017-04-30

As attacks on journalists rise, so does impunity owing to the politician-police nexus letting the culprits off. Exposing wrongdoing is now very risky.

BHC gives anticipatory bail

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-30

The Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail  to journalist Poonam Agarwal  and triple amputee war veteran Deepchand on 26 April in the Quint sting operation case.  They were both charged under Section 3 and 7 of the Official Secrets Act and under the IPC for abetting suicide by police in Nashik Maharashtra. The..

Self censorship?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-28

The story on India having slipped  three places in the international press freedom rankings is one several newspapers have carried. It is based on an index of press freedom report by the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders which says that journalists  are less free under the Modi government due to..

The media wants to mainstream Kejriwal

IN Opinion | 2017-04-28

But why? If Kejriwal is reformed he won’t win power on his own terms and seek to reform it – which, as we all know, was why AAP was born.

Arnab unplugged. Again.

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-28

The closer Arnab Goswami gets to his channel's launch the longer his interviews get. This one tells you that  Republic  could be less than two weeks away from launch, that it will be a free-to-air channel, and that the Times Group and The Wire still bug him a lot for all the..

Social media shut down

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-26

In the wake of viral videos capturing the violence in Kashmir the government today announced a ban on mobile internet and social media sites and apps like Facebook , Twitter, Wechat; QQ; Qzone; Google Plus; Skype; Line; Pinterest; Snapchat; Youtube; Vine and Flickr. (Al Jazeera)            ..

Ofcom dissects Arnab

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-26

Arnab Goswami's Newshour episodes of last summer have come under the scrutiny of of the UK broadcast regulator, Ofcom. Times Global is a licensee in the UK because its channel is shown there. This  long, civil post mortem of 19 episodes in August and September of Newshour viewed by the regulator holds..

The Supreme Court petition on the Quint sting

IN Law and Policy | 2017-04-26

The Quint’s Poonam Agarwal petitions the apex court on the OSA charge, defends her sting on the army’s sahayak system, and demands a court inquiry into a soldier’s death.

Soundbite at any cost

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-25

A CRPF jawan is seen in this Times Now story on the Sukma attack giving a soundbite to ANI and another TV mic even as he is laid up in a hospital bed with a breathing tube attached. A tweet about this by @mediacrooks had some Twitterati fulminating about 'disgusting presstitutes' and..

Layoffs begin at ET Now

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-25

ET Now is reported to have started a process of laying off employees, and plans to replace them with free lancers. Eight people in the Delhi bureau were given pink slips last week and some in smaller bureaus. These are at the desk, and also include cameramen and OB van..

Open your eyes, ears and minds on Kashmir

IN Opinion | 2017-04-24

Otherwise the media can never portray the reality of Kashmir in a way that will help Indians understand Kashmiri aspirations.

SC admits petition on OSA

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-24

The Supreme Court today admitted a writ petition filed by Quint reporter Poonam Agarwal for a court-monitored investigation into the death of gunner Roy Mathew, to seek guidelines on the application of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to bring it in line with the Constitution and prevent its misuse,  and..

Embrace Twitter sanyas

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-22

Twitter-happy journalists of the Times Group have been served  a dampener by the organisation's  HR head. A circular says they may not use their personal social media handles to comment on news, politics, civic issues  or crime unless reported by the Group's official social media handles. Nor can they retweet..

We are not surprised

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-21

A foreign correspondent (Stanley Pignal of the Economist) thinks it's odd that if you get an interview with Ratan Tata  you would not ask a single question about the Tata debacle. But the interview is a muted two-column affair on page 1 of ET Panache (April 20) and Indian journalists are..

Will she? Won’t she? And why won’t she?

IN Media Practice | 2017-04-20

Why Theresa May will not agree to take part in a TV debate in the forthcoming elections, is hogging the limelight

Facebook Live adds fuel to fire in Kashmir

IN Digital Media | 2017-04-19

When Mark Zuckerberg said “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket” he did not anticipate what Facebook’s new feature might trigger in a conflict situation,

No niceties for Mallya

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-19

How a does a journalist on Twitter deal with a subject like Mallya's arrest and release on bail, and  the start of extradition proceedings?  Without niceties. The Indian ones are rude, the foreign ones chummy. "Sorry Mr Mallya please don't bluff..." says Bhupendra Chaubey of CNNNews18. The business reporter of..

The competing narratives on Kashmir

IN Digital Media | 2017-04-18

The media are doing a grave disservice to the realities of Kashmir in the way they brazenly distort and misinform. It angers Kashmiris,

Umm, why now?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-18

After the PM, his ministers and officials all pulled out from the ET Global Summit recently, (ostensibly because of the paper's fulsome coverage of the Samajwadi Party)  the paper seems to be trying hard to make up. ET on April 17 carried a full page splash of its 4th Annual..

Bring it on, says Arnab

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-18

As part of the dramatic build up to his channel's launch Arnab Goswami put out another video yesterday claiming that "a media group" had sent him a six-page letter threatening him with imprisonment if  he ever used the phrase "The Nation Wants to Know." No prizes for guessing which media..

Journalist murders in Mexico

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-17

Four journalists have been murdered in Mexico since March 3, according to the news website Colectivo Pericu. The most recent killing was on Friday last week, of a 71-year-old journalist who was shot dead outside a store in Mexico City. He had a reputation for making strong and critical statements during his..

Do farmers disturb credit culture more than industry?

IN Regional Media | 2017-04-17

Maharashtra’s farm daily Agrowon offered a counter to the SBI chief, the RBI governor, and English newspapers critical of the UP farm loan waiver.

Journalist attacked

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-16

 The Hindustan Times  reports that a  journalist working with a regional  newspaper, Shivraj Singh Raju, was attacked by the Gidderbaha truck union president Charanjit Singh Dhillon and some others at Gidderbaha in Muktsar district on April 15 afternoon. They entered his office and attached him for a report he wrote...

Booked, yet undeterred

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-13

Suresh Chavhanke, the editor in chief of Sudarshan News, who was booked for making communally sensitive  remarks through his channel and website, has taken to Twitter to whip up support for himself. His followers have come up with this hashtag: #chavhanke4hindu. And his own tweets are repeatedly about those who consider Afzal their..

Who wants to own Telugu news channels?

IN Media Business | 2017-04-13

Business houses, politicians, parties and individuals – to protect their economic interests, exert political influence, or just do journalism.

Ramesh Agarwal passes on

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-12

Ramesh Agarwal,the founder of the Bhaskar Group, passed away today, following a cardiac arrest. A far-seeing expansionist,  he took a Hindi newspaper founded by his father in 1958 from Bhopal and Ujjain to the rest of MP, and then to Rajasthan in the mid-1990s to take on the Rajasthan Patrika...

Goswami speaks, on his terms

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-12

 Arnab Goswami's interview  and photo shoot with Man's World is notable for 3 reasons.  For the fact that the questions were vetted by the anchor's PR team and two were disallowed, for his claim that his is the first journalist-owned, journalist-run, journalist-managed news organisation (where does BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar fit in then?)..

In Kashmir Internet ban frustrates media

IN Media Freedom | 2017-04-12

Journalists are forced to dictate or fax copy. Or beg, borrow and steal to get a connection.

Maharashtra’s new law has significant omissions

IN Law and Policy | 2017-04-11

Does the new law water down what the IPC provides in terms of adequate punishment for grievious assault? Also, freelancers and stringers are not covered,

DAVP gets tough

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-11

That many publications of varying periodicity exist largely to skim off advertising from DAVP is well known. What was not known was just how many such enterprising publishers there are all over the country. Now DAVP has published a list of 804 publications which are being suspended for not submitting..

Murder of RTI activist not news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-11

The killing of an RTI activist in Pune late on Sunday night by hitting him with concrete blocks was not news on Tuesday in any paper except the Indian Express. And the Express too did not think it was front page news. The paper had prominent coverage of the story only on page..

Sacked for Facebook post

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-10

Gulf News reports on April 10 that the Indian employee of an UAE based company has been sacked by his employer for  sending an abusive message with sexual overtones to journalist Rana Ayub on social media as well as posting offensive posts against Islam on Facebook. He is from Kerala..

ABP Group: a tale of contrasts

IN Media Business | 2017-04-10

Print is profitable despite narrower margins than TV, the television business has a stockpile of past losses to wipe out.

Streaming videos inflame passions in Kashmir

IN Digital Media | 2017-04-09

Youths posting videos of clashes and urging people to help militants escape presents a new problem for the security forces

Ayush and TOI

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-08

The Ministry of Ayush has written a sharp letter to TOI editor Jaideep Bose to "express displeasure of the Ministry" at this story titled "Poison in Ayurvedic Drugs". (TOI, Ahmedabad edition, March 31, 2017). The story is about a retired govt official suffering from lead poisoning, allegedly on account of an..

Stop greeting me

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-08

Nistula Hebbar of The Hindu has tweeted the following: "To all the PR/media handling guys sending stupid good morning messages on WhatsApp, I ain't speaking to ur client if this continues.Regards." She adds in reply to a comment,"not one but three sunrise pictures EVERY DAY." So watch it, all you  sunrise..

Kashmir: the by-elections you haven’t heard about

IN Regional Media | 2017-04-07

Given the rancorous mood in the Valley, the Srinagar and Anantnag by-elections have barely made news.

Charming employers

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-05

Circular at Zee:"It has been observed that the employees have started using their mobile phones openly in the office and have forgotten about the intend of launching EKBHAS. Therefore we are reiterating that no one in the organization is allowed to carry their mobile phones at work and you are required..

UP mein Yogi Raj-- the advent of Adityanath

IN Regional Media | 2017-04-05

While the English press focused on abattoirs and anti-Romeo squads, reporting in the Hindi press ranged across a wide canvas of pressing issues.

Journalists arrrested

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-05

The fallout from the entrapment sting that the new Malayalam channel called Mangalam TV did continues. NDTVreports  that "eight journalists in Kerala, all working with the same news channel, have surrendered to the police in connection with "honey-trapping" a minister who resigned last week over an obscene phone call." The channel  misrepresented..

Date with the minister

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-04

Minister Piyush Goyal  is getting bored with meeting journalists in his office. The additional director general of the Press Information Bureau sent around an invite last week for "an informal meeting" on April 3 to journalists covering his  ministry at the Cafe Coffee Day on Janpath.  For editors there is..

Confused by data visualiza-tion? Here’s how to cope

IN Media Practice | 2017-04-03

We often overlook the importance of knowing how to communicate data to peers and to the public in an effective, meaningful way.

Poor sods

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-03

Notice sent out by the Chandigarh Press Club: As per the decision of Supreme Court and further directive of UT excise department, no liquor will be served in the Chandigarh Press Club till further orders. The Chandigarh Press Club falls within 500 meters of Madhya Marg , which is a..

No more analog TV signals

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-04-02

April 1 was the switch off date for the last phase of digitisation, of the rural areas. The I and B ministry  had instructed all multi-system operators (MSOs), local cable operators (LCOs) and broadcasters to ensure that analog signals are not transmitted after the deadline ends. Tamilnadu has resisted the..

FIRs against journos in Chattisgarh

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-31 reports that a  First Information Report was filed against two journalists in  Bastar on March 31 for posting and sharing a message on social media and through WhatsApp about former Inspector General SRP Kalluri meeting Maoist fighters in Jagdalpur. Kamal Shukla and Prabhat Singh have been charged .with defamation, insult to..

EVMs: conspiracy of silence?

IN Media Practice | 2017-03-31

Why have the media bought the view that EVMs are infallible when some experts – and the Supreme Court – disagree?

The scoop that was a sting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-30

Ethical violations by the media are really piling up. This story published on the Hoot earlier this week turns out to be even more unethical than media professionals in Kerala criticised it for being. A new channel, Mangalam TV, launched with a lewd phone call featuring the state transport minister, who promptly..

Quiet, but strong flows Big Ganga

IN Regional Media | 2017-03-30

A non-fiction channel catering to Bihar, Jharkhand and East UP taps into devotional content and Buddhism to command 58 per cent of the viewership.

Ethical questions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-29

Even as the OSA charge on a Quint reporter has journalists protesting, ethical issues of media practice are ignored. Should the source's identity be revealed after a sting? The raw footage was handed over.  And should only a journalist be charged and not the founders of the website which carried..

Can the army get away with OSA against journo?

IN Media Freedom | 2017-03-29

The charges against Quint’s Poonam Agarwal are a heavy handed response to an exposé of the army's own feudal practices.

Mangalam TV, the Minister, and media ethics

IN Regional Media | 2017-03-28

The debate was initiated by the media itself as many leading media professionals came out publicly to say that this broadcast by Mangalam TV was a criminal act.

How to identify media propaganda

IN Media Practice | 2017-03-28

Any news that does not contain facts and shades of opinion that allow readers to draw their own meaning is inadvertent propaganda.

Ditching the Times Group

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-27

Why did the PM and his ministers and bureaucrats, and Chandrababu Naidu (whose state is an official partner of the summit)  all pull out of the ET  global summit at the last minute? It started on March 27. The reason offered by a gossip portal, that the PM and his..

Anti-Hindu Kamal Haasan?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-27

Read this article on  to see how the Financial Express published an amazing attack on Kamal Haasan by its reporter who assumed he was a Muslim. The paper then changed portions of the original article to drop gems such as "As he lives in a Hindu-majority country he has no business to comment..

Self-indulgent BS

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-27

 For a newspaper to make its own awards function the first lead two days in a row is more than a bit rich. What was Business Standard thinking? After the big splash on Sunday about its Saturday function featuring the Finance Minister,  came a Monday morning newspaper which had no..

@The Gaushala at 3 am

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-26

@gauravcsawant is at the Gorakhpur mandir gaushala at 3am tweeting away. "Cow protection is integral to our life. It is very important for us both in the state & the centre," @CMOfficeUP tells @IndiaToday @AajTak. And Sawant then goes on to how there are more than 350 cows at the..

Safe driving, the Skoda way

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-26

 The Mumbai Press club is known for organising innovative junkets for its members. Next month it will teach members "safe and responsible driving" in collaboration with Skoda India, something it did last year also. Skoda will of course provide Skoda cars for the drive from Mumbai to Nashik, and all the hospitality..

Who will protect the citizenry from the press?

IN Opinion | 2017-03-25

When ordinary citizens are defamed by two of the country’s biggest English newspapers, what recourse do they have?

NDTV clears the air

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-25

On March 23 NDTV put out a statement on the income tax case against the company, describing it s a blatantly false case. Its said that by describing an USD 150 million investment by GE in the US through NBC in NDTV as a "sham transaction" the IT department was accusing the..

Orissa High Court muzzles the media

IN Judgements | 2017-03-23

It falls for the specious arguments put forward for a media gag by three lawyers accused of sexual harassment.

Eager to exonerate?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-22

Do web teams of newspapers normally quote other newspapers?  The DNA Web Team and FE (Financial Express) Online this week quoted articles from TOI, Indian Express and HT in which Muslims working for Yogi Adityanath had been interviewed. DNA did this on two consecutive days, March 20 and 21. While only the March 20 report had a line in..

Don't bully us

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-22

Last week there was an interesting fracas between a powerful lobby, the Indian Sugar Mill Association (ISMA), and journalists covering the commodity beat. ISMA apparently withdrew an invitation  to  a journalist of the Financial Chronicle to a dinner party it was holding because it did not like a story he..

Old hands to the deck

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-22

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has appointed his old band of loyalists as advisors. Among them is senior journalist Raveen Thukral, who has remained closely associated with him and had been advising him on media during the run up to the elections. He becomes media advisor to the chief minister..

Falsely implicated by a newspaper

IN Media Practice | 2017-03-20

After 11 years in jail, Rafiq Shah asks the Hindustan Times why it swallowed the police version in the 2005 Delhi bombing.

Pick your slant

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-20

 Is UP's new cabinet an all-caste rainbow or one dominated by ``high'' castes? Depends on whether you read  TOI or Indian Express. TOI's headline says:   `Team Yogi Mirrors Shah's Social Engineering'. Subhead: UP cabinet a balancing act of castes & allies.'  But the IE's Shyamlal Yadav in his analysis:..

Press also guilty?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-20

Goa's  AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar alleged that Rs 1000 crore changing hands  to enable the formation of the BJP government in Goa.  BJP President Vinay Tendulkar retaliated by sending him a defamation notice and the police filed an FIR against him. What's interesting is that Tendulkar has also made all..

Manipur sidelined, as usual

IN Media Practice | 2017-03-20

Of course it’s tiny and less important than UP but the national media’s coverage of Manipur’s election was a masterpiece of neglect

Aggressive Navika

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-18

On Saturday night the BJP reps in the Times Now studio did not need to mount an aggressive  defence of the govt's choice of Yogi Adityanath as UP CM. Navika Kumar, the channel's political editor, did it for them, pouncing on other panelists. "What has been at stake apart from..

Is BJP govt decision to start its own TV channels illegal?

IN Law and Policy | 2017-03-18

The law ministry’s proposed initiative is totally at odds with the recommendations of TRAI and SC observations on broadcast ownership,

Censoring the arts—humouring offended mobs

IN Special Reports | 2017-03-18

INDIA’S FREE SPEECH CHALLENGES—Part I. Films, television and public events ran into deletions and protests from a whole range of perpetrators in the last 15 months.

Threats from sand mining mafia

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-18

Huffpost has reported on this case of an independent journalist under attack for exposing illegal sand mining in Tamilnadu. The state has provided her police security after she received threats for this  four part series in The Wire.         ..

Photo journalists in Kashmir roughed up

IN Media Freedom | 2017-03-16

Several photojournalists were beaten and threatened by uniformed men on Thursday afternoon.

Media friends in attendance

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-16

A host of media owners and editors watched Capt. Amarinder Singh take oath today as the next chief minister of Punjab. Among them were Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra, the owner of NewsX and other channels Venod Sharma, Vir Sanghvi, and the resident editors of HT, TOI and Indian Express...

Baseless gaffe, NDTV India apologies

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-16

Three NDTV India editors offered a prime time apology on air on March 15 for running a story on a 16 year old Assamese singer being issued a fatwa. Said anchor Ravish Kumar with an embarrassed smile, "the Assamese CM had even assured protection to the girl on our channel",..

Our experiments taught us why people troll

IN Digital Media | 2017-03-16

By analyzing 16 million comments made on and conducting an online controlled experiment, we identified two key factors that can lead ordinary people to troll.

Topless journalism

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-15

Pallava Bagla had a good story on NDTV India on March 15 on low-cost life-saving technology. It featured a do-it-yourself ECG machine, with Bagla doing a demonstration sitting on a bed all strapped up. Quipped a wag, this must be the first case of topless journalism.        ..

Devious BJP

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-15

Here  is an amazing story from the Manipur election. The editors of 8 newspapers have had FIRs filed against them because the local BJP was devious.  Ads for polling day and the day before, were only to be released after vetting by the  Election Office’s Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC). The party..

Holi with Trump

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-14

On March 13 Navbharat Times had a page one pix  of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah playing Holi with Donald Trump.  It said the US President landed in Delhi  on Sunday to congratulate Modi on his "zordar jeet"(big victory). Nice picture of all three and another unnamed person, all splashed in pink gulal. And the last line, said, "Bura..

Strange hoarding

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-13

 A hoarding has sprung up at the entrance to Delhi's Khan Market featuring a large picture of Zee's Sudhir Chaudhary, the indefatigable Modi cheerleader.  While Chaudhary dominates, two lesser known faces are at the bottom of the hoarding which reads, "Poora desh aapke saath hai." (The nation is with you.)  No..

Good strike rate for AAP’s journalists in Punjab

IN Regional Media | 2017-03-13

With three journalists in the opposition AAP legislature party, those on duty from their former profession hopefully will not run short of copy.

Be my guest

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

Its nice to be Rajat Sharma. You own the channel, and you can do pretty much what you want with your show. On March 11 night his studio turned into a cosy place with HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Sharma having an unhurried, happy  chat about what made the BJP..

Enthusiastic Kiran Bedi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

 "UP has risen above caste and creed..."  said  Kiran Bedi as channel News 9 carried quotes  from politicians and others on the scale of the BJP's victory in Uttar Pradesh. Should governors be given statements to TV welcoming political victories?           ..

Times Now quicker

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

The received wisdom after the Bihar poll results has been that CNN News18 is the channel to watch for early results given their network of ETV reporters at counting centres. Bhupendra Chaubey this morning was underscoring that every chance he got. But actually Times Now was as fast and faster..

Even the Congress concedes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

Congress compliment for Modi: Abhishekh Manu Singhvi, Congress spokesperson to Rajdeep Sardesai on India Today at 9.35 am :"Just wait till 11 am before calling the results know in the past it has been reversed...but yes if the present trends continue it is not only a victory for Mr Modi but a remarkable victory".  ..

Truth telling from the frontlines

IN Media Freedom | 2017-03-11

“Velvet Revolution” is a 57-minute international documentary which profiles women journalists who have paid a high price for speaking truth to power.

Starting early, with caution

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

The morning hours on TV before the results today was marked by some caution - are the exit polls right or wrong? Even Times Now was suddenly cautioning jumping the gun..It was also time for graphic gizmos- India Today had a red colour gaddi with the incumbents trotting up one..

Mobile only news launch

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-11

Go News, a mobile-only news channel debuts today, March 11, with the election results coming in. It is being launched by Pankaj Pachauri, the former BBC and India Today journalist who did a stint in the Manmohan Singh PMO. It is meant for android and iOS phones.       ..

Selective coverage of atrocities

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-03-09

Why do some anti-dalit and anti-minority atrocities dominate the news while others are ignored?

Today's Chanakya: right this time?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-09

Of all the exit polls, Today's Chanakya is really sticking its neck out with its  predictions for this round of state elections, giving the BJP 285 plus-minus 18 seats in UP.  This is the pollster who got the Bihar polls seriously wrong, predicting 150 plus sets for the BJP in..

Santosh Yadav: free again, and undeterred

IN Media Freedom | 2017-03-09

Released on bail after one and half years in jail, he is full of plans to keep up with his ‘patrakarita’ and ‘samaj seva’ and tell the world about the plight of the adivasis in this strife-torn area.

A former journalist is convicted by a lower court

IN Archive | 2017-03-09

As Prashant Rahi is sentenced for life along with Prof. Saibaba, the Hoot reprints an article on him from its archives.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar censors The Wire. But why?

IN Media Freedom | 2017-03-09

Newslaundry asked the same questions some months ago. So why is Mr Chandrasekhar taking umbrage now,

Would the PM approve?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-07

The National Highway Authority of India took a media team from Delhi to Bharuch where Prime Minister Modi was inaugurating  a 1.4 km cable bridge. At the function the media kit distributed contained a white envelope with Reliance retail gift cards. Wouldn't Mr Modi frown upon that?      ..

Exits from Mint

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-07

Mint has seen a bunch of resignations and layoffs in recent weeks. Its weekend publication Mint Lounge had around a dozen reporters but is down to a third of its reporting strength after resignations  followed the appointment of a new Lounge editor. The travel budget for reporters has apparently also..

Revisiting the mothers who protested AFSPA

IN Books | 2017-03-05

A new book tracks down the women who stripped naked 12 years ago to protest against rape and rights abuses under AFSPA.

Is Quint culpable?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-04

Quint has been named in this story which the Indian Express carried on March 4, on an army jawan committing suicide.  But the video which is  still available here  does not name the jawan being talked to, or show his face. It does however name the army cantonment where he was located.  The text of the..

Legislative boo boo

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-03-03

Dissemination of the details of the Kerala Budget via social media caused grief to the finance minister Thomas Isaac today. The Indian Express reports that the opposition began to create a ruckus in the Kerala  legislative assembly alleging that the Budget being presented was already available on social media. The..

“Abused for my journalism” - a chronicle of online hate

IN Opinion | 2017-03-02

Neha Dixit received the Chameli Devi Jain Award for “Operation Babylift” and other stories. We reprint her acceptance speech.

Net neutrality acquires a powerful new foe

IN Digital Media | 2017-03-02

Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai proves his critics right by backing corporate interests and opposing net neutrality

Can journalism withstand Trump?

IN Media Practice | 2017-03-01

Trump & Co. are using the fault lines in journalism to question journalism’s legitimacy as a ‘watch dog’,

Achhe din for Gujarat journos

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-27

The Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat has increased accidental death cover for accredited journalists from Rs 50,000 to 5 lakh. Also families of accredited journalists will now get Mata Amrutm (MA) card for cashless treatment upto Rs 2 lakh in govt or designated pvt hospitals in the state. The  MA..

Is media ethics justiciable?

IN Law and Policy | 2017-02-27

The distinction between self-imposed ethics and legal remedies is being blurred by an activist judiciary which has begun to issue writs to private organizations.

Out on bail at last

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-27

A year and six months after he was jailed in September 2015  Bastar journalist Santosh Yadav was granted bail by a division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan today. Yadav was arrested in September 2015 on charges of aiding Maoists.        ..

Third fire at TOI

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-26

On Monday Feb 27 the TOI building caught fire again, and staff now have to work from home and the press club. On Sunday there was a fire which according to other newspapers took 25 fire  tenders to douse. Sunday's fire occurred  less than a year after a fire in..

How Jagran and Ujala covered UP: Part II

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-02-25

Dainik Jagran and Amar Ujala were pretty balanced but one striking failure was putting tough questions to politicians on behalf of their readers

How Jagran and Ujala covered UP: Part I

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-02-25

Of all the parties in the UP election, the BJP received more coverage in Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran, mainly because it had more star campaigners.

Jagan Group IPO

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-25

The Jagran Group is going in for an IPO  in early March to raise Rs 400 crore for its radio property Radio City. Music Broadcast Ltd, the Jagran subsidiary which runs its radio business, now has 39 radio stations. This will be the first Media IPO of 2017, reports Daily..

DD helps out

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-24

In all the swirling coverage over the attacks on students and journalists at Ramjas college, those speaking in defence of the Sangh Parivar found an island of calm opportunity on Doordarshan News. On Feb 23 night its Aamne Samne programme was devoted to Professor Rakesh Sinha denouncing the kind of student politics..

Express Group: on solid turf after a turnaround

IN Media Business | 2017-02-23

After a bumpy four years, the group’s finances have hit a smooth stretch since 2015. Profits expand without help from one-offs.

Lumped as 'others'

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-23

When does a party qualify to get a separate mention on the list displayed by TV channels when counting of votes is on? For more than half the day while showing the results of the elections to the country's richest corporation, all news channels showed the main five parties: BJP,..

BJP's new ammunition

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-23

What to make of a gossipy site which runs items which make the ruling party bosses and the PM look good? And then then has Bollywood gossip as well?  The 'about us' has no names at all. The gossip targets the Gandhis and Naveen Patnaik. The lead story on the CBI chief..

Reporter Akhilesh

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-20

 Reporter Akhilesh (@Akhilesh_ET) is a parody Twitter handle that has been trolling three ET journos for their friendly coverage of  Akhilesh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party in UP. Two of them have blocked it. Akhilesh (with the CM's photo) turned an ET reporter tweets:"Actually I'm finding journalism better & safer...

Teesta's version

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-18

Former  journalist and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad who is a constant bugbear for the present government, and frequently the target of investigations,  is launching her memoir on Feb  24 at the Literature Live! event hosted and curated by Anil Dharkar in Mumbai. Titled Foot Soldier Of The Constitution,  it  traces her   experiences  during the Mumbai..

Redesigned and costlier

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-18

While the relaunched  Hindu does not look strikingly different its Delhi edition is now probably the most expensive daily in the country at Rs 10 a copy. Other editions of The Hindu do not cost that much. If the paper can pull off the hike without losing circulation it will have shown the..

Why Mayawati matters more than the reporting suggests

IN Opinion | 2017-02-17

Largely ignored by the media, TV and print, until quite recently, Mayawati’s voters are speaking up at last. The BSP is in the fight in the rural seats in varying degrees,

Reporting demonetization: a job well done

IN Media Practice | 2017-02-16

The coverage by the Express, Hindu, and HT was balanced, fair, in-depth, wide-ranging, rigorous, and, for once, told us what the poor thought.

Still awaiting bail

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-15

The bail application of Santosh Yadav, the journalist who has been languishing in jail in Bastar since  September 2015, is scheduled to come up before the Supreme Court on February 27 for a final hearing.           ..

Dissecting Donald Trump’s language on Twitter

IN Digital Media | 2017-02-14

These tweets are not indiscriminate and ill thought-out after all. The limit of 140 characters is perfect for communicating emotion rather than nuance.

Guess who is arrested

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-14

Dainik Jagran is a media group with a history of political alignments with different parties in Uttar Pradesh, members of the proprietor family  have been elected to the Rajya Sabha from both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. DJ chose to publish an exit poll favouring the BJP knowing that..

Deploying a drone

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-13

The Tamil news channel Puthiathalaimurai deployed a drone to take pictures of the holiday resort where AIADMK chief Sasikala has housed MLAs reports HT. The mission was successful. Less enterprising reporters who tried land and sea routes to gain access were attacked by private guards at the resort, reports the..

Jaya TV becomes Chinnamma TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-12

 JAYA TV is now Chinnamma TV.    Any time you tune it to its live online broadcast  you get a soundtrack of cheering supporters,  a split screen with a convoy on the move, and  Sasikala alternating with other supporters in  speaking into Jaya TV's mikes. Whoever might be speaking ever..

Demonetisation saved Goa from paid news

IN Digital Media | 2017-02-12

If paid news powered the 2012 elections, this time parties and candidates turned to social media. With cash in short supply campaigning went online,

Reporting of mass graves in J&K in the Indian press

IN Research Studies | 2017-02-11

Research abstracts on the Hoot: A section of the media has consistently glossed over the fact of mass graves out of bias or a desire to protect the armed forces,

Mahabalipuram's reality show

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-10

There are news cameras all along the coastal road along the famous temple beach town of Mahabalipuram in the outskirts of Chennai. Scores of print and TV and digital journalists are trying their best to breach the resort where 130 AIADMK legislators are said to have been herded and kept..

Twitter’s latest crackdown on abuse is a damp squib

IN Digital Media | 2017-02-10

There is something fundamentally flawed in Twitter’s approach to the whole issue of Trolls and online abuse.

Star India reports ad revenue decline

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-08

Star India is a reporting a $30 million decline in ad revenue during the quarter ending December 31, 2016 compared to the same period in the previous year,  reports Television Post. The drop is being attributed to the effects of demonetisation. Earlier ZEEL also reported a fall in ad revenue growth..

New policy dismays Community Radio activists

IN Community Media | 2017-02-07

While stonewalling their demand to broadcast news, the I&B Ministry has said CR stations can air AIR bulletins instead.

Outreach for whom?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-07

It is not clear which kind of journalists the PMO's weekly mailer for journalists--which began to be sent out shortly after Republic Day-- is meant for. The latest one arriving on the 6th brings top takeaways  of the budget, the PM's comments after the FM's speech, the president lauding the..

The Hindu to relaunch

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-05

A relaunch of The Hindu in a new design has been in the works for some time and is now scheduled for February 17, with  the Sunday Hindu being launched with its new design on Feb 19th. An internal mail from the editor spells out  what staffers at major centres..

Generous severance package

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-04

While this week’s sackings in this Group are making news ABP has been extremely generous in its severance package to journalists. While younger staff are being given a few months’ basic as compensation, those who have put in several years of service with the company are getting anything between 75..

Hindi news channel for Rajasthan

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-04

The Patrika Group which publishes the Rajasthan Patrika and Catch News has launched  a  free to air Hindi news channel, Patrika TV, reports Television Post. They have experimented with  cable news  in the past. It is promising "neutral and non-superficial" Hindi language content, including hyper local coverage for the seven crore people..

ARY punished for defamation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-04

The London High Court found the Pakistani ARY channels  guilty of defamation for maligning the owner of Geo TV and the Jang Group, Mir Shakil ur Rahman. The court ordered ARY to pay £3 million in damages and costs. ARY failed to comply with the court's orders after which British media regulator..

Bloodbath at the The Telegraph

IN Media Business | 2017-02-03

Journalists shudder as one more newspaper group sacks employees across two newspapers, axing an estimated 120 plus jobs in a day.

Journalists cross ‘enemy’ lines in Punjab

IN Regional Media | 2017-02-03

The AAP’s love-hate relationship with journalists swings to love with several senior journalists getting a ticket

Mayhem at The Telegraph

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-03

On Thursday a large number of journalists at The Telegraph were reportedly asked to resign, including those in the Features Bureau and the Political Bureau. They have apparently been given six months basic pay.  Earlier in December there had been reports of  job cuts being imminent at the ABP group...

Sudhir Chaudhary's expanding control

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-03

Sudhir Chaudhary was holding forth last night on his show on Zee News on the state of the US Press, then on the state of the Indian media, and then, of all things, on unsafe passwords on the Internet. Now comes the news that he is set to take charge..

PR reactions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-01

The budget reactions which start coming into a journalist’s mailbox as soon as the FM has finished speaking are a cheerful mix of self promotion and  flattery, hoping someone in government will notice their praise. The MD of a home appliance company thoughtfully appends his career profile to  his hailing..

Picking on the ponds

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-02-01

After the FM said in his  Budget speech that 10 lakh farm ponds would be completed across the country  under the MGNREGA scheme by March this year,  Ravish Kumar on NDTV India took off on this in his budget analysis programme, for a good ten minutes or more.  That is..

Badals get paid news notice

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-30

 Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have been served notices over the issue of paid news on PTC news channel by the returning officers (ROs) of Lambi and Jalalabad Assembly constituencies, the Indian Express has reported. The reason behind the notices is the..

Zee Group: thriving despite print media losses

IN Media Business | 2017-01-29

General entertainment brings in the profits, News TV and distribution remain viable, DNA shows a modest cut in losses.

How TOI and Jagran differed in their currency ban coverage

IN Media Monitoring | 2017-01-28

Analysis shows that Dainik Jagran’s front pages and editorial stance backed demonetization while TOI was more nuanced and critical

The Hoot is changing!

IN Media Practice | 2017-01-27

After debate and discussion, we have decided that it is smarter to offer less volume and more depth.

Acquitted after 6 years

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-26

Shabbir Ahmed, a TV correspondent with Times Now, was acquitted earlier this week in a criminal defamation case brought by the Joint Editor of Nakkeeran magazine in 2010,  for reporting CBI raids at the latter's  house in connection with the 2G scam. Ahmed who was then with the  NDTV-Hindu channel has..

Unfair to Mahira Khan?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-26

A desk report in Dawn sounds seriously miffed that critics in mainstream Indian publications have panned Pakistani actress Mahira Khan's performance in Raees. It quotes from review across a number of publications and then asks, "Given that the criticism is at times malacious, instead of constructive, one has to wonder..

Swamy vs Goswami

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-25

 Today Subramanian Swamy tweeted a letter he has written to the minister of information and broadcasting bringing to his attention the fact that the name of Arnab Goswami's new channel, Republic, violates the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act. Under the schedule accompanying the Act this word cannot..

India Today’s ‘sting’ and the UP assembly enquiry

IN Special Reports | 2017-01-25

Will the breach of privilege case and the challenge before the Supreme Court outlive dissolution of the UP Assembly?

Bureaucratic denial

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-24

The National Media Council of UAE invited the Doordarshan correspondent  posted in Dubai to  accompany the delegation  of the  Crown Prince of  Abu Dhabi to India. He is here to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. It also invited the correspondents of Malayalam Manorama and Mathrubhoomi. The journalist..

New show, old story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-24

Arnab Goswami's successor at Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar, launched his own signature show last night (January 23) with much fanfare. India Upfront succeeds Goswami's Newshour and guess what, does much the same thing. Hollers away about the misdeeds of this government's critics. The story on Teesta Setalvad  by the anchor's own admission..

A dose of Sudhir Chaudhary

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-23

The Zee Group being a lead sponsor of the Jaipur Lit-fest  means that you get a dose of Zee News' Sudhir Chaudhary there every year, sometimes plugging one of the group's channels. This year someone from the audience asked him a direct question about fake videos to which he replied..

IWPC: internal dissent

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-23

One hundred and thirty four members of the Indian Womens Press Corps, housed in a government bungalow in Delhi, have written to its management committee  recording their "strong objection" to a  clause which was recently added to the IWPC form for booking space for meetings/conferences, and demanding its removal. The clause..

Patrika Group plans

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-23

Catch News has just done a round of staff relocation between its Delhi, Noida and Jaipur offices. Whether you describe it as cost cutting or rationalisation depends on what you choose to believe. The moves are apparently aimed at facilitating the Rajasthan Patrika Group's plan to bring out an English..

Trump’s inauguration and the legitimacy fetish

IN Opinion | 2017-01-21

Apprehensive as they are about what a Trump presidency might bring, mainstream media pundits stoutly defend the legitimacy of his election.

Enabling a climate for Hindi science journalism

IN Regional Media | 2017-01-21

For 25 years, Srote Feature Service and Journal has tried to enhance scientific temper in society by generating articles for readers of Hindi publications.

Foreign perspectives

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-21

As Donald Trump wound up his inaugural speech Indian news channels were all a-twitter at his protectionism pitch. But what did  RT, the Russian channel serve up for Trump's inauguration? An all American panel with an ageing  Larry King,  discussing  the outgoing and incoming presidents from an US rather than..

Having our say

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-20

The Times of India on January 19 used its edit page to argue across four columns that "there is blood on the floor of one of the last bastions of print media in the world."  It referred to the Hindustan Times  closing seven editions without naming the paper, to suggest that the print industry..

Sukhbir Badal’s media card in Punjab

IN Regional Media | 2017-01-18

What could be a crucial asset in the polls is the control over cable networks in the state which SAD is believed to have,

No sedition here, please

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-18

The Indian Womens Press Corp in Delhi, housed for many years in a government bungalow, is a favourite low-cost location for holding press conferences and such like.  But it is suddenly drawing attention for a condition it seems to have imposed on those renting space in its   premises.  Telegraph reports..

Molestation in Bangalore--how many is 'mass' ?

IN Media Practice | 2017-01-18

One paper coined the term and others picked up from there. A fortnight later a counter narrative was being energetically pushed out.

Mid-Day vindicated by Supreme Court ruling

IN Judgements | 2017-01-16

But the case shows how contempt is misused by the courts to crush critical reports quickly while the final ruling takes years to come.

Goodbye to NDTV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-15

Both Barkha Dutt and NDTV announced on Sunday that she will moving on from the channel to do her own thing.  While she said,"It's been a super ride at NDTV but new beginning in 2017. I shall be moving on from NDTV to explore new opportunities and my own ventures,"..

Tainted source?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-14

Is getting political gossip paramount for political reporters? It  seems to override all other considerations, going by an item in Jan 13's Indian Express column `Delhi Confidential'.  Journalists, including seniors, apparently throng Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's annual lunch for his insights into Haryana, UP and Delhi politics. Any journalist worth her salt..

A requiem for the Hindustan Times, Bhopal

IN Media Business | 2017-01-13

The story of the Bhopal edition, and how it was slowly stifled before it was shut down earlier this week.

Hashtag Modi and demonetisation

IN Digital Media | 2017-01-12

The PM’s Twitter strategy both for the currency ban and his other schemes has been artfully crafted to create a positive aura around him,

Encountering sexism and casteism at work

IN Regional Media | 2017-01-12

The regional media allow discrimination against women and dalits to flourish, a Network of Women in Media conference was told recently.

Crowd sourced Budget

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-11

The Ministry of Finance is crowd sourcing budget inputs on Twitter.  It asks, which scheme needs more focus in the coming budget: Housing for all scheme, Mudra Yojana, Stand up India, or Start Up India?  Three days left for you to vote! In Digital India the Twitterati gets to decide..

The ethics of reporting hate speech

IN Media Practice | 2017-01-11

As elections get under way, the prospect of political hate speech looms large. A five-point test for journalists on how to minimize damage when they report.

Sparring on Twitter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-09

Malini Parthasarathy, former editor of The Hindu, took a dig at India Today inviting Sasikala to inaugurate its South Conclave 17, tweeting   “Sasikala's entry legitimised by India Today which invites her to inaugurate its ‪#SouthConclave17!” Rahul Kanwal of IT: ‪”@MaliniP‪ do you seriously believe that Sasikala ascension dependent on our..

Does nonpartisan journalism have a future?

IN Opinion | 2017-01-09

The Trump presidency will challenge the press and make nonpartisan journalistic norms difficult to follow,

Sacrificed for a digital future

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-08

Employees at the Hindustan Times have now received an email from the Executive Director - Operations & HR which describes the 'shelving' of operations in seven cities  as  being necessitated by the "move towards an accelerated digital strategy".  He also says that the pruning is being done to strengthen 'prime HT editions' at..

The Wire, in Hindi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-08 is planning to launch a Hindi edition in February and has been hiring journalists for it. A spot of good news at a time when the industry is seeing a downturn with retrenchments at the ABP group and in HT Media.       ..

The Sahara-Birla papers: such reluctant coverage!

IN Media Practice | 2017-01-07

Now that the Express has turned up some hard evidence, will Google searches on this story continue to yield spectacularly sparse results,

Jobs cuts in media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-06

 Restructuring at HT Media and the ABP group is resulting in a substantial loss of media jobs. While the Hindustan Times is pruning editions and is reported to have closed six on Thursday, ABP is going to cut jobs across group publications and TV channels as it reduces pullouts and..

Times Now survives Arnab

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-06

Times Now continues as the No 1 news channel in the English news channel space five weeks after Arnab Goswami quit, reports Television Post. While viewership has fluctuated over that period the channel has not lost its leadership, and  NDTV 24x7 is at number 2 with less than half its viewership, according..

Why NDTV ban and Zee FIR are not comparable

IN Media Practice | 2017-01-05

The first was an attack on free speech. The Mamata govt FIR aims to stop Zee from inciting Hindu-Muslim enmity with its coverage of the Dhulagarh riots.

Murder investigation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-05

 Investigations have confirmed that the death of the journalist who was murdered in Samastipur had nothing to do with his journalism. Brij Kishore Kumar was apparently murdered on account of a personal rivalry with his cousins, according to a local journalist.                  ..

Pro-active editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-05

This Frontline story just published, on the PMO’s monitoring of the turf battles between former Delhi LG Najeeb Jung and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, is based on multiple RTI applications.  It documents the pro-active role of Hindustan Times executive editor Shishir Gupta in drawing attention of the PMO  to Kejriwal’s violations, via an email whose..

Cable wires go underground in Kolkata

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-05

The West Bengal government will lay an underground cable TV network   in Kolkata to decongest the city of overhead cable wires, reports  Television Post.   This was announced by the West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim who said that the move is part of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s beautification plan..

Pink slips at HT

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-04

Three people were shifted out of the Hindustan Times business bureau  today and four lost their jobs. Unconfirmed reports say  more pink slips have been handed out in the Mumbai office. As part of the effort to integrate newsrooms in the organisation which publishes three dailies, Mint will be providing..

Scribe gunned down

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2017-01-03

The new year begins with the murder of a journalist. The Indian Express reports that unidentified men shot dead a journalist called Brij Kishor working for a daily in Samastipur.  Another report says seven bullets were pumped into him.  This is the third killing of a scribe in Bihar over  an eight-month..

Community Radio: give it back to the community--III

IN Community Media | 2017-01-03

A decade since the last guidelines were issued, it is time to take stock of the situation and change the guidelines to make the processes more transparent

Mr Modi’s warrior trolls

IN Books | 2017-01-02

The author interviewed several of those who troll. They belong to the lower sub-stratum of the BJP, which has a pretty sophisticated upper stratum as well.

Akhilesh silent on Twitter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-31

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is fairly active on Twitter. But his more than 2 million followers on the social networking site haven't had a word from him after his father and Samajwadi Party supremo expelled him from the party on Friday. His last tweet was dated December 29..

Shoe shame

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-31

Ravish Kumar, NDTV India’s Senior Executive Editor, is not known to be a great fan of the Modi government. Yet he seems to have taken strong exception to the cry going around social media that now that the promised 50 days of the currency ban are up, and things are..

NDTV's cost cutting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-30

NDTV has announced cost cutting measures which include shutting down bureau offices in five cities with reporters and cameramen being asked to move equipment to their homes. Other measures announced:no international travel, library to be shut down, minimal overnight stay, evening snacks to be stopped. The channel blames the "bad..

Free speech in the courts: legal outcomes in 2016

IN Media Freedom | 2016-12-30

Sedition, defamation, censorship, internet shutdowns—the year saw the courts being tested on a range of freedom of expression issues.

Mamata vs Zee blacked out?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-30

 It is interesting to see who have been reporting the story on Mamata Banerjee's government filing an FIR against Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News for his reporting of the Dhulagarh riots. And who have not. Chaudhary says the media is blacking this out. Reporting over the last two days has..

Media winners and losers in 2016

IN Opinion | 2016-12-28

TV anchors with diametrically opposite convictions rode high, and Sushma Swaraj’s Twitter activism went global. But regional media barons ran afoul of parties in power, and a jailed reporter spent yet another year deprived of freedom.

Kashmir Reader to hit the stands tomorrow

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-27

The Kashmir daily which was served a ban order on October 2 this year by invoking section 144 CrPC, Section 3 of the Incitement of Offences Act and Section 10 of the Press and Publication Act, will finally resume publication tomorrow. The newspaper's ban over close to three months evoked little..

@OfficeOfRG in attack mode

IN Opinion | 2016-12-27

Congress’ Rahul Gandhi focuses attack on PM’s corruption and #demonetization, but is the rest of the Opposition buying?

AIR News: Tra la la…tra la la…

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-26

Its early morning news bulletins are one long riff on the government’s wondrous work. Hard news? No thank you.

Fake, and increasingly dangerous

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-26

An alarming proliferation of fake news that managed to outstrip fact-based news, threatens to topple the credibility of the media

WION sings a paean

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-26

One knows that Zee Media, which is owned by media baron and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra, is fond of batting for the ruling party. But what do you say when one of the ads for its global news channel WION turns out to be an over-the-top paean to..

Anupam Mishra: the gentle but staunch Gandhian

IN Opinion | 2016-12-24

Anupam Mishra was a greatly respected journalist who stayed away from the limelight but wrote with insight on water and the environment.

Kashmir: unrest gives push to digitisation

IN Digital Media | 2016-12-22

Faced with shrinking revenues, newspapers are going digital and journalists are striking out on their own with digital media start ups

We did it!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-21

"India Today impact: RBI does a U-turn, changes Rs 5000 deposit rule!" Times Now was making similar claims too after the RBI backtracked on Tuesday morning. You'd think the newspapers don't exist--that a strong edit in the Hindu, similar edits in the Economic Times and Business Standard and a first lead in the Times of..

Mapping tribal language newspapers

IN Special Reports | 2016-12-20

What are the factors that decide whether and where tribal language publications flourish? Some of the answers are surprising.

Tit for tat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-20

 BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and NDTV anchor Nidhi Razdan sparred on the Left, Right and Centre programme on Dec 19 evening. Every time she asked Patra a tough question about why the government is constantly changing the rules regarding demonetisation, the BJP spokesperson would patronisingly say 'don't be agitated Nidhi'...

Protect your privacy during turbulent times

IN Privacy | 2016-12-19

As an ethical hacker, my job is to help protect those who are unable, or lack the knowledge, to help themselves.

Writer arrested for FB post

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-19

Malayalam writer and theatre activist Kamal C. Chavara, alias Kamalsy Prana, was arrested in Kozhikode on Sunday for a Facebook post where he allegedly slighted the national anthem, reports The Indian Express. Chavara was charged with sedition under Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code after members of the..

Libel win for Jang owner

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-17

Mir Shakil ur Rahman, the Dubai based owner of Pakistan’s Jang newspaper and Geo television, won a major libel victory against Pak television channel ARY News in the UK earlier this month, reports The Guardian.  ARY, like most other Pakistani TV channels, is answerable to British courts because it rebroadcasts in the UK. ARY had..

The Stoning of the Scholars

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-17

When a scholar’s lifelong study of ancient knowledge systems is reduced to slogans, it means the media is imposing its own preconceptions on his work.

Journalism to Corp Comm: making the switch

IN Media Business | 2016-12-17

Business journalists, including those at the top of their profession, are increasingly making the shift from media to corporates.

Arnab’s new gig

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-16

Arnab Goswami, former editor-in-chief of Times Now, has announced that his new venture will be called Republic. The Indian Express reports that it is likely to be up and running before the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. However, Goswami, who made jingoistic, high-decibel journalism a whole new paradigm in Indian news..

Telugu 360 sting exposes TV ratings manipulation

IN Media Business | 2016-12-15

BARC India’s new ratings system proves to be vulnerable to tampering by TV channels just as the earlier TAM was.

Jet sues journo

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-15

Senior journalist Josy Joseph has been slapped with a civil defamation suit by Jet Airways and its chairman Naresh Goyal, reports The Rs 1000 crore suit comes after Joseph alleged in his book A Feast of Vultures that the airline company had links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Publisher Harper Collins and Outlook magazine, which..

Swaraj’s Twitter diplomacy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-14

Foreign Policy magazine has named India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj one of the 15 top Global Thinkers of the year for her “novel brand of Twitter diplomacy”, reports  Deccan Chronicle. The list includes others like Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and  UN secretary general Ban-ki-Moon. Swaraj’s diplomatic initiatives on social media are..

Last message

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-14

“Final message - people are dying since last night. I am very surprised I am tweeting right now & still alive.” That is a tweet from seven-year-old Bana Alabed who, along with her mother Fatemah, have been live-tweeting the horror of being trapped in eastern Aleppo as Syria’s pro-government forces close in..

BSP picks #demonetisation as poll plank for UP

IN Digital Media | 2016-12-13

Twitter is abuzz with tweets of Mayawati and her followers seeking to captialize on notebandi even as @yadavakhilesh ducks the issue.

Arrested at IFFK

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-13

Mathrubhumi English reports that  7 persons were arrested by Kerala police today  for not standing up during  the national anthem at  the International Film Festival at Kerala on December 11. The incident occurred at the six pm screening of the Egyptian film "Clash."               ..

Facility or favour?

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-12

The government of Andhra Pradesh is set to outsource its PR work to journalists for upto Rs 51,000 a month.

‘Your profession makes you vulnerable’

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-11

Press Council Chairman Justice Prasad recently expressed his views on press freedom, journalists’ security, paid news, and trolling

Praise and be paid

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-10

A Factor Daily report claims that several social media influencers have been paid to make #IndiaDefeatsBlackMoney trend on Twitter. Their brief: to share the positive effects of demonetisation. Quoting a source with 30,000 followers on Twitter, the website says that the brief comes with detailed instructions about the timeline of the tweets..

Chargsheet against Marans filed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-10

CBI has finally filed a charge sheet against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi  who owns Sun TV, and others,  for allegedly using 764 high-speed data lines at his  residence for the benefit of Sun TV when he was a minister. The charge sheet says that altogether 764..

They break the stereotype

IN Regional Media | 2016-12-09

An Adivasi woman and a former Naxalite speak about their expectations of mainstream media. But can it accommodate them,

Imperious anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-09

On Dec 8 night on Times Now during a slanging match on demonetisation a young woman anchor imperiously told  a panelist who was critical of the note ban- " If you are not going to listen to my question..I don't think you have a right to expect the government to..

Moolah from Mann Ki Baat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-08

Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly address to the nation on All India Radio, brought the public broadcaster gross revenue to the tune of Rs 4.78 crore from advertisements during 2015-16. Quoting the minister for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, a Hindustan Times report said that only the broadcast on All..

Demonetisation doubles TV news audience

IN Media Business | 2016-12-08

The viewership of Hindi TV channels has shot up dramatically as nervous people remain glued to their TVs for the latest on demonetisation

RBI blocks The Economist

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-07

Stanley Pignal  of The Economist, was denied entry at the the RBI’s press conference on Monetary Policy Review today.  Pignal tweeted: “@theeconomist is no longer invited to RBI policy meeting press conferences. Won't let me in. Sad day for transparency.” This is a surprising decision, given that Pignal was granted an..

Amul on Amma

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-07

Advertising and marketing sites are  doing their bit to put out stories pegged to J Jayalalitha's demise. This one  features the 14 different Amul ads on the formidable Amma over the years, from Chennai Super Queen to Jail-alalitha! to Shanka about Lanka, and Court-ing trouble.             ..

A death that could not be reported

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-07

Archival nostalgia became the highlights that gave viewers a rare insight into the otherwise aloof Amma.

Press freedoms shrink globally

IN Media Freedom | 2016-12-06

A new report says that press freedom has declined to its lowest point in 12 years and, this time, some European countries are in the dock.

Job cuts at The Telegraph

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-05

Job cuts are looming large at The Telegraph, the Kolkata-based English language daily of the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group. Employees came to know last week that a substantial percentage of jobs across editorial and marketing may be on the chopping block. Several regular pages are being scrapped as is The Telegraph's popular..

Modi's changing narrative

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-05

This analysis of Narendra Modi's six speeches on demonetisation  between November 8 and November 27 on Indiaspend shows how the black money narrative receded and the one on creating a cashless/digital society gained ascendance. The third narrative on fake currency plateaued.  But why did the PM go from thundering about black..

Guilty of false evidence

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-05

The Indian Express reports   that the Amicus Curate to the HC  submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday that the Delhi-based journalist Tariq Anwar  who filed a report for Firstpost on the alleged cases of gangrape in Murthal, Haryana, had produced false and fabricated evidence, and should be prosecuted..

Pollution coverage: good but sporadic

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-03

The Hindi press’ writing on pollution has been good but if it were more sustained and went deeper into the causes, the result would be terrific.

Wow, Mr Jaitley!

IN Opinion | 2016-12-02

The Finance Minister goes overboard in describing the media as a force incapable of looking beyond suffering to recognize a momentous transition.

We don't like you

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-02

The BJP is transparent about its media dislikes.  In a programme "Ground Zero- Cash crunch" that Rajdeep Sardesai was doing on India Today on December 1, pay day, he asked Smriti Irani on the steps of Parliament for her reaction. Her reply was "Rajdeep the whole world knows that I..

Kant's Master Class

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-01

The interview done by Bhupendra Chaubey with Niti Ayog's Amitabh Kant on CNN-News 18 on Wednesday night sounded like  a promo by the government for the digital revoution it is ushering in. Kant literally conducted a Master Class on the programme on digital transactions. Jabbing his cell phone in the air he..

Mann Ki Baat: Modi’s pet platform

IN Media Practice | 2016-12-01

An ingenious and influential communication tool, Mann Ki Baat continues to be a great favourite of Narendra Modi’s. In two years, 446 million Indians have heard him chat to them.

Which version to believe?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-12-01

A reader points out that an incident of murder in Delhi was reported both  by the Times of India and the Hindi paper Hindustan  but the versions were very different. TOI said the  young man killed his elder brother because of being asked to leave his home late at night to allow his brother and..

Community Radio: here is the community!

IN Community Media | 2016-11-30

The authors of the CR study have used purposive, not random sampling, with the sole intention of bringing negativity to the CR movement in the country.

Demonetisation critic arrested

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-29

The cyber cell of the MP police arrested Abhishek Mishra, a 19-year-old engineering student, for his tweets criticising demonetisation and allegedly because he had made “offensive” posts against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.   Hindustan Times reports that he was arrested on November 12 (the police managed to keep the news a secret..

DD journo in a spot

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-29

Doordarshan journalist Satyendra Murli says he has been facing death threats ever since he claimed that the Prime Minister’s Nov 8 demonetisation speech was pre-recorded and not telecast live, reports Catch News. Murli said at a press conference on Nov 24 that he had audio and video evidence to support his allegation...

Community Radio – where is the community? Part II

IN Community Media | 2016-11-27

How state governments, politicians, and indirect corporate interests have wormed their way into community radio stations, violating the spirit of the original intention.

Out of touch with reality

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-26

This week CNN News18 has been doing a series on the impact of demonetization.  While listing the pros and cons of the move one of the points read : "The common man in India has learnt to live on Rs 24,000 per week."  Really? Are they so out of touch..

Remembering Dileep Padgaonkar

IN Opinion | 2016-11-26

His journalism apart, he was a connoisseur of the arts a bon vivant, who enjoyed the good things of life, and a fun loving soul who was a good mimic.

Times Now toppled?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-25

Is India Today TV now the No 1 English news channel in terms of television rating points (TRPs)? That’s what Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting editor with the channel, claimed on Friday, tweeting a graph which showed India Today TV well ahead of Time Now, which has hitherto been the king of English..

The NM App: A story for some, a non-story for others

IN Digital Media | 2016-11-25

The mismatch between AIR and DD making the poll survey their top story and the print media’s muted response, points to a credibility problem.

Ostrich-like BJP minister

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-25

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on a programme on NDTV launched into a ridiculing of the media, particularly TV, describing how they went from queue to queue in the country to ask people about the inconvenience standing in long lines to claim their own money. Twisting her face and imitating media..

Jan Jan ki Baat: Really?

IN Digital Media | 2016-11-24

Instead of seeking to elicit real opinions on the currency crisis, the questions in the PM’s poll were designed to trigger just one answer: Great job!

Kerala's non-reporting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-23 reports that though there is a strong fake currency flow in Kerala which the NIA has linked to Dawood Ibrahim's syndicate, this angle is not being picked up by the local media in their demonetisation coverage. The Times of India, New Indian Express, Firstpost and others have been mentioning the..

Troll Kejri

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-23

Arvind Gupta, National Head, Information and Technology of the BJP, speaking on November 22 at a panel discussion on online harassment, described Arvind Kejriwal, Chief minister of Delhi as the "biggest troll out there just now." And added  that he was on record with that statement...

Twitter: the Troll Kingdom

IN Digital Media | 2016-11-22

Twitter’s track record in cracking down on abuse, trolls, and fake accounts is the result of its indifference, its policies, and ineffective handling.

AIR: The Master’s Voice during the cash crisis

IN Media Practice | 2016-11-21

In its coverage of the currency crisis, All India Radio lavished praise on the government, ignoring opposing views and minimizing the hardships of ordinary people.

Kidney secularism

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-21

Bangladesh's popular daily, The Daily Star runs an item called Top Quote on its front page . On Sunday (Nov 20)  its top quote was  the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's tweet after a Muslim man offered to donate his kidney for her.  Swaraj's tweet said "Thank you very much brothers. I am sure, kidney has..

Scrapping on camera

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-21

Last week Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal got into a royal fight on camera with two BBC Hindi journalists who continued to argue back even as he lost his cool with them and began to  speak directly to the camera, wagging his finger at it. The fight was over Kejriwal’s assertion that 55 people..

Currency crunch, chaos, and fake news

IN Media Practice | 2016-11-21

The brazen way in which mainstream media has propagated fake stories around demonetization would shame even fringe online portals.

Journalists on pedestals

IN Opinion | 2016-11-20

Arnab may have exited the small screen but journalism in India is yet to throw up the mythical Batman that he is said to have destroyed.

Chacha - Bhatija

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-19

Why do some TV anchors think that viewers want their life stories instead of just providing them news that they are paid to give ? On India Today channel Rahul Kanwal is a frequent offender. On Saturday while doing a show  on demonetization he told the audience and panelists to clap loudly..

Facts in the new ‘post-truth’ world

IN Media Practice | 2016-11-19

With people preferring lies to facts and social media to the mainstream media, the role of the latter in exposing falsehoods has become more important than ever.

Free speech test for Bhutan

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-19

Bhutan is facing its first free speech test after its transition to democracy, reports the Guardian. Independent journalist Namgay Zam,  earlier a presenter on the state-run broadcaster Bhutan Broadcasting Service, is facing  imprisonment or a massive fine  if found guilty of defaming a prominent businessman. She shared a Facebook post by a woman about a property..

Spotting the astro turf

IN Archive | 2016-11-18

On November 18, 2010 the Radia tapes emerged. On the sixth anniversary of the scandal we republish a memorable series on PR from The Hoot.

Blaming the messenger

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-18

On CNN News18's special broadcast on prime time on Thursday BJP spokesperson Narasimha Rao complained that the channel was only showing negative aspects of demonetisation. Anchor Shireen Bhan put him in his place saying she would not accept such unfair attacks on her channel and the media at large for..

BBC expands regionally

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-17

BBC World Service is targeting India as part of a big global expansion--it has announced new radio, TV and digital services in Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi and Punjabi. The 7 other new language services announced are  Igbo, Pidgin, and Yoruba in Nigeria; Amharic, Oromo, and Tigrinya in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and..

Kashmir and India: parallel universes

IN Media Freedom | 2016-11-17

Rescind the NDTV ban but continue the six-week ban on Kashmir Reader. This discrepancy is just a small part of the differential treatment Kashmir journalists face.

SC rap on sex-test ads

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-16

On Nov 16 the apex court came down hard on online advertisements for pre-natal sex determination kits and directed the Centre to set up a nodal agency to address the problem. If there were any complaints in this regard, intermediaries such as a Google or a Yahoo would have to..

Press Day noises

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-16

On Press Day today PM Modi conceded in his speech that  physical attacks on the press were deplorable and should not take place. He also talked about the positive developmental role that the media has been playing. His minister for information and broadcasting, Venkiah Naidu, meanwhile tweeted that if the..

Black money sparring spills over onto Twitter

IN Opinion | 2016-11-16

From Amit Shah to the BJP’s political opposition across the spectrum, all strove to make political capital out of PM Modi’s controversial initiative.

Nehru's Herald relaunches

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-14

Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday was marked by the launch of the beta version of National Herald online,  a clean and quiet look with Nehru's quotation below the masthead, "Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might."  Sudheendra Kulkarni's piece revisiting what  BJP leaders of an earlier era thought of Jawaharlal is..

Chronicle of a death not foretold

IN Media Freedom | 2016-11-14

The editor’s farewell piece from ‘Fact and Fiction’ the last issue of Himal in its current incarnation.

Deccan Herald exits Delhi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-14

Five years after it was launched in December 2011,  the Decan Herald is shutting down its Delhi edition on December 10.  Its small team has been given the option of relocating to Bengaluru. Financial unviability is the probable reason...

Aishwarya's double talk

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-14

India Today channel showed Aishwarya Rai on Monday, praising PM Modi's demonetisation scheme to eradicate black money. She was giving a stand-up bite to a reporter who forgot to ask a  counter question  about her name being up there with that of Amitabh Bachchan in the Panama Papers as revealed..

TV bans: Don’t let the issue die down

IN Law and Policy | 2016-11-14

Government bans on TV won’t go away. They have been around for 12 years, and a sustained campaign against bans as a method of regulation is the only solution.

Ceaselessly innovative TOI!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-13

On Nov.13 a city page of TOI’s Delhi edition has a half page plug for something called Functional Manual Therapy, which is promoted by Vardan, described as a Times of India initiative. Is this a commercial venture? Not clear. An internet search says that it is a “welfare initiative” from..

A googly for Jaitley

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-12

The press conference by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday afternoon elicited more statements than answers from him. While most questions asked were  cautious, it took a woman journo to ask a bold one. Moushumi from Aaj Tak asked whether Mr Modi had concrete evidence that terror was being funded..

Reporter shot in Sasaram

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-12

Dharmendra Singh, a reporter with DainikBhaskar in Sasaram, Bihar,  was shot on Saturday morning, reports the Hindustan Times. He was at a tea stall near his house early in the morning when three bike-borne assailants opened fire, shooting  him in the chest. He died as he was being taken to Varanasi.  While investigations are on, no..

Deaf electorate or media in a bubble?

IN Opinion | 2016-11-12

The demolition of Trump – an honorable enterprise for editorial writers -- occupied the media more than investigative reporting on the people.

Modi loses Twitter followers

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-11

Catch News reports  that PM Modi's Twitter account lost 3 lakh followers on November 9 following demonetisation. However a Twitter spokesperson responded to Catch's story and said that the reduction of followers was due to spam accounts being deleted.        ..

Reports of the death of polling greatly exaggerated

IN Media Practice | 2016-11-11

The polls worked like they were supposed to work. But we all forgot they deal in probabilities and not certainties.

Public interest ads need a facelift

IN Media Business | 2016-11-10

Important as they are, public interest ads in print and on radio could do with pruning and fine-tuning to be more effective.

Media as cheerleaders

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-10

First Arnab Goswami hammered away at the Congress and other critics for two days in a row on Times Now's Newshour for not hailing the demonetisation move. Now Zee has decided to lend its shoulder to ensuring the success of the prime minister's "path breaking" initiative. That adjective is from..

Supping with the enemy

IN Opinion | 2016-11-09

Why does the media, for functions, awards or summits, always invite politicians as chief guests, even when they have violated many freedoms?

A sickening event?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-09

 If the US media has been  shown up as being out of touch with the American voter, some elements of it  are not mincing words about the election outcome either. From a New Yorker comment titled 'An American Tragedy': "The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy..

An unending trial

IN Opinion | 2016-11-09

Even if geo-political liberal scholars want to make an effort is there sufficient tolerance amongst the state institutions to hear their voice?

Condolences to Bhalla

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-09

Hillary Clinton has to apologise to Indian Express columnist economist Surjit Bhalla for betraying his staunch faith in her winnability. (His column is titled, ‘No proof required’). He has written 4 columns since August predicting first a landslide, then a double digit win, and then an easy win and finally,..

Girish Nikam’s last show

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-09

The late Rajya Sabha TV anchor Girish Nikam’s last show was on the NDTV ban. It drew forth these viewpoints: Indira Jaisingh said Article 19  lays down that  free  speech can only be stopped by the authority of law, not a govt panel. Former RAW official Jayadev Ranade said sanitizing..

Only Delhi channels count

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-08

The NDTVIndia ban has been put on hold but what is the MIB's decision on the one day  ban on News Times Assam, also scheduled for Nov 9? Tuesday's newspapers simply ignored this part of the ban story, not even asking the question.          ..

How we arrived at arbitrary TV bans

IN Law and Policy | 2016-11-08

How did our durable democracy, with much more media on offer than several older democracies, get to this stage?


IN Media Freedom | 2016-11-07

The news media are a vital line of defence with regard to the invaluable right to expression, speech, information and dissent.

NDTV files petition in SC

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-07

NDTV has informed the stock exchanges  that NDTV Ltd. and others have filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court challenging the  order of the ministry of information and broadcasting imposing a 24-hour ban on its telecast on November 9. Its petition has challenged the constitutional validity of the  order and..

How the US media helped Trump

IN Opinion | 2016-11-06

It enabled Trump’s emergence via false equivalence, softness on corruption, and by creating celebrity-politicians.

NYT offers free access

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-06

The New York Times has announced free access for all on its digital platforms on November 7,8, and 9. "We believe that everyone, without exception, deserves a deeper understanding of the candidates, the issues and the results of this unprecedented election," say its executive editor and editorial page editor in..

National interest trumps media freedom

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-06

Information and Broadcasting  minister Venkiah  Naidu   reiterated on Sunday that  nations have boundaries, and said the concept of freedom is not above the nation's interest and views cannot be promoted as news. The Hindu reports that he added,  in an indirect reference to the controversy over restrictions on NDTV, that..

NDTV ban: both selective and illegal

IN Media Freedom | 2016-11-05

The channel stands accused of revealing “sensitive strategic information” when an operation was in progress. But does the charge stick and if so does it apply only to NDTV?

So Many Kinds of PR!

IN Archive | 2016-11-05

All the hapless viewer knows as she glides from gadget PR to corporate golf PR to tell-me-your-company’s- success-story PR…is that when TV doesn’t roar, it purrs.

Hacks and Flacks: ‘Lunching, dining and pitching’

IN Archive | 2016-11-05

Well-spoken executives offering well-packaged stories also came in to pitch for new players who needed to build profiles, influence policy and defuse criticism.

No govt ads for 'extremist' Kerala paper

IN Regional Media | 2016-11-05

Seven years ago, Kerala stopped giving government ads to Thejas on the grounds that the newspaper promoted religious hatred. The policy continues.

Ravish unplugged

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-05

The I and B Ministry's 24 hour ban on NDTV India gave anchor Ravish Kumar the trigger for a long satirical take-off on Friday night on a voiceless democracy, his most free-wheeling, self-indulgent and extended special show yet, featuring two mime artists. It was titled "if we can't ask questions what can..

The right person to give journalism awards?

IN Media Freedom | 2016-11-05

This crackdown on NDTV is a continuation of the media gagging prevalent in the Kashmir valley. But the issue gains more credence when it happens in Lutyens Delhi.

Showcause happy govt

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-04

NDTV India says it has no record of the offending Pathankot coverage because it was live and  no record of coverage remains online after 3 months of telecast. The govt has the footage since it was captured by its TV monitoring cell in Delhi. The 24 hour blackout ordered is..

The Newshour will end--mercifully

IN Media Practice | 2016-11-03

He’s going but the Newshour could not have gone on for much longer. After all, how low, how noisy, how crude, how abusive can you go?

NDTVIndia to go off air

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-03 reports that an  Inter-ministerial committee  set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has recommended that NDTV India  be taken off air for a day for having revealed "strategically-sensitive" details while covering the Pathankot terrorist attack. The date set for this penalty is November 9. This is likely to be..

Ugly tussle

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-03

Kochi High Court’s diamond jubilee celebrations, inaugurated by CJI T.S. Thakur on Nov. 1, were boycotted by the state’s media, reports KochiPost. This is the latest in the ongoing conflict between the media and lawyers which began in July this year when lawyers beat up media persons on the court premises. In..

Mukul vs Modi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-02

Akshaya Mukul, a senior journalist at The Times of India, and one of the recipients of this year's Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, has boycotted the awards ceremony. The awards were presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 2. The Caravan reports that Mukul boycotted the occasion, saying, "I cannot live with..

Ratings without profits

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-02

Pankaj Pachauri, formerly in the Manmohan Singh PMO, said in a tweet that Times Now had to change its editor-in-chief because the numbers were dismal. While being part of the most profitable non listed media company BCCL,  Times Now still incurred a cumulative loss of Rs 553 crore in the last 11 years...

Stories from the fastnesses of Odisha

IN Regional Media | 2016-11-01

Through her series for Kalinga TV, Sarada Lahangir has laid bare the sufferings of the poorest families - and won the Ramnath Goenka award.

On Arnab’s departure…

IN Opinion | 2016-11-01

The Noise is about to subside. Temporarily, we are told. The competition cannot believe its ears.

Scribes question encounter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-01

Journalists have been raising doubts about the MP police encounter with 8 SIMI activists who escaped from Bhopal Central jail. But Dainik Bhaskar journalist Pravin Dubey reached the spot of the alleged police encounter with the 8 Simi men after a 5 km trek and looked at the bodies lying there. His account on..

Zee journo tweets hate

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-11-01

Should journalists be held responsible for what they say on their personal social media platforms? Jagrati Shukla, an assistant producer at Zee News, has been spewing venom against Dalits, Sikhs, Muslims, Mayawati et al in her tweets. Predictably, right-wing, casteist trolls on Twitter are lapping it up. But many are..

The Hindu is confused

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-31

The Hindu announced in Mumbai  that there would be no paper on November 1, on account of Bhau Beej. Other papers cited Diwali. But  Bhau Beej is on Nov 1. A paper reporting on a region and publishing there should know the culture and traditions, including the almanac, should it not?  ..

Rising to the pollution challenge

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-31

If Indian cities have a massive pollution problem staring them in the face how much more should newsrooms be doing,

BBC and The Guardian

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-31

A Conservative MP  cantankerously raised a subscription issue in the British Parliament on Monday. He alleged that the BBC was single-handedly keeping The Guardian afloat as the broadcaster subscribed to over 70,000 copies of the paper. According to the MP, the BBC, despite being a public broadcaster was completely out of touch with..

Pak min sacked for leak

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-30

Pakistan has sacked its information minister Pervaiz Rashid.  A government enquiry into the Dawn report by Cyril Almeida on a rift between the civil and military leadership over security policies and tackling banned terrorist groups, found Rashid  involved in leaking secret information to the. journalist, reports the Hindustan Times...

PM on Express platform

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-30

The Prime Minister will present the Ramnath Goenka journalism awards given by the Indian Express on November 2. Is he building bridges to the media, or is the Express Group building bridges to him?!  In fairness to the paper it has not refrained in recent weeks from criticism in its own editorials and from..

FB errs on emojis

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-29

If you post a sad face emoji on Facebook now, don't be surprised if it morphs into a tiny monster face. The social networking site has introduced emojis like a laughing witch face, a crying Frankenstein face, an angry pumpkin face and so on in keeping with the spirit of..

Community radio—where is the community?

IN Community Media | 2016-10-28

Investigating community radio ownership--Part I. Out of 196 CR stations how many have been captured by government or corporate interests?

Order or question?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-28

The 7-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court asked if, and didn't say that, secularism was aloofness, during a hearing on a case. But the Times of India headline implies an order which it was not. The media tendency to report questions or observations made in court misleads readers. Curiously, the courts..

Akhilesh Yadav vs The Rest

IN Opinion | 2016-10-27

On social media, selling hope to UP’s youth, the CM is a very different personality from the beleagured young politician under attack from his family.

Bhat gets bail, finally

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-27

Tausif Ahmed Bhat, the Kashmiri youth in Chhattisgarh who was arrested on charges of sedition for liking a cartoon on Facebook,  was finally granted bail by Justice Goutam Bhat of the Chhattisgarh High Court, on his fourth bail plea. The judge said he was not the author of the post..

Trump TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-27

What does a politician who accuses the media of bias against him do? Start his own TV channel of course. It  is precisely what Donald Trump has done by starting a television channel just two weeks before US goes to the polls.  Named - Trump TV. The programming includes replaying the third..

Barefoot Journalists

IN Community Media | 2016-10-26

When the media ignore tribals and their problems, why not train some of them to inundate the media with press releases so that their views are aired?

Subversion via WhatsApp

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-26

WhatsApp is helping government circumvent the law according to a two-part investigation in Business Standard. The Ministry of Rural Development used a chat group on WhatsApp called ENCORE this summer to convey directions to state officials implementing MGNREGA, in place of normal official channels of communication. Senior officials of the ministry as..

Strategic blip

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-25

NDTV  bested some of the business channels in their reporting on the Tata story and the quality of the panel discussion which followed on Tuesday night. But in the course of  the latter anchored by Sreenivasan Jain, during a comment by Supreme Court advocate Dushyant Dave on Ratan Tata's association..

Hindu hosts its readers

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-25

The Hindu’s Mumbai edition celebrates its first anniversary with an Open House with "chai and snacks", to meet with its Readers’ Editor on November 26.  Sachin Kalbag, editor of the Mumbai edition tweeted the invite, and also tweeted that the paper is the first in the history of Indian journalism to appoint an..

Karan Johar’s capitulation

IN Media Freedom | 2016-10-25

It all comes round again - political thugs dictating what film, play, or concert can go ahead. Karan Johar is just the latest to surrender to threats.

Responsive broadcaster

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-25

The prime minister's wish is All India Radio's command.  It has started a daily programme called #Sandesh2Soldiers on FM Rainbow and FM Gold channels, to be aired twice daily till October 30.The public broadcaster's statement says that it is responding to "Prime Narendra Modi's clarion call to send Diwali greetings..

Arnab G denies getting security cover

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-24

Oh dear. Apparently those of us who believed the Hindustan Times story about Arnab Goswami of Times Now being given Y category security cover because of perceived threats to him from Pakistan-based terrorists, were wrong. says  the anchor labelled the report  as "bizarre and beyond ridiculous" and "sources in Times Now" told The..

Virtual reality debuts in Indian journalism

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-24

After the internet and the rise of digital media, VR could well turn out to be journalism’s next big technological disruptor.

Ideological consolidation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-23

Swarajyamag announced today (Oct 23) that it had acquired as the "newest addition to its portfolio." What it describes as a "trailblazing, digital-only publication" which has "created a huge social media footprint" has an ideological profile which Swarajya doubtless approves of, as demonstrated by the adjectives used by Opindia  for..

And now, Puja selfies on prime time

IN Regional Media | 2016-10-23

Assam’s TV channels have come up with a new gimmick to increase television rating points at festival time,

The Nation Wants to Know! But which Nation?

IN Digital Media | 2016-10-21

When the agenda of a channel like Times Now is driven by a tiny group of Indians on social media, at least three fourths of the country is left out. What about their right to be informed?

Ratings crackdown

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-21

BARC India, which measures television viewership, and Kerala TV Federation have filed a police complaint after it was found that there were attempts to influence BARC’s television viewership measurement system in some of its panel homes in Kochi. BARC says there were attempts to not only find out the addresses..

The Yogi and the Commissar

IN Books | 2016-10-20

It’s the season for media biographies, as NDTV and TV18 publish their life stories. If NDTV comes across as self-righteous TV18 is open about its sins of commission.

Newsrooms or spin rooms?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-20

After each presidential debate ends CNN uses the term Spin Room on its screen when the analysis on the debate begins. Should Indian news TV which sometimes even sets up  a 'War Room'  to report on Indo-Pak issues  call their newsrooms spin rooms as a more accurate description of what they..

IPL on FB, Twitter?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-19

Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Reliance Jio are among those who want media rights to the next cycle of Indian Premier League (IPL) reports  ESPNCricinfo. The TV and digital rights are currently held by Sony Pictures Network India and Star India respectively, all of which will expire in 2017. While there’s no..

Hillary over Assange

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-19

The government of Ecuador has confirmed that it did cut off Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s internet access on Saturday, reports The Times of India. Assange, who was given asylum by Ecuador at its London embassy in 2012 after he jumped bail to escape sex assault charges in Sweden, has carried..

Cost cuts clip BBC anchors’ wings

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-19

The BBC’s star presenters will no longer be parachuted into distant lands to report on news unfolding there. The BBC reportsthat in a move to cut costs, they will be confined to conducting two-way interviews from the studio with reporters on the ground, who, the Corporation’s bosses feel, have a better..

Cover your ears--community radio is polluting us!

IN Community Media | 2016-10-18

….or so it would seem from shocked monitors who say community radio stations aired ‘’obscene’ and ‘vulgar’ content without defining what this means.

A quiet day at Kashmir Reader

IN Media Freedom | 2016-10-18

His paper banned for being a threat to ‘public tranquility’, a Kashmir Reader reporter reflects on recent events and what the paper stands for.

Ravish’s silence

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-18

NDTV India’s Ravish Kumar  interviewed  NALSAR VC Faizan Mustafa on a two-part programme on the current controversy regarding triple talaq & the Uniform Civil Code. Mustafa opposes the petitions in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on triple talaq -- and to let just one viewpoint come across in two..

Enter Arnab, trailing security

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-17

The Intelligence Bureau has detected a threat to the life of  Times Now's Arnab Goswami from Pakistan-based terrorist groups, reports Hindustan Times. The high profile, hyper-nationalist TV anchor will now get Y category security which means a detail of  two personal security officers and 20 guards.  Goswami has been crowing about India having..

Grin and bear it

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-17

The festival season has driven away most of the news  from the Indian Express’s front page on October 17. Those  who support the newspaper’s journalism have to grin and bear it. Pakistan’s Dawn likes to reminds readers of the online edition that their journalism is paid for by advertising. And appeals to them to..

A week to remember

IN Opinion | 2016-10-16

“You know the camps, you know the divisions and splits, and you know at any given time who may be interested in selling what. They exist in civ as much as they do in mil.”

Oldest scribe fêted

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-16

Lalbiakthanga Pachuau, editor of the Mizoram newspaper,  Zoram Tlangau,  has been declared at age 90 to be the oldest working journalist in the country at a function held in Aizawl. The Nagaland Post reports that Pachuau,  a war veteran-turned-journalist, wrote his first article on May 16, 1953 in Zoram Thupuan..

The missing media discourse at BRICS

IN Research Studies | 2016-10-15

Though it could be an important mechanism for fostering relationships between these countries, this and former summits have not factored in media as a sub group agenda.

Propaganda wars

IN Books | 2016-10-15

The BJP, the RSS and the security establishment have been equally, if not more, successful in mobilizing both the mainstream as well as social media for counter-insurgency, including to malign anyone critical of the government.

Film ‘31 October’ battles opposition to release

IN Media Freedom | 2016-10-15

The PIL is only the most recent hurdle for a film which revisits the 1984 riots and its aftermath in a commercial release.

The dalit stories which don’t make news

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-14

The anniversary would be a great event to cover on TV surely? No. As they do every year, the mainstream media boycotted this historic and gigantic gathering in Nagpur.

Suicide for TV camera

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-14

The Hindu reports in detail the attempts of a TV channel crew to stage a suicide attempt by a Karnataka  farmer who was destroying his withered red chilli crop. "...60-year-old Kurubara Kumarappa was asked by an electronic media crew and local leaders to act as if he was attempting to consume a..

Pak paper toes govt line

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-14

Pakistani newspaper The News International carried a startling story today, saying that Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar had told the German ambassador that Indian army’s surgical strike across the Line of Control was a bluff, reports The Times of India. Needless to say, it drew a swift rebuttal from India, with MEA spokesperson Vikas..

Stop accreditation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-13

In an unprecedented move, the Network for Women in Media (NWMI) has floated a petition to stop media accreditation being given to a fellow journalist called Rupesh Samant. The Goa police have filed chargesheets against Samant for committing multiple incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace while he was employed..

NDTV on Salafism

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-13

Two recent editions of Truth vs Hype try to link the growth of Salafism among Muslims with the appeal of ISIS to a few young Muslims.

TV9 Kannada rides roughshod over transgenders

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-12

The channel’s insensitive depiction of transgenders has put them at greater risk of violence and hostility, angering an already vulnerable community.

Falling like nine pins

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-12

P Chidambaram in The Indian Express about NDTV's censorship--  "I am asking the media: why are you guys falling like nine pins to unjustified demands, if any, from the powers that be? I don't know if the powers that be made any demand. But why are you guys falling like nine pins?"  ..

Action against Almeida

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-11

On Oct. 10 Dawn Asst Editor Cyril Almeida tweeted that he had been informed and shown evidence of being on the Exit Control List. This is Pakistan’s system of border control  which allows it to bar people from leaving the country. Almeida’s scoop on Oct 6 about the rift between..

Delhi’s homeless – remembered only in winter

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-10

Every winter stories are run about how the homeless need more shelters. During the monsoon and the heat – media silence.

Is NDTV’s censorship hypocritical?

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-10

Is the channel suggesting that the army should not be held accountable?

Anybody remember?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-10

Pulling out  facts from a year ago is too much trouble for reporters. In the reporting on  minister  Mahesh Sharma's visit to Dadri after the death in jail of one of the accused from Bisara village, it was mentioned that the district magistrate had announced a compensation  of Rs 25..

The multi-hued Pakistan media

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-09

Watch their commentary on the current standoff and discover a rich world of diverse opinion, jingoism, humour, satire and impertinence.

NDTV censors Chidambaram

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-09

"NDTV will not air any remarks that risk security for political advantage." With that onscreen statement NDTV dropped the interview with P Chidambaram done by Barkha Dutt which was to air on October 6 evening. The Wire reports that In keeping with the new editorial policy, the channel will no longer allow politicians and other..

A tale of two resignations

IN Media Business | 2016-10-08

The director of BBC Radio resigns, concerned over the impact of technology on journalism. The Prasar Bharati CEO resigns, amid concerns about decisions which impact revenue.

Clumsy first steps

IN Media Practice | 2016-10-08

A talent show in Assam features people with disabilities but the judges and anchor ruin the effort with their patronising talk.

"You are a lout"

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-07

'A lout', 'l-o-u-t', 'uncouth' and 'uncivilised' were the labels thrown at Jitendra Awhad, an NCP MLA from Maharashtra by Arnab Goswami on Thursday while discussing Rahul Gandhi's 'Khoon ki dalali' accusation, #SurgicalSelfgoal. 'Who do you think you are', the anchor asked, his voice rising, to be told he was 'invited', not thrusting..

Murder accused dies in custody

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-07

Shiv Kumar Vaishnav, formerly a journalist, an accused in the 2011 murder case of Nai Duniya journalist Umesh Rajput, died, allegedly of hanging, while in CBI custody on Oct 4, 2016. Vaishnav and his son, Vikas, had been arrested on September 26, 2016 by the CBI, which is  investigating the case..

Image building awards

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-06

The Outlook Group killed several birds with one stone last night (Oct. 5): it cashed in on the social media craze in the country  by instituting the Lloyd-Outlook Social Media (OSM) Awards in a bunch of interesting categories including MLA of the year. It made up to the BJP  by having..

More Muslims do not always produce more Urdu papers

IN Research Studies | 2016-10-05

According to RNI data, the Muslim demographic does not have a strict correlation with the number of Urdu newspapers in a state — and non-Muslims publish them too

No bail for Tauseef

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-05

A Kashmiri youth is lodged in a jail  in Durg, Chhattisgarh, since August 3, on charges of sedition for allegedly liking a Facebook post that made fun of India. He has been refused bail twice and on Oct 4 when it  came up again a judge of the High Court reserved his orders on Tauseef..

The Clinton-Trump online war

IN Digital Media | 2016-10-05

Facebook live videos of the US presidential debate drew 55m viewers. And Donald Trump dominated the conversation on Twitter. Here's how social media is unlocking voter sentiment in this tight presidential race.

Broadcasting sensitive info

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-05

Top military officials speak off the record to ET,  and  TOI announces to the country at large that India's armed forces have told the political executive that only a sustained six-month campaign—not  off and on strikes--will seriously damage the terror infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Good story, but hardly off..

Contempt notice to Jagran

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-04

Two years after it took cognizance of a contempt petition filed by the Indian Federation of Working Journalists on behalf of Dainik Jagran employees against Jagran Prakashan Limited, the Supreme Court today decided to initiate contempt proceedings against JPL and to issue a notice to its CEO Sanjay Gupta. In Oct. 2014..

Sushma’s Twitter style

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-04

When it comes to Twitter, no one does it better than external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. As tension between India and Pakistan was mounting last week, a group of 20 Pakistani girl students on a friendship trip to India was apprehensive about returning home safely. The leader of the group,..

Urdu newspapers: growing, not dying

IN Research Studies | 2016-10-04

Far from fading, Urdu newspapers are flourishing and are widely distributed, especially in Delhi and UP. Insights culled from the RNI database from 1957-2015 are fascinating,

US Elections: Controversies trump policy issues

IN Media Monitoring | 2016-10-03

Three Harvard studies conclude that the US news media have paid scant attention to the policy platforms of the candidates in their coverage of the presidential election campaign.

Vigil for Amma

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-03

Ever since Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on September 22, the media have maintained a round-the-clock vigil outside the hospital’s gates. With the rumour mills on an overdrive about Amma’s condition, a string of media tripods wait expectantly for any development at..

A fall-in-line order?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-03

On Oct 2 the state government banned the Kashmir newspaper Kashmir Reader by invoking section 144 CrPC read with section 3 of the Newspapers incitement of Offences Act 1971 and section 10 of the  Press and Publication Act 1989. Why the ban? Says a reporter, "The government banned it because..

Her baby pictures on the potty…

IN Digital Media | 2016-10-02

...are not what a teenager wants her parents to post on Facebook. An Austrian girl goes to court against her parents over privacy, opening another chapter in the debate.

Swachhta on TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-02

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and the second anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching his Swachh Bharat mission, NDTV held a 12-hour “Cleanathon” on October 2 to clean up 10 iconic places in India, including Varanasi, Puri and the area around the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. Anchored..

For the love of Gandhi's ideas

IN Regional Media | 2016-10-01

For over 50 years, the Sarvodaya Press Service has been spreading the Mahatma’s ideas by providing stories with a Gandhian theme to the Hindi press.

Swamped by ads

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-10-01

You know the festival season is here when the news becomes really hard to find in your daily newspaper. Today (1 Oct) if you add up all the advertising in the first section of the newspaper, 16  plus pages out of  32  in the Times of India carry ads, preceded by another..

Comic hero

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-30

Amar Chitra Katha, one of the largest selling comic book series in India, is coming out with a special edition where the PM is lauded for launching the Swachh Bharat campaign, reports The Economic Times. The special issue, which will be unveiled on Friday, tells school children: "Modiji knows how to make the..

Sanitised version

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-30

While TV news on Thursday night bristled with figures of casualties inflicted --how many terrorists per launch pad, therefore how many "neutralised" altogether, the morning papers are remarkable for the absence of details of damage inflicted or incurred. The Indian Express said the army gave no count of the dead on the Pakistani side...

The Express and Anon

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-30

The Indian Express’ tendency to rely on anonymous sources has surfaced again, this time in a ‘nudge, nudge, wink wink’ piece on Justice Chelameshwar

Predictable laggard

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-29

Why does the public broadcaster always cede ground to private channels even when the source of news is the government? While other channels responded to the surgical strike in the early hours of Thursday by getting a variety of spokespersons and analysts on air, by dispatching a reporter to the..

Media may have misjudged copyright verdict

IN Law and Policy | 2016-09-28

By writing about a court ruling allowing the photocopying of textbooks in David vs Goliath terms, the media may have missed the logic of copyright and the damage caused by its infringement.

Biter bit

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-28

The Shiv Sena has always been quick to protest every real or imagined slight to the Maratha community. However, on Tuesday, tables were turned when the Navi Mumbai and Thane offices of the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna were attacked for publishing a cartoon that allegedly hurt the sentiments of Marathas. On Wednesday, Saamna promptly carried an..

Bhagat Singh: a media role model

IN Regional Media | 2016-09-27

He was born 109 years ago today but Bhagat Singh can teach us a thing or two about writing for a noble cause while dodging arrest, repression, and jail.

India’s Pink Revolution?

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-27

The film with a strong feminist message has sparked off multiple debates. But what kind of impact can it have on men and behaviour?

Unbridled on TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-27

India’s TV reporters and anchors are in a class by themselves.  The India Today TV reporter was telling the studio anchor on Monday night that if Nawaz Sharif had listened to Sushma Swaraj’s speech he would have learned how to speak at a forum like the UN. And Zaka Jacob on CNN News 18 asked his..

Chanakya's US verdict

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-26

Today's Chanakya, which shot into the headlines in May 2014 for predicting an absolute majority for the Narendra Modi-led NDA combine, is clearly not content to confine its energies to India alone. A day before the first debate between US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the polling agency..

BS's amazing omission

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-25

Former RJP MP Shahabuddin's suspected involvement in the murder of Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan has been making news practically every day. On Sept 14 the Indian Express reported that a shooter wanted in the killing, Mohammad Kaif,  had been spotted with the leader after his release, last week Kaif surrendered and was..

A new effort to reform defamation

IN Defamation | 2016-09-25

A private member’s bill by a BJD MP seeks to repeal the criminal defamation law and codify civil defamation. The Hoot has a copy of this media-friendly bill.

From the street

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-24

As his wont, NDTV India's Ravish Kumar, conducted his prime time show from the street at Delhi's  Batra Cinema on Friday (Sept 23) asking those preparing for competitive exams for government posts, if war with Pakistan was advisable. The area is full of  coaching institutes. Retired generals were advocating war  from TV..

Dehumanising Muslims in Assam

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-23

Cast as the ‘other’, dubbed ‘Bangladeshi’ and incessantly victimized, the Bengal-origin Muslim is fair game, with the media actively whipping up hatred.

India Today fantasises

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-23

Media fantasies about punishing Pakistan get more juvenile by the day. India Today's latest cover story  is called 'How to punish Pakistan' with a cover picture of the Pakistan flag being wrung. It contains graphic depictions of options the country has: a covert operation to eliminate JeM chief Maulana Masoor Azhar in..

AAP: bitten and bruised

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-22

The media have lynched the party over the health crisis. Fair enough. But why are its excellent mohalla clinics being ignored?

PTI's sex controversy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-22

As Press Trust of India (PTI) chief editor M.K. Razdan bows out after four decades in the organisation, the country's foremost news agency is at the centre of a controversy surrounding cases of sexual harassment against its former senior principal correspondent in Goa, Rupesh Samant. This month the charges against..

War games on TV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-22

 Short of little figures on the screen firing away at each other, TV news on Times Now is about playing at war. The options are on the screen:Why dont we immediately cut off trade ties? Can we sustain a protracted war? Can we strike surgically?  Who loses more if we cut..

Kashmiri reporters caught in the crossfire

IN Media Freedom | 2016-09-21

Scorned by Kashmiris for being state ‘agents’ and abused by the security forces for being ‘Hurriyat sympathisers’, the media are getting it in the neck.

Keeping Indian journos out

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-21

On Monday NDTV journalist Namrata Brar was asked to leave a press briefing by Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in New York reports NDTV. When she requested to be let in, Brar said that she heard someone saying “Iss Indian ko nikalo (throw out this Indian).” In fact, not a single Indian journalist..

War and peace: how the media covered the Uri attack

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-20

TV and social media went to war. But newspapers and news portals brought sanity and balance to Indian media’s response to the Uri attack.

Arrested 3 years later

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-20

The five Maoists who were arrested on Sept 19 from Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh have admitted that four of them were involved  in the murder of journalist Sai Reddy who was killed with a sharp weapon near a market in December 2013.  Reddy is one of 23 journalists killed since 2010..

‘Snowden,’ a picture of the cybersecurity state

IN Privacy | 2016-09-20

The extent and scope of intelligence agencies’ ability to intercept communications and collect information is mind-boggling.

Men only

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-18

The Uri attack was naturally the focus on all prime time discussions on TV today. What was striking however was how every single channel only had male experts participating in the anchor led debates. So here are the cold statistics from a quick channel surf of the English channels -..

Arnab greets the PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-18

A testimonial for the prime minister from a TV anchor which is proudly posted on the former's website? That's a first, surely.  Times Now's Arnab Goswami has done a blog post heaping fulsome praise on PM Narendra Modi who had participated in an NDTV show he anchored years ago. Among the many..

Cauvery: pretty good coverage

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-18

Despite the complexity of the issue and the high emotions, the print and digital media did a pretty thorough and fair job of covering the Cauvery water dispute.

End PIL elitism

IN Opinion | 2016-09-18

With district newspapers exposing wrong doing and highlighting important issues, why are PILs not allowed in district courts?

Unfair remuneration

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-18

The Mumbai-based proxy advisory Stakeholders Empowerment Services (SES) has advised shareholders of the Chennai-based Sun TV Network Ltd to vote against Kavery Kalanithi’s re-appointment as Director at the company’s AGM next Friday, on account of the company’s unfair remuneration practices,  reports   Business Line. She and her husband Kalanithi Maran draw annual salaries of Rs 71 crore..

Jio generosity

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-17

Journalists  in Delhi and Mumbai including Network 18 employees have become beneficiaries of Reliance Jio's inaugural munificence. Employees got five sim cards each to distribute among family and friends. Telecom beat journos in Delhi were offered a free sim card each for sampling. And the Mumbai Press Club's  members are..

Take a bow, @RajatSharmaLive

IN Opinion | 2016-09-17

Live on TV, for a whole gripping hour, Akhilesh was retelling the oldest story in the world, the stuff of both history and mythology.

Tweet to the cops

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-16

Uttar Pradesh has introduced a Twitter-based customer service tool, Twitter Seva, for its police force. Citizens will be able to tweet directly at the general police account with complaints and one of the 122 official police accounts will respond. (NDTV)       ..

Pak lifts ban on IT

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-16

Pakistan had blocked the India Today website earlier this week after a recent issue of the news magazine carried a picture of Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif with a photoshopped slap mark on his face. The picture, which appeared on the cover of the September 5 issue of India Today with the headline..

Despite the Supreme Court

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-15

How does an SC clarification on sedition percolate to lower court judges  actually hearing these cases? It evidently does not. Despite this SC observation last week that criticizing the govt is not sedition, a Kashmiri youth jailed in Durg in Chhattisgarh has been denied bail today, for a second time...

Don’t shoot the messenger

IN Regional Media | 2016-09-15

Critics of the reporter who filmed Dana Majhi carrying his dead wife have no idea what his working conditions are like.

Can't tell you his name

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-15

Why do newspapers have so much trouble publishing the name of a TV anchor who is in the news? AAP's health minister Kapil Mishra published the phone number of Deepak Chaurasia of India News and he was threatened, leading his wife to file a police complaint. The Hindu, HT, TOI..

Scribe spats

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-15

The News Hour Debate on Times Now is not for the fainthearted. High decibel shouting, verbal duels and an abrasive anchor are par for the course. But senior woman journalists turning on each other  may be a first. Sept 13th's raging primetime debate was on the missing AAP leadership during the current..

Filtering false news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-14

Facebook and Twitter have joined a group of media and technology firms wanting to filter out false news and online misinformation, reports Hindustan Times. First Draft News, which is backed by Google, announced on Tuesday that 20 news organisations, including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, AFP and so on, will be part of a..

The Twitter warrior trades insults for criticism

IN Opinion | 2016-09-14

As Delhi reels under the double whammy of dengue and chikungunya CM Kejriwal and his men are missing in action and battling critics from afar

HT Media experiments

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-13

What are the folks at the Hindustan Times thinking? You now have to access page one through a split page jacket ad? (September 13, Delhi edition). Fold back two halves to read page one? Thats expecting a lot of indulgence from the reader. Meanwhile its sister paper Mint has gone broadsheet after having been..

The biggest strike in world history? No thanks

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-13

When millions of workers go out on strike in the second-largest country in the world you’d think that would merit some kind of news coverage, right?

Brave woman journo

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-12

In the mayhem that engulfed Bangalore on Monday over the Cauvery dispute a  journalist showed exemplary courage in the field. Rohini Swamy of India Today and her cameraman were roughed up by lumpen elements while they were filming them destroying public property. Swamy gave chase to the hooligans and her..

Colour me red

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-12

The Times of India  has three full pages of colour advertising on Snapdeal's red-themed rebranding. And the Economic  Times  has a six-column red-themed story on the top of page six on the re-branding and the company's new logo. Both advertiser and the Times Group should be happy.     ..

Outlook’s social snafu

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-11

Outlook magazine was seriously embarrassed on Sunday when its OSM (Outlook Social Media) app users reported that the app had gained access to their Twitter accounts and was sending out unauthorised tweets in their names. For example, Rahul Mahajan, son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, seemed to have tweeted this:..

FB needs an editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-11

Last week Facebook faced a tsunami of criticism after it censored the iconic Pulitzer Prize winning “Napalm girl” picture which was published by a Norwegian writer in a post about historic war photography. On Friday the social media giant reversed its decision to delete the picture of a naked child..

The opinion mobs rule

IN Digital Media | 2016-09-11

Ranting, hatred, bigotry and shrill ignorance characterize much of the opinion on online news platforms. Curb it. Filter it.

Kuldeep’s homecoming, live on television

IN Regional Media | 2016-09-11

Released by his abductors, a young man in ULFA’s captivity for a month, returns home to hounding by the TRP brigade.

IGP takes on reporter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-10

An extraordinary confrontation between the Bastar Range IG Police SRP Kalluri and the Hindu reporter in Chhattisgarh Pavan Dahat  is taking place. In response to this Hindu story Kalluri posted a comment on various WhattsAap groups  of reporters, police, and politicians in Chhattisgarh, titled "Heartless Reporting and Meaningless Support."    It accuses..

Does social media chatter help a film succeed?

IN Digital Media | 2016-09-10

Both controversies and a marketing push lead to a buzz on social media for a film. But should such manipulated discussions influence movie goers on what to watch,

Swamy’s gaffe

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-09

This is just sort of thing Twitter loves. A self goal by Subramaniam Swamy even as he was trying to make a point about the UPA's media cronyism. He tweeted a link to a story published in the website Jan Satyagrah, titled, ‘Journalists who became most frequent media delegates during prime minister’s official foreign..

Striking a false note on unions

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-09

The Delhi Union of Journalists had to urge its tribe to cover the September 2 strike. Why? Because labour issues are ‘passe’ and no longer ‘sexy’.

Why the fuss?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-08

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani thinks the controversy over Reliance Jio’s launch ad using a picture of the prime minister is baseless. “He is as much your prime minister as he is my prime minister. He has given a Digital India vision which  I am personally inspired by…there is nothing political..

Nuances of Haji Ali ruling lost in the reporting

IN Opinion | 2016-09-07

The Urdu press downplayed the Haji Ali ruling and the English media ignored a vital aspect of it altogether. Simplification at its worst.

The press club with a heart

IN Community Media | 2016-09-07

Through its news portal, Moirabari Press Club in Assam helps farmers, women and students by giving them the news and information they need

Up against the media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-06

Former PM Deve Gowda to the Indian Express:“The media did not accept me….Who is going to present a leader? It is the media. The media can make or break a person. Please understand, I am not blaming the media, but they were naturally against me because I was unable to speak..

Why I quit teaching

IN Opinion | 2016-09-06

A former professor ‘celebrates’ Teachers’ Day by explaining why he left teaching---because of the nonsense, deceit, and shenanigans he encountered in the academic world.

Dhoni's 'cover' drive

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-05

On Monday the Supreme Court threw out criminal charges against cricketer M.S. Dhoni who had been accused of having hurt religious sentiments when Business Today magazine depicted him as Lord Vishnu on its cover in April 2013. NDTV Sports reports that the magazine's cover, headlined "The God of Big Deals" showed Dhoni as a..

Arnab takes umbrage

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-05

On Sunday separatist leaders in Kashmir snubbed  the efforts of five Opposition members of an all-party delegation that tried to to reach out to them. Arnab Goswami was so inflamed by the affront that his voice was shaking with indignation as he ranted about how Indian MPs had been humiliated by “Pakistani..

The media’s rockstar humanitarian

IN Media Practice | 2016-09-05

The Catholic Church’s latest saint in heaven is really the first “saint” of our mediatised, hyper-exposed times — at once glorious and flawed.

Why is Tauseef Bhat in jail?

IN Digital Media | 2016-09-04

He is a young Kashmiri man charged with sedition. His offence? Sharing a cartoon showing India being swept by a broom on Facebook.

Private sector Doordarshan

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-03

The Prime Minister’s image building is well served by the private sector Doordarshans his media outreach is spawning. If Times Now bit the bullet to get the first  TV interview by a Indian channel with the PM, and has since pushed the govt’s case for interfering  in Balochistan,  CNN News18..

Using the PM?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-02

Can the PM's picture  be used in an advertisement announcing the launch of a new commercial service?  Twitter erupted in disapproval on Friday over the full page jacket advertisements for Reliance Jio's  4G services in The Times of India and Hindustan Times which appeared  with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The picture..

Mr Modi speaks again

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-02

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, once so loath to talk to the country’s English language media, seems to be finally opening up to them. After his interview with Times Now’s Arnab Goswami in June, it’s now the turn of CNN News 18’s editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi to have snagged a coveted interview..

The advent of Jio

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-09-02

There was visible excitement on CNBC-TV18 over the launch of Reliance Jio, smiles all round in the studio and gush from a reporter who tested the speed of  Jio and rival networks and pronounced Jio was much faster.  There was also some effort at a balanced discussion on what the..

Kejriwal rides out setbacks on Twitter

IN Opinion | 2016-09-01

The master politician that he is, the Delhi CM has sought to convert every debacle over the last few days into an opportunity.

Dangerous Pursuit

IN Media Freedom | 2016-09-01

In the 27 cases of journalists murdered for their work in India since CPJ began keeping records in 1992, there have been no convictions.

Make space for the malik

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-31

CNBC-TV18 is running a long discussion on the first quarter GDP numbers just out. And in-between a lot of flashing headlines on the economy you get intermittent promotions on the right of the screen saying “Reliance’s 42nd AGM tomorrow”!  “A Historic AGM”!  No matter what the news, the owner must..

Asked to manufacture anti-Kashmir news?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-31

In this Rising Kashmir story a journalist working for IBN7 says he quit the channel this month because of being "forced" to prepare "fabricated anti Kashmir" reports. He says he was being asked to prepare reports on the situation in Kashmir which were misleading in their facts about both Burhan Wani as well..

Balochi bulletin on AIR

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-31

Both state and private media are going  the whole hog in their embrace of Balochistan.  According to the Director General AIR  the external services division of All India Radio is shortly going to start a  news bulletin in the Balochi language, particularly for the people living in Balochistan province of Pakistan..

Tripura: when reporting is concealing

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-31

The media betray flagrant bias in reporting on the tribes people and, in the process, conceal the truth about a major demographic transformation.

The awesome unreadiness of WION

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-31

Its reportage is rudimentary, programming sketchy and analysis of news and current affairs next to non-existent.

Cheering aggressive PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-31

Is India Today competing with Times Now? Its latest  cover  could have been designed by Arnab Goswami, featuring as it does a photograph of the Pak Army chief with the imprint of a slap on his face. Says the text,"By upping the ante, the Indian prime minister had slapped the Pakistan Army,..

Is a film with no PR destined to be a flop?

IN Media Business | 2016-08-30

The answer is usually yes because so many films are vying for attention. But sometimes, a film can make it on its own steam.

Power-hungry EC strikes again

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-29

Over-reaching itself yet again, the Election Commission now wants to ban political ads in print for 48 hours before an election.

DD aboard Baloch wagon

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-28

Doordarshan is trying hard to win brownie points with the PM.  It has joined the govt’s propaganda war over Balochistan. Yesterday, Aug 27, it broadcast an interview with rebel Baloch leader Nawab Brahumdagh Khan Bugti in Geneva, a first for the channel which usually sends a team abroad only if..

Nuanced headlining?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-27

Headlines in various publications on the Scorpene leak and the govt response are interesting to compare in how they formulate the  govt response:The Hindu: Not of concern, Business Standard: Downplays concern, Indian Express: Pockets 8th concern, but not worry, India Today: Not big concern, Tribune: There are some concerns, HT: Assuming the worst, Statesman: Not a big worry, Telegraph:..

Homes for journos

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-27

A state that is due to go to the polls cannot afford to get tough with journalists. After the Supreme Court said allotment of govt property to private bodies or persons should be discontinued, the UP govt asked journalists to vacate govt housing. Then 300 affected journos met the CM  and..

Media ownership 2014-15

IN Statistics | 2016-08-26

REGISTRAR OF NEWSPAPERS FOR INDIA: Press in India 2014-15 Ownership of publications: 2014-15   Ownership of publications (periodicity wise)   Ownership pattern of publications (Periodicity-Wise/ In percentage)    Distribution of ownership of publications (Language-Wise)   Distribution of ownership of publications (State-Wise)   Circulation of publications under diverse ownership   Ownership of `NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS’  Newspapers   For more details visit  ..


IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-26

On the August 25 Newshour Arnab Goswami on  Times Now was more aggressive than usual.  The recorded conversation that Rahul Mukhrejea had with his step-mother Indrani and father Peter Mukherjea, both suspected of being involved in the death of Sheena Bora, was being played. Dubbed a 'mega-exclusive' and 'super exclusive'..

Indian M&E industry growth projection

IN Statistics | 2016-08-26

FICCI-KPMG report projects Indian M&E industry at INR 2260 billion by 2020, digital advertising continues to grow at a robust pace     • Media and entertainment sector grew by 12.8 per cent from INR1026 billion in 2014 to INR1157 billion in 2015 • Overall advertising grew by 14.7 per cent from INR414 billion..

Indo-Pak story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-26

The Express Tribune in Pakistan published this nice little story  two days ago.  Apparently the Indian High Commission in Islamabad went out of its way to expedite visas  for Pakistani students  chosen to  participate in the 10th Asian Science Camp taking place in Bengaluru. They were going to get a chance to interact with..

Indian M & E Industry Trends and Analysis

IN Statistics | 2016-08-26

  The Indian Media & Entertainment Industry 2016 Chaitanya Chinchilkar, Whistling Woods International   From  ..

Pak media loves Ramya

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-26

Actress Ramya’s comment, “Pakistan is not hell”, and the subsequent complaint filed against her, has made her into a media celebrity of sorts in Pakistan, reports Bangalore Mirror. While her comments, which were a repudiation of defence minister Manohar Parikkar’s, got slammed on social media by Indian trolls, Pakistani media played up..

When ‘news’ is 3 months old

IN Regional Media | 2016-08-25

The Kerala media reported a May ruling by the Central Information Commission as ‘news’ in August. Why?

The death of journalism?

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-25

Comedian John Oliver’s takedown of the way the media is headed with their digital-first strategy is riotously funny and devastating,

Himal suspends publication

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-24

The Southasia Trust is suspending publication of Himal Southasian, the pioneering magazine promoting cross-border journalism  in the region. The decision was taken by the Trust’s Executive Board on 22 August, “due to non-cooperation by regulatory state agencies in Nepal that has made it impossible to continue operations after 29 years..

Madras HC’s media diktat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-24

Should the media refrain from mentioning the names of lawyers while reporting a court case? That’s what the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court thinks. In a startling judgment, the bench directed the court’s registrar to instruct media not to do so as that would apparently be tantamount to..

Another journalist killed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-23

The Deccan Chronicle reports that a senior journalist was found murdered on Monday night, in his office in Junagadh in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Kishore Dave, bureau chief of Gujarati newspaper Jai Hind,was stabbed at 9 pm when he was writing a story. He  was alone in the office..

The story of NDTV, by NDTV

IN Books | 2016-08-22

A new book of essays by insiders chronicle NDTV’s role in transforming television news. They have compelling stories to tell

Media’s escalating romance with RBI governors

IN Opinion | 2016-08-22

Journalists have lost all sense of proportion in the attention they give to a routine technocratic appointment that means little to the citizen,

Is Trump a victim of media bias?

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-20

It is as if large sections of “objective” journalists have decided to come to the rescue of the country and save it from a possible Trump presidency.

Oops, NDTV!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-20

Call it a piece of ardent wishful thinking. While an entire nation was watching the women's singles badminton final between P V Sindhu and Spain's Carolina Marin at the Rio Olympics, social media started buzzing with a startling bit of news from "P V Sindhu upsets Carolina Marin to..

Govt’s FB push

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-19

Rajyavardhan Rathore, minister of state for information and broadcasting, today made a strong pitch for government giving people greater access to information, reports The Indian Express. “We need to open up. Typically, governments have been with iron curtains all around. But today time is changing, so we first need to change our..

Sedition goes viral

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-19

Is most free speech becoming seditious because the law is being applied so casually, without the care that is meant to be exercised?

Aunty Sushma leaves foreign policy to PM

IN Opinion | 2016-08-19

Forced by Modi to keep a low profile, Swaraj has become the one person in the cabinet who offers a human touch when Indians need help.

Dainik Jagran scores

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-18

The morning after Sakshi Malik's triumph the Dainik Jagran beat its English language counterparts by managing to get the news of India's first Olympic medal at the Rio games onto page one as a second lead. The others could only manage to accomodate  PV Sindhu's quarter final victory, and the..

‘Say mera desh mahan'

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-18

 When Sakshi Malik got her bronze our journalists outdid themselves at Rio. They prompted her  on what to say. On NewsX she could be seen flanked by two men, one a well known sports journalist, being told say something about Swach Bharat. Then,  “say Mera desh mahan”. "Here, show a..

China paper slams Indian media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-17

Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, has launched a frontal attack on Indian media, reports The Times of India. Relations between India and China are not improving because Indian media have been criticising China and holding it responsible for preventing the country’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the paper said...

Gawker bought

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-17

Gawker Media, which went bankrupt after it lost a privacy suit filed by ex-pro wrester Hulk Hogan, has been bought over by media company Univision at a reported price of $135m, according to The Guardian. Earlier this year, a US court ordered Gawker to pay $140m in damages to Hogan for having published..

A style guide to avoid slurs

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-17

A new Canadian style guide offers help on navigating the shoals of ethnically and racially diverse societies.

News as fun – the future?

IN Opinion | 2016-08-17

Some sniggered at his remark but TOI’s Vineet Jain was right when he said people want news in a short, fun format.

Kerala rejects RTI ruling

IN Law and Policy | 2016-08-16

The Kerala government ups the ante by going to court over its refusal to disclose details of cabinet meetings under RTI, copying its predecessor’s stand.

Has the media failed Sharmila?

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-15

While the aura around Irom Sharmila has grown since she started her fast 16 years ago before a single camera, it has not let to a deeper media focus on the impact of AFSPA on the ground,

Zee launches Wion

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-15

Given how high it is on patrioitism  Zee decided to launch its new international channel WION (World is One News) on Independence Day. You will get international news here, theoretically, through a South Asian lens. Ambitious project and the first such, east of Al Jazeera in Qatar. Hopefully it will be..

New editor for Outlook

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-13

Outlook magazine gets a new editor, Rajesh Ramachandran from the Economic Times, even as its outgoing editor Krishna Prasad is named in a case filed  against him, the writer and the magazine’s publisher, by BJP affiliates in Assam. This is for a July 29 cover story on the trafficking of 31..

Hacks, some really bad news for you

IN Digital Media | 2016-08-13

And you thought Artificial Intelligence was being used for driverless cars? Silly, it means a robot will write your stories.

Snapping communication further in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-13

On August 13, two days before Independence  Day, the restrictions on communication tightened further in Kashmir. All broadband services were suspended in the evening, even those of BSNL. The print and digital media will be handicapped with the exception of Greater Kashmir which has V-Sat  connectivity.  ..

More curbs in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-12

Newspapers in Kashmir are reporting that the government has ordered internet service providers  to block high speed internet services to newspapers and other institutions including hospitals ahead of Independence Day. Also the government has again blocked private mobile services and a very limited access is available to BSNL mobiles and..

Remembering my fallen colleague Mehmood Khan

IN Opinion | 2016-08-12

Quetta is no stranger to gloom and doom; but when death visits your workplace and snatches away a young, energetic mind full of dreams, the sense of loss is deep and profound,

The giant who straddled Nehru and Bhagat Singh

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-12

Remembering Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and his paper Pratap for their vital support for both the Congress and the revolutionaries.

TV, radio licences revoked

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-12

On Thursday Rajyavardhan Rathore, minister of state for information and broadcasting, revealed in the Rajya Sabha that the licences of 73 television channels and 24 private FM radio stations had been cancelled by the government in recent years. The licences of TV channels such as Mohua Punjabi, Mohua Telugu, Key TV and..

Pak's new cyber law

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-12

Pakistan’s legislature has put its stamp of approval on the controversial Pakistan Electronic Crimes Bill, which would enable the government to take down online content “in the interests of the glory of Islam,” reports Hindustan Times. Under the provisions of the bill, ISPs may also be ordered to block online content if it..

Ammunition for the uncharitable

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-11

“Indian journalists congratulate each other on Quetta Blast” apparently seeing it as a ‘serve them right’ response for Kashmir, reports a Pakistani newspaper. In both Pakistan and India, it seems, if you look for ammunition in support of uncharitable intent, you can find it!  Twitter  is always  there to oblige...

Proprietor’s privileges

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-11

 India Today group editorial director Kalli Purie is in Rio and the channel has been putting out editions of Kalli’s Rio diary. Her encounters with atheletes, her take on the opening ceremony and on Rio’s happening night life. The channel’s consulting editor, Sports, Boria Majumdar, is on hand to do..

Outlook refuses to be muzzled by FIR over its story

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-10

The filing of a complaint against an Outlook investigation on child trafficking in Assam is the latest attempt to silence the media

When the BJP top brass did not retweet @narendramodi

IN Opinion | 2016-08-10

It certainly looked like both @Amit Shah as well as @rajnathsingh wanted to maintain an element of deniability on the issue of gau rakshaks.

For corporate media, Bloomberg is the better billionaire

IN Opinion | 2016-08-09

The media moghul’s appearance at the Democratic convention was covered as a celebration of conservative centrism, never mind his former mayoral record,

Not easily bullied

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-08

Zee Punjabi channel’s daily news show called ' Mudde ki baat' had to be cancelled on Sunday when the Aam Aadmi Party’s Sukhpal Khaira, who was to be a panelist for a discussion on drugs, was suddenly told that he could not participate. The channel wanted a milder panelist for ..

Journalists at the Townhall

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-08

Rajat Sharma of India TV and Smita Prakash of ANI took part in the MyGov Townhall on August 5. They were on  a panel discussion alongside ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad and hailed this government initiative. Prakash said the Modi government has optimized the use of social media..

Will social media define the success of the Games?

IN Digital Media | 2016-08-08

As the London Olympics and the Sochi games showed, social media can provide an alternative narrative to the mainstream TV coverage of the games.

Patrika declares war

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-07

The Rajasthan Patrika has declared war on Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia. In an editorial which is also available in audio on the paper's website,  the chief editor Gulab Kothari begins with the suspension of advertising to the group and goes on to ask why this has happened when advertising to this paper was..

The magic of diplomacy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-07

 Diplomacy can be charted through what newspapers put out. Now that the Saudis have gone on a counter offensive, the story of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia has changed to being just the case of one company. Their version is in the  Hindu and other papers superseding earlier reports which gave the version..

The sly media lies about Kashmir

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-06

Kashmir is portrayed with deliberate dishonesty. The purpose is to silence Kashmiris and keep the pro-India narrative going.

They set fire to our thoughts

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-06

Pondicherry University’s student magazine is anti-national and subversive, says the ABVP, eager to crush dissent.

First tribal journalist?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-06 has announced that it has appointed a citizen reporter from one of the tribal communities in Kerala, the  ‘mullukkuruma’ tribal community of Wayanad. The online magazine has published  the reporter's forward to what his upcoming stories will be. The magazine claims  this is the first time Kerala's media world will have representation from the tribal..

How the media exploited the Bulandshahr rape case

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-05

Even as they reported the family’s evident unease about being swamped with media attention, reporters went on hounding the rape survivors.

Shutting them up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-05

On Thursday night news channels  hammered away at Pakistan for not running on TV home minister Rajnath Singh's speech at SAARC where he said that terrorists should not be eulogised as martyrs. Then the MEA put an end to the hollering with a clarification that a live telecast is only done..

The LG is not amused

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-05

'Jung' means war in Urdu, and when interviewing Delhi Lt Gov.  Najeeb Jung on the Delhi HC order on the  LG being the administrative head, not the CM, Rajdeep Sardesai used it on his nightly India Today show: "If I may pun, how long will this 'jung' continue between you..

Singh's speech blacked out

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-04

The Pakistan state media today blacked out a speech by home minister Rajnath Singh who was in Islamabad to attend a SAARC meet. Singh said: "There should be strongest action not only against terrorists but also against nations who support terrorism.” He also said that there should be no glorification..

Pentagon: reporters are not ‘enemies’

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-04

The Pentagon’s revised military manual says journalists working independently in conflict zones are not necessarily spies or saboteurs, but civilians to be protected.

Vineet Jain defines news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-03

Vineet Jain, managing director of BCCL, on ‘leading India’s media into the future': “We are moving from pure news toward entertainment, short-form content, and fun videos. The definition of news has changed completely…Millennials want to consume content from wherever they are, especially on social media. They want to read what their friends are sharing,..

On journalism and patriotism

IN Media Practice | 2016-08-02

Neither his employer nor other media veterans buy Arnab Goswami’s fulminations on what can or cannot be said about Kashmir.

Poetic Injustice

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-02

It couldn't get verse or could it? The Times of India's news desk was rhyming without reason on the resignation of Anandiben, the Chief Minister of Gujarat. It headlined the old lady of Boribunder on the front page of its Delhi edition today thus: 'Dalit fire, Patel ire and Land..

Handloom trends on Twitter!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-02

If you thought Smriti Irani’s alleged "demotion'' to the textile ministry would banish her to the shadows, think again. In a move to whip up enthusiasm for handlooms, Irani launched a campaign on Twitter yesterday called #IWearHandlooms, posting a picture of herself in a silk saree from Bihar and requesting..

Decapitate those vermin!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-08-01

The Hindu reports that a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader in Geedam block of Dantewada has allegedly posted in a social media group that journalists like Prabhat Singh (recently released on bail in Chhattisgarh) should be shot dead and have their hands, legs and heads chopped off. A charming sentiment that underscores  what..

Media still under attack in Kerala

IN Media Freedom | 2016-08-01

Reporters covering the courts have been assaulted by lawyers, taken into police custody, and their access to the courts restricted

Booked for extortion!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-31

In what could be the  first case of its kind the Goa police has registered an FIR against a newspaper management's  officials for extortion, under Sections 384, 511 read with 34, of the IPC. Management officials of  oHeraldo newspaper were booked  after a freelance journalist published videos on Facebook which showed..

Mutual distrust

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-30

Even as Arnab Goswami hyperventilates about how criticism by fellow journalists of the handling of militants in Kashmir is  anti-Indian, pro-Pakistan, and  pro-terrorist,  the joint resistance camp in Kashmir led by  Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik  has issued a statement urging people in the state..

Terrorist blackout

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-30

 Several French news organisations, including the daily Le Monde, Catholic newspaper La Croix and television station BFM-TV, have decided not to carry pictures of those responsible for terror attacks in order to avoid “the potential effects of posthumous glorification”. Le Monde took the decision after the terror attack in Nice..

The Kashmir the media does not report

IN Archive | 2016-07-30

And then, I ran. Not because I wanted to shirk off my journalistic duties but because no story is worth a life.

Media obsessed with IS?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-29

The news story of an Indigo flight from Dubai to Kozhikode making an emergency landing in Mumbai following the unusual behavior of a passenger,  shows how IS-obsessed our media are. Many immediately declared that the passenger shouted pro-IS slogans. But reports were corrected later and some even regretted. The Hindu, for example,..

Social media helps Una dalits remain uncowed

IN Digital Media | 2016-07-29

The dumping of cow carcasses by large numbers during protest rallies was a unique form of protest made possible only by social media.

Name calling, what?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-28

Network 18 takes on the Times group?  On being sold out to the BJP? Wow. We thought in India dog did not eat dog. And disclaimers about being competitors, etc. are in order.  But Firstpost carried a piece on July 27 titled “Arnab Goswami's transformation from 'presstitute' to Pokémon Go-Swami” ..

Mamata 2.0: ABP stoops to concur with Didi

IN Regional Media | 2016-07-28

The state’s leading media group has changed its tune. It is generous to Didi and reserves criticism for TMC’s party rank and file,

Turkey: muzzling media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-28

Stepping up its clampdown on the media in the wake of the failed coup earlier this month, the Turkish government has ordered the closure of scores of media organisations by a decree late Wednesday, The Washington Post reports. On Monday 42 journalists were detained. And yesterday detention orders were issued against nearly 50 journalists and..

Arnab vs Barkha

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-27

A mighty slugfest has broken out between two of India’s most watched television journalists — Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and NDTV’s consulting editor Barkha Dutt. During Times Now’s Newshour debate on Tuesday, Arnab launched a tirade against sections of the media that he said were sympathetic to Pakistan fomenting..

Media parrots the BJP in Aligarh

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-27

Muzaffanagar, Kairana, Aligarh…….why do leading newspapers spread the false stories of ‘a forced Hindu exodus’ concocted by the BJP?

Bye-bye Balika Vadhu

IN Opinion | 2016-07-27

The serial that tried to make a difference ran longer than any other soap but now calls it a day after eight years.

Kashmir’s blackout means family anguish

IN Media Freedom | 2016-07-27

The mobile-internet blockade has left families in the dark about the well-being and whereabouts of their loved ones.

TV reporters turn crude voyeurs

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-26

In reporting sexual harassment in the film and TV industry, Odisha’s news channels highlighted sex-for-favours but showed insensitivity towards the victims.

Reveal your source

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-26

In the unfolding saga of the extortion sting which exposed blackmail by the  OHeraldo newspaper in Goa,  and the retaliatory case of data theft filed by the paper, the latest is that the police are pressing the journalist who uploaded the sting to reveal his source. On July 26 Mayabhushan..

Free speech verdicts good, logic bad

IN Judgements | 2016-07-25

In their Udta Punjab and Perumal Murugan rulings, the courts missed an opportunity to lay down some fundamental principles

Chinese reporters expelled

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-24

As India expels 3 Chinese journalists from India,  it's worth revisiting this essay by one of them who has a long India connect, Tang Lu of Xinhua. Her writing on her experiences as a foreign correspondent here appears in the book,  Media at Work in China and India,
Discovering and Dissecting...

Pre censoring public protests

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-23

It's not clear why a Kashmir-related protest should provoke the Bangalore police into placard and slogan pre-censorship but that is what happened as this detailed account shows. A group applied for permission to the police to hold a protest regarding the civilian killings in Kashmir and received  a questionnaire to be filled...

OHeraldo strikes back

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-22

Following  the making public of an extortion sting which exposed the O Heraldo newspqper in Goa, the paper  has now filed a complaint with the Goa Police Crime Branch Cyber Cell, in which they have tried to implicate the journalist who exposed the sting, in a data theft and hacking case. In a news..

For Indian media, Kashmir is a minor story

IN Media Monitoring | 2016-07-22

The publishers that were analyzed included several English language daily newspapers, online news sites, one television channel and several wire services.

Twitter violence

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-22

Actress Leslie Jones quit Twitter this week after being subjected to an avalanche of sexist and racist messages following the release of the all-female remake of the iconic 80s film, Ghostbuster. When Jones, who stars in the film, brought the matter to the notice of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, some abusers were..

Lying about Kashmir with old videos

IN Opinion | 2016-07-22

When channels air old footage to tarnish demonstrators, they act as partners of the army, spreading propaganda instead of the facts.

Kerala clash caused by misreporting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-22 reports that the spat between lawyers and journalists at the Kerala High Court was actually triggered by a misleading report in the Kochi edition of Deccan Chronicle. This said that a resolution passed by the Advocates Association condemning police atrocities on a government pleader was not carried because of a difference  of..

Jailed journalist acquitted

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-21

Adivasi journalist Somaru Nag has been acquitted by a trial court in Chhattisgarh. He was arrested on July 16, 2015 on charges of aiding Maoists. Another Bastar journalist, Santosh Yadav, is still in jail. The acquittal is a comment on  arbitrariness of his arrest and long incaceration by the Chhattisgarh..

The life and times of an independent writer

IN Opinion | 2016-07-21

What’s it like to be an independent journalist? Is the work satisfying, can it pay the bills and is such a life possible today?

Facebook censoring posts about Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-20

The Guardian reports  that Face-book is censoring posts on user accounts, posted about the crisis in Kashmir after the killing of Burhan Wani. It says “academics, journalists and the pages of local newspapers are among those who have had photos, videos and entire accounts deleted by Facebook.”    ..

The wily @rajnathsingh & the #Kashmir crisis

IN Opinion | 2016-07-20

When you are not a social media pro, you do your political fencing inside Parliament and post your speeches on YouTube. As Rajnath Singh and Ghulam Nabhi Azad did last week.

Kashmir cut off: why internet bans are bad for democracy

IN Digital Media | 2016-07-20

To muzzle the internet at the hint of trouble is to respond like paranoid dictatorships. More safeguards are needed in the law invoked,

No newspapers in Kashmir till govt apologises?

IN Media Freedom | 2016-07-20

Government doublespeak angers the Kashmir press, as Mattoo claims CM did not know of the three-day ban.

Please increase diversity in your newsroom!

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-19

An open letter to NDTV India's Ravish Kumar : Please look at the Brahmin domination in your own backyard,

After the coup in Turkey, media feels the heat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-19

Post coup, the impact on press freedom is being felt by the media.  Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns the Turkish authorities against any temptation to silence critical media outlets on the pretext of punishing supposed supporters of the 16 July coup attempt.  More than a dozen news websites suspected of “endangering national..

Proxy war in cyberspace?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-19

The central government's effort to counter the theory of  home grown militancy being behind the unrest in Kashmir by saying that Pakistan is waging a proxy war in the state,  is bolstered by a story  in the  Times of India,  attributed to the Ministry of information and broadcasting. This one says Pakistan..

Bar girls sans bars

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-18

When Bihar has prohibition, how is it there are 'bar girls' in the state? TV 18 telecast amateur video  howing a JD(U) MLA,  Shyam Bahadur Singh "dancing with bar girls". Unless one dances in a bar, as they used to in Maharashtra, she cannot be a bar dancer. Or is this a..

Should AIR do propaganda or Jan ki Baat?

IN Community Media | 2016-07-18

AIR is to increase tribal language broadcasts in districts affected by Left wing extremism. But is this purely to counter Naxalism or to genuinely connect with tribal India,

Letting Chhattisgarh journalists work

IN Media Freedom | 2016-07-18

In response to the persecution of journalists, a new law has been drafted to protect them against the police and vigilante groups

Trumping media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-18

As the Republican convention to formally declare Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee gets under way in Cleveland, Ohio, later today, experts are wondering what it might mean for the US media. “It could be …a defining moment in American media, especially for the TV networks,” writes a commentator in the New..

Verbal diktat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-18

Kashmir's print media gag of three days has been achieved without any written order, which would have required citing of  some law. It has been achieved by brute force on day one, with police teams raiding  printing presses and seizing copies of papers printed, followed by a verbal explanation on..

Kashmiris turn against media, local journalists affected

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-17

Kashmiris react with fury to the dubious or false stories that some media outlets have been peddling during the current protests against Wani’s killing.

Local media gagged, national news channels promoted

IN Media Freedom | 2016-07-17

It is routine for Delhi-based media houses to parachute journalists into Kashmir when there is a crisis, demonstrating mistrust of their local correspondents.

Media gagged in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-16

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday night launched a crackdown against media in the Valley. Police raided  printing press offices of Kashmir's largest circulated newspaper Greater Kashmir,  as well as Kashmir Uzma, Kashmir Reader, Kashmir Observer, Tameel-e-Irshad.  In these offices as many as 11 employees were also taken into..

Erdogan swallows his dislike

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-16

Like it or hate it social media is useful when the chips are down for you. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has been an "avowed enemy of social media who has frequently made Twitter and Facebook a target" but he addressed the country via a FaceTime video call reports Reuters. That is..

Baba blast

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-15

Did India Today know the cover of its latest issue would spark such a sensation? The cover, tweeted out yesterday, shows yoga guru and formidable FMCG entrepreneur Baba Ramdev in a version of the Prasarita Padottanasana, (a jaw-dropping tangle of arms and legs to the uninitiated) and carries the tag..

Let’s talk about Theresa May’s shoes

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-15

The appearance of British women politicians is dissected with a sexism that is mercifully unthinkable in India, so far.

An extortion sting implicates Goa's Herald

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-14

The revelations, accompanied by the serialised release of a video recording, concern Goa’s boldest and most visible daily.

Bastar journalists and jail, a year on

IN Media Freedom | 2016-07-14

Those fighting to free Santosh Yadav and Somaru Nag from jail themselves need defending in a state where the odds are stacked against both.

The great Modi reshuffle: tiresome punditry

IN Opinion | 2016-07-13

The opinion of the Great Unlearned fell into three categories: it was all political, all about delivery, or all rubbish.

Decoding the dreaded Peace TV

IN Digital Media | 2016-07-13

Peace TV, at least to the casual viewer, is about advocating being a suffocatingly good Muslim rather than a murderous one.

Love over talkback

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-13

In between blogs on Smriti Irani's sudden ouster and depressed investor sentiment, NDTV's blog site gives us an unexpected piece of whimsy. In a blog that has gone viral, the channel's Mumbai correspondent reveals how he fell in love and married the network's output editor based in Delhi over 'talkback'. Talkback, for..

Baseless accusations

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-11

This story  shows how TV channels  including Times Now, Zee News and  NDTV 24x7 took off on an accusatory binge linking preacher Zakir Naik to the July 1 Dhaka attacks, claiming   that they were inspired by him. All extrapolated from a report in Dhaka’s Daily Star which said that..

Life and death in Kashmir, on social media

IN Opinion | 2016-07-10

How do you deal with the glamorisation of militancy, so completely different from the Pakistan-sponsored terrorism of the 1990s?

Mobile internet blocked in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-09

The government has suspended mobile internet services across Kashmir to prevent escalation of protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Mobile phone service has also been suspended in many parts of south Kashmir.  Wani was killed after serving as a militant for 6 years in Southern Kashmir's Kokernag..

J Dey Chowk

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-08

When the state can't solve a journalist's murder it placates the media community in other ways.  Mumbai journalist J Dey, Mid-day’s Editor-Investigations,  who was gunned down 5 years ago,  will be immortalised by naming a square in a tony colony at the behest of Mumbai Press Club.  D-Mart Circle, in..

Ravish trolls Akbar!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-07

Ravish Kumar’s open letter to MJ Akbar is a bit puzzling. It is not clear why Akbar has to answer for the trolls who heap abuse on Kumar: “Akbar ji, when you came from journalism into politics, did people call you a pimp too, abuse you, vilify you - like..

Murdoch's waning influence on the Australian elections

IN Opinion | 2016-07-07

Did Murdoch’s media influence count for much in the elections currently under way in Australia?

Trump trolls media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-07

US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hate-hate relationship with the media was taken a notch higher on Wednesday when he called them “dishonest” and lambasted them for giving him bad press for tweeting an image that was widely perceived to be anti-Semitic. The image, which featured Clinton and a six-pointed star..


IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-06

Smriti Irani usually evokes strong feelings. So the moment news broke that the HRD minister had been demoted to the job of the infinitely more lightweight minister for textiles, much of Twitter erupted in malicious glee. There were the inevitable sexist jibes, but journalists had their say too: Om Thamvi..

Tectonic? Really?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-05

What price TV punditry? As the news of the ministerial announcements came in and the discussion unfolded, Rahul Kanwal was jumping up and down on Aaj Tak and India Today about what he called the big demotions: Smriti Irani losing HRD and Arjun Jaitley losing I and B. (Since when..

MJ Akbar’s new innings

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-05

MJ Akbar is the only journalist among the newly inducted ministers, but he has been among the least active parliamentarians, according to data released by Parliamentary Research Services this evening. The number of debates he has participated in is 3, with only one person scoring lower than him, Ramesh Chandappa..

A Malayali Narendra Modi?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-05

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that  that he will not hold press conferences after cabinet meetings which was a practice followed by former UDF and LDF CMs.  To add insult to injury he said a CM  did not have to do the role of a PRO. He added..

The dubious ethics of linking to dubious videos

IN Media Practice | 2016-07-05

The case of Hasan Suroor, the British vigilante group Unknown TV, and the mainstream Indian media.

Character test for publishers?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-04

The Mumbai chief metropolitan magistrate’s office passed an order on May 13 decreeing that publishers in Mumbai will have to furnish “character certificates” issued by the police each time they file a declaration for a new publication, reports The Indian Express. The Mumbai Police Special Branch’s “character and antecedent” certificate..

Voice test for Zee TV journos

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-04

On July 1, the Supreme Court directed senior Zee TV journalists Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia to submit their voice samples while hearing the case of their alleged attempt to extort money from industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal. In November 2012, the duo were arrested after the steel tycoon..

Arnab on his ‘blockbuster’

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-04

"At 9.30 pm that evening, my digital desk told me the interview hashtag #PMspeakstoArnab had crossed 1 billion potential mpressions on Twitter. Our friends at Facebook told us they were seeing unprecedented traction, and that the kind of video downloads was greater than a Hollywood blockbuster. Both the global social media giants put..

The online obsession of the #DhakaAttack-ers

IN Digital Media | 2016-07-03

The terrorists uploaded their own pictures during the attack, to internationalise the mayhem and sow fear in the hearts of those watching -- and reading.

“I write what I see and experience”

IN Opinion | 2016-07-03

Barkha Lakra, an adivasi activist-journalist from Jharkhand, reports on social justice issues in tribal areas and the oppression of adivasi women.

Friends trump news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-02

This week social media giant Facebook announced that it was changing its news feed algorithm in order to prioritise content posted by friends and family. So content posted by publishers will show up much less on FB news feeds, with considerable loss of traffic and revenue for them. Facebook too said it..

Eyes on the ground

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-07-02

It always helps to have your own correspondent posted in the other South Asian countries. While most channels struggled for information from the ground on the hostage crisis in a leafy restaurant in the diplomatic area of Gulshan in Dhaka, it was only ABP Ananda that scored with a view..

The Odisha casting couch smears the ruling BJD

IN Regional Media | 2016-07-01

Allegations of trading sex for roles in the film industry and shady business practices cast a shadow over Odisha’s Ollywood.

Running for a story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-30

Who says TV news is only studio chatter,  opinion, and no action? On Times Now on Thursday night, the reporter was running alongside Robert Vadera's car, shooting questions breathlessly at the man inside. The only problem was its darkened windowpanes were up. That was soon after he put  a comment..

News World India

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-30

 News World India,  the Hindi news channel owned by industrialist Naveen Jindal, is close to shut down. Five bureaus have been shut, staff including the CEO are serving out their notice period.  They have been told that the operation is being reduced to bare bones.  It is currently on 3..

After Arnab coup AAP in form, others dozing

IN Opinion | 2016-06-29

Even as #PMSpeakstoArnab broke records, it became clear just how unequal old style political parties are to combat on Twitter

Post it

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-29

Social media is a great place for grievance redressal. And happily, our ministers are increasingly responding to tweets to solve citizens’ problems. Recently, IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took note of a tweet about the absence of a post office in a remote village in Uttarakhand. Within days,..

Our journalists?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-28

Kapil Sibal tweeted yesterday, "Modi ji, have a press conf. Let our journalists ask you questions. This is better than an interview with one person." What did he mean by 'our' journalists?  Congress hacks as opposed to BJP hacks? Or did he mean the 'nation's' journalists?      ..

Mr Prime Minister, the nation wants to know!

IN Media Practice | 2016-06-28

Unlike his more adversarial interview with Jaitley the week before, Goswami mostly showed deference to the office of the prime minister.

Fireside chat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-28

A prime minister enjoying himself during his first long interview as PM with India's much-hyped TV terror, was a sight to watch. Narendra Modi waxed expansive and eloquent, as Arnab Goswami indulged him and lobbed enabling questions. Brought up the opposition's obstructionism in Parliament and forgot to mention that the..

Times Now's hyped math

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-27

One in four people watching. (People, as in?) Over 2 lakh video views on Facebook in two hours. Twelve  crore impressions on Twitter. 800 million potential impressions. 28 lakh users on Facebook. 1.5 lakh views on Facebook. And so on, all in quick succession, even as the interview was running..

Gratified PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-27

Mutual promotion society: ever heard of the PMO promoting the PM's  interview with a TV anchor using the programme slug? From the PM's Twitter handle on June 27: Does the nation want to know what I frankly shared with Mr. Arnab Goswami? Find out 6 PM onwards on @timesnow. Mr..

Typo trouble

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-27

Are editors touchy about being edited? Shekhar Gupta, senior journalist and former editor of The Indian Express, reacted with obvious ire on Twitter when Suhel Seth pointed out an error in one of his tweets. The word in Gupta’s tweet should have been “for” rather than “four” — clearly a typo..

Editor forever

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-26

Journalists, like politicians, apparently do not have to retire if they are in leadership positions.  At the end of this month the Mumbai Press Club is felicitating the group editor of the Lokmat Group  Dinkar Raikar, on completing 46 years in journalism at the age of 75.  The club's statement..

DD during the Emergency and other media tales

IN Books | 2016-06-26

'Candid Canvas' is rich in original documentation such as DD memos from an Engineering chief asking colleagues to destroy all material shot and used during the Emergency.

BCCI calls the shots

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-25

Shekhar Gupta in his Walk the Talk programme on June 24 told Anurag Thakur, president BCCI, that when BCCI reserves the right to pick the anchor for the broadcast channel they select for telecast of matches, that was the 'worst form of paid news' . He also grilled Thakur on..

AP’s political media yells ‘free speech’

IN Regional Media | 2016-06-24

Telugu media houses flaunt their political affiliations and function as the assault teams of the main parties while professing ‘fearless journalism’.

Colourful EU-related lies

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-23

As Britain votes in the EU Referendum,  the British media’s role in influencing the debate merits a glance. The Economist of June 22 has a graphic based on the EC’s website on countering disinformation published by the  British press since the 1990s. It says over 400 colourful myths have been..

Adieu Aveek

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-22

As news broke this evening that Aveek Sarkar, who had reigned as chief editor of the Kolkata-based ABP group for nearly 30 years, had stepped down, former associates took to Twitter to express their sentiments. Journalist Vir Sanghvi, who edited the Group’s Sunday magazine for many years, and knew Sarkar..

Ra-Ra Rajan: media and the Rajan effect

IN Media Practice | 2016-06-22

News of 'rock star' RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's exit sparked a torrent of media coverage -- reverential and otherwise.

AAP courting media?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-22

This Caravan story lists a number of Delhi journalists appointed by AAP to the governing boards of Delhi colleges. It grants that one of those journalists has continued to be critical of AAP in her reporting, when warranted. And another said she considered it her civic duty to serve on..

How Pakistan’s Dawn covers India

IN Media Monitoring | 2016-06-22

An analysis of The Hindu and Dawn shows the latter giving India more space and more diverse coverage than vice versa.

Counting down to Kabali

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-21

On June 15 India Today began a 30-day countdown to the release of Rajnikant's Kabali,  on its programme UP South. Almost an entire  half-hour was devoted to it that day. Since then there is something every day, often with a gushing reporter filing a story.    ..

Defamation lawsuits that drag on and on

IN Judgements | 2016-06-21

Twenty-two years…18 years…that is how long the courts take to settle defamation cases which are becoming increasingly routine and frivolous.

India’s second oldest newspaper

IN Regional Media | 2016-06-20

As part of a special series, the HOOT looks at Jam-e-Jamshed, the voice of the Parsi at home and abroad, but also much more.

New crisis or new book?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-20

If there has been a rash of recent headlines on the crisis in the Congress Party, as well as (contradictorily enough) the promise of Rahul Gandhi, it is because Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh has written a book.  Not on the crisis in the Congress or on the promise of..

Jammu-Kashmir’s moonlighting babus

IN Regional Media | 2016-06-20

Three govt employees have been suspended. Will it now curb a practice that affects journalism in the state adversely?

Hail, Carper-in-Chief

IN Opinion | 2016-06-19

Sundays are ruined with his grumbling and mumbo-jumbo. Give your readers a break please, dear Indian Express.

Mole in the Indian Express

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-18

The Performance Gurus website  has a story  and an audio recording which says that there was a mole in the Indian Express office who recorded conversations in the editor’s office and passed them on to intelligence agencies. It has an audio recording of one such conversation in which the then..

Incendiary report

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-17

This ET story is extraordinary. It amounts to undiluted airing of  the BJP's communal accusations. When a reporter tracks a BJP fact-finding team to Kairana, the town that is in the news for the alleged exodus of Hindus and the story is accompanied  by  a video, should she then file a report without..

Framing the California textbooks debate

IN Media Monitoring | 2016-06-16

How did the US and Indian media convert an attempt to erase ‘’India’ and ‘Hinduism’ into a fight between ‘bad’ Hindus and ‘good’ secularists?

Oops! Wrong guy!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-16

Giving awards to politicians  is a bit dicey if you do not want to displease the ruling big daddies. It leads to awkward situations if the jury picks the wrong person. Last year CNN News18 (then known as CNN IBN) gave a politician of the year award to Finance Minister..

Naidu govt‘s ban on Sakshi TV

IN Regional Media | 2016-06-15

As the AP and Telangana governments try to muzzle the media, the latter, playing its own games, has either bent or crawled.

Oh dear!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-14

HRD minister Smriti Irani never shies away from a Twitter spat. This afternoon, Bihar Congress leader Ashok Chaudhary snarkily addressed her  as “Dear @smritiirani ji” and asked her to take time off from politics and pay attention to the new education policy. The ever pugilistic Irani hit back immediately —..

Was India Today's Mathura sting ethical?

IN Media Practice | 2016-06-14

By naming and showing two policemen who exposed the UP government’s lies, India Today’s sting operation put the men at risk of retribution,

Inder Malhotra's soap story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-13

Journalist and commentator Inder Malhotra who passed away on June 11 was perhaps the only one  among the editors from the Times stable in the 1980s who is remembered for having stood up to Samir Jain, the then Vice Chairman of the Times Group, as he sought to cut journalists..

Living legends: India’s oldest newspapers

IN Regional Media | 2016-06-13

As part of a new HOOT series, we look at some legendary newspapers. The Mumbai Samachar is Asia’s oldest newspaper at 193

Soliciting ads from docs

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-12

The Punjab Medical Council has sent a complaint to the Press Council  of India dated June 10 protesting against the soliciting of ads from doctors by a marketing person of the Times Group. The complaint quotes an sms received  from a  rep. of the group which says  the paper is..

Different rules

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-11

Vijender Gupta, BJP MLA in the Delhi Assembly standing on a chair in the House to protest against AAP, was the source of much ridicule on Arnab Goswami's prime time on June 10. But does Goswami employ different rules for different guests on his programme? On June 9 he was..

Batting for Tejpal

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-11

On June 9 Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day set a cat among the pigeons when columnist Malavika Sanghvi wrote a diary item saying that Tarun Tejpal, former editor of Tehelka magazine, was on a comeback trail. Tejpal, once quite the media star, faces charges of having raped a young colleague in 2013..

SIT for Manipur threats?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-10

The Sangai Express reports that the  Press Council of India (PCI), had taken up a suo moto case of threats and intimidation of media personnel in Manipur, and a bomb threat to the secretary general of Editors' Guild, Manipur and Editor in Chief of Impact TV, Yumnam Rupachandra. On June..

Extolling drugs and liquor

IN Opinion | 2016-06-10

While the debate over Udta Punjab rumbles on, what about the Punjabi songs that glorify drugs and alcohol in popular culture?

SLAPP and tell

IN Books | 2016-06-09

Sue the Messenger is a breezy read by Subir Ghosh and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta of recent SLAPP cases in India.

Case against Hasan Suroor dropped

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-08

Hindustan Times reports that Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Tuesday dropped its case against Indian-origin journalist Hasan Suroor on the ground that it had “no evidence” to support the allegation of “sexual grooming” made against him by a vigilante group last November. Suroor said he was considering suing the..

Country-wide control

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-08

The Mukesh Ambani owned news network is expanding. This article describes how. Network 18's ETV network has just soft launched 3 more news channels in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam under the News18 banner...

HT Media grows in non-print areas

IN Media Business | 2016-06-08

While the company’s profits came largely from print advertising, revenue growth has come from language, radio and digital.

What do we call this one?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-07

Business Standard reported last week that Flipkart is in talks to sell an a percentage of stake to Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd. The paper said the deal would “entail a combination of cash and advertisements” whereby Flipkart would get value via ads on BCCL’s properties. Seems nobody is using..

You can’t win, Sir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-07

Haryana’s social justice and empowerment minister is often in the news for his runaway tongue, caught on camera abusing officials and other govt. personnel. So he thought the solution was to keep the media out of venues where he might end up putting his foot in his mouth. On June..

Indian Express clarifies

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-06

The Indian Express has contradicted the Hoot report   on newspapers carrying a baseless story on a law student dying while taking a selfie. It clarifies that they never had this misleading report, and in fact had two subsequent reports which gave the correct version. The Hoot's link was to their Facebook page which had..

Poor sod

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-06 reports that for the third year running being a newspaper reporter has been ranked as the worst job!  It figures 10th on’s list of the 10 worst jobs of 2016, below firefighter, pest control worker, enlisted military personnel, and so on. The rating was done using the following..

Why the mighty US media is backing Gawker

IN Media Freedom | 2016-06-06

A Trump presidency and Hulk Hogan’s bankrolled lawsuit bodes ill for the freedom the press currently enjoys.

Mum's the word

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-05

It was certainly a television moment. The Home Minister cupping  his hands and bestowing an imaginary spank on Shekhar Gupta in a moment of camaraderie. The gesture was in response to Gupta  asking Rajnath Singh on his show Walk the Talk on NDTV 24x7  to honestly assess PM Narendra Modi, adding..

Snappy Hema

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-04

'Wait ! ' she said waving her fingers at the cameras ...' don't talk too much !!' ..this was the Mathura BJP MP and Bollywood's former heroine Hema Malini on Friday dismissing reporters who dared to ask her why she was busy with film shooting while Mathura was witnessing a major law..

Call records false says Gupta

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-04

Shishir Gupta, Executive Editor of the Hindustan Times has sent a legal notice to the website which they have posted. The notice says the call records are false, that he made infrequent calls to Sanjay Bhandari, and that during his tenure as EE   negative stories on Sanjay Bhandari..

Hitting the wrong note in Assam

IN Media Practice | 2016-06-04

The media got the story of the Muslim boy who topped the Class 10 exam wrong. His religion was irrelevant.

Twitter champ

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-03

Is Ravi Shankar  Prasad aspiring to become the PM's favourite minister?  He retweeted 13 of MyGovindia's "Government of Firsts"  tweets on sundry schemes at one go this afternoon (June 3) and then around six in the evening began retweeting them again... Those who follow him must be running for cover..

Mainstream media turns away from "Gujarat Files"

IN Books | 2016-06-03

Why did the mainstream media block out Rana Ayyub’s book on the Gujarat riots and fake encounters?

Mainstream media’s collective fictionalising

IN Media Practice | 2016-06-03

How on earth did so many media outlets propagate a totally baseless story about a young woman killed in a seafront accident?

KCR's splurge

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-02

Egotistic CMs are a boon for newspapers which are raking it in.  After Kerala CM Pinayari Vijayan brightened our morning post election  with his red ads, it is Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao’s turn to enrich media coffers from the public exchequer. Leading general and financial dailies in Delhi sported..

Slow justice for murdered journalists

IN Media Freedom | 2016-06-02

Since 2010, 23 journalists have been murdered, three this year. There has been only one conviction in which an appeal is pending.

Self-censorship again

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-02

A story on this website run by a bunch of professionals suggests that in the Vadra London property case a large number of calls (478) to the arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari were made by HT’s executive editor Shishir Gupta. If it was for a story, no story was broken by..

Owner's privileges

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-06-01

Headline under the DNA masthead: Dr Subhash Chandra files RS nomination papers. With a nice picture of the gentleman. Helps to own a newspaper when you aiming to get elected to the Rajya Sabha.  ..

Prime time melodrama

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-31

“I chose to be a journalist and I will die a journalist” screamed Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Times Now, pointing an aggressive finger at the camera at the fag end of his prime time show on Tuesday night. The programme had been discussing the issue of Robert Vadra's telephone conversations..

Hindu circulation up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-31

 The Hindu reports that its circulation registered a 20 per cent growth in the latter six months of 2015, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation figures released on May 30. That’s unusually  high growth.     ..

Ruffling feathers: a luxury for the few

IN Regional Media | 2016-05-31

Criminal defamation is not about the law but about society’s underlying power structures. They determine what you can do and can’t do.

Whose exclusive?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-30

Barkha Dutt and an NDTV colleague protested vigorously on Twitter that NewsX had lifted their story on Robert Vadra's benami London mansion.  Somebody piped up in response that it wasn't really their exclusive,  Hindustan Times had carried some details   earlier which must have given NDTV its lead. A little..

Harking back

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-30

Today (May 30) is the day when the first Hindi publication Oodunta Martand (Rising Sun) was launched back in 1826, in Kolkata, by a Kanpur lawyer. It was a weekly and the  language used in it was an early form of Hindi before it was standardised...

Digital journalism start-ups in India

IN Digital Media | 2016-05-30

Six Indian case studies are selected in this Reuters Institute study to illustrate the strategic choices digital journalism start‑ups have to make.

No crowds?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-29

The BJP government's huge spectacle at India Gate turned out to be a made for TV,  people-less wonder with no crowds visible. When the tight camera frame showed the audience the PM was speaking to, it comprised only his ministers. That the location was India Gate was not in doubt...

Disclosure please

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-29

In this anti-Arnab piece a poll is embedded, about what his type of discussions mean for public discourse. But there is no disclosure at the end that Firstpost's owner also owns a rival news channel, CNN-News18. You also wonder why the journalist in the piece whom Arnab defamed in his studio did..

The Maggi school of election coverage

IN Media Practice | 2016-05-28

In the scrum to be first, we get instant analysis mixed with bias. Is this what complex elections and budgets deserve?

TRAI’s fresh thoughts on net neutrality

IN Law and Policy | 2016-05-28

It tries to make its earlier regulation more nuanced by proposing three models of zero-rating without discriminatory tariffs.

Real world advice

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-27

Independent journalist Rana Ayyub  launched her self-published book,"Gujarat Files, Anatomy of a Cover Up"  in Delhi on May 27. It  is an account of her undercover investigation of those culpable in the Gujarat 2002 riots.  Ayyub said that when she came back with the sting after eight months, a senior..

Snarl, shove, throttle: reporters at work

IN Regional Media | 2016-05-27

As two TV journalists in Kolkata come to blows over a story, it shows how feral the fight to be ‘first’ has become.

Enabling anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-27

On the government’s big day it was amusing to watch the DD News anchor prompting two carefully picked panelists during a discussion on the government’s performance. If one of them said that exports were down, the anchor would quickly butt in, “because of global contraction”.  If  the panelist from Deccan..

Busking on journalism’s footpath

IN Opinion | 2016-05-26

What can an evolved, fifty-something journalist do with his experience when the media has evolved too and cannot accommodate him?

Overhyping the Ajmal Factor in Assam polls

IN Regional Media | 2016-05-26

Sections of the media failed to see the BJP wave and made the mistake of over-estimating the role of AIUDF’s Ajmal.

HRW: Govt urged to stop treating critics as criminals

IN Special Reports | 2016-05-25

The Indian government should repeal or amend both recent and colonial era laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression.

Red indulgence

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-25

 When the Left is back in power they splurge from the exchequer on  full page advertisements (coloured a communist red) in several newspapers including the more expensive ones, announcing the swearing in of a chief minister. Between Mr Pinari Vijayan and Ms Jayalalitha's page one self-indulgence there only seems to..

Rock star guv

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-25

What was the last time a Reserve Bank governor acquired rock star status in  the public imagination?  Apart from the media pitching for him to get a second term there is now a petition circulating demanding this for Raghuram Rajan. As well an Amul butter advertisement punning on the..

This is unusual!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-23

The Indian Express in Mumbai today had a story about how a "small single column advertisement in a corner of the Times of India" worked wonders in identifying a dead man.  Unusual, because the  two papers are rivals. Curiously the Express did not name two other papers which too had..

Why the drought is not The Big Story

IN Opinion | 2016-05-23

If the media’s drought coverage had been relentless, it would have forced governments to act. By being sporadic, it failed to impact.

Different prisms

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-22

State recruitment as media spectacle

IN Opinion | 2016-05-21

Why does the media not question this antiquated ritual irrelevant to modern India rather than glorifying it with uncritical coverage?

Edifying exchange

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-21

The incident regarding the Bastar collector's charges against JNU professors visiting Chhattisgarh gets more colourful. Today (May 21) Dainik Bhaskar published the audio transcript   of an exchange  between C'garh journalist Kamal Shukla, who has been fighting for the release of jailed journalists there, and Amit Kataria, the Bastar collector.  Shukla refers..

Threatened in Bihar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-20 reports that Rajesh Singh, a journalist working for a leading regional daily in Bihar was abused and threatened by four unidentified men in Nalanda district on  May 19. They were supporters of a JD(U) MLC Heera Prasad Bind.  They asked him about a report he had written, and also..

Journalist murders in regional media

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-20

When stringers are attacked or killed, the struggle for justice begins with determining whether they are journalists at all.

Anchors and their obsessions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-19

On NDTV India Ravish Kumar was pursuing his theory  about the BJP's victory in Assam having its roots in the  RSS's pre-independence entry into that region and its presence there since then. On Zee News Sudhir Chaudhary was doing a soliloquy on the decline of the Congress. He first compared..

Sweet victory, despite the media coverage

IN Media Practice | 2016-05-19

Does goondagiri and corruption loom much larger for journalists than it does for voters? Is that why they missed the Mamata sweep,

Sadiq Khan's candidacy challenged UK media

IN Media Practice | 2016-05-18

The British media’s coverage of the new Mayor of London’s campaign was marked by strong biases.

Will Sun be king again?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-18

ET reports  that Sun TV shares have hit a 52-week high after exit polls show DMK winning in Tamil Nadu. The story says,"Analysts say there is a strong connect in the performance of the Sun TV Network to the period in which the DMK is in power." The company's channels were denied..

Rajasthan removes RTI from textbooks

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-18

The Hindu reports that the BJP regime in Rajasthan has deleted the RTI movement from the class 8 social science textbook despite the key role played by marginalised villagers in this  state in  bringing in this legislation. The MKSS, a Rajasthan-based NGO, had initiated the struggle for this legislation here.    ..

Awful reasoning and tortuous verbosity

IN Judgements | 2016-05-17

The central flaw in Justice Dipak Misra’s criminal defamation ruling is equating right to reputation with right to free speech as a fundamental right.

Don’t tag me

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-17

 Malini Parthasarathy, former editor and now a director on the Hindu board tweeted on May 16: "Tired of being tagged on negative comments on ‪@the_hindu's editorial content. I am no longer editor and not responsible for its content."  ..

Universal photo

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-17

Just how many different users is one photograph going to show up?  First Amit Shah brandished an Outlook cover to justlfy PM Modi's claims on malnutrition in Kerala. Then a website  pointed out that the cover picture was  a picture of a mother and child in Sri Lanka  which Outlook ..

Voters strike back at TN’s captive political media

IN Regional Media | 2016-05-16

With the major parties running propaganda media outlets, voters turned to WhatsApp and Facebook this time to spoof their leaders.

Champ of the future

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-15

Last week some of the people  who matter at the  Economic Times were in Athens for an off-site brainstorming and the following nuggets of wisdom reportedly emerged:  The paper is the Harley Davidson of the newspaper industry. It is an underleveraged brand that has lost circulation because of  market conditions..

Mobiles top device for news access: youth survey

IN Research Studies | 2016-05-15

And news websites are the largest source of news for youth followed closely by newspapers and newsapps.

When Parliament functions it is not news

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-14

The budget session ended with a  high rate of productivity in both houses, 121 per cent in the Lok Sabha, 91 per cent in the Rajya Sabha. The session also had the highest percentage of Bills introduced and passed within same session in 10 years. But on Saturday morning the..

Two more journalists murdered

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-14

Two journalists have been shot dead over a 24 hour period on May 12 and 13. A TV journalist, Indradev Yadav who worked for Taza TV was killed in Chatra in Jharkhand on the night of May 12. Another killing took place in Siwan in Bihar on May 13.  Rajdeo..

Florid prose

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-13

Dipak Misra, the judge who was part of the SC bench which upheld the constitutional validity of criminal defamation today, has given this memorable definition of ‘reputation’ in an earlier judgement: “It is a nobility in itself for which a conscientious man would never barter it with all the tea..

Kafka in India: the mysterious J-visa

IN Opinion | 2016-05-13

How long does it take for a foreign journalist to get a visa? One month? Six months? Maybe never?

Mufti Govt: turning on the press

IN Regional Media | 2016-05-13

The new government in Kashmir has begun badly where press freedom and free speech are concerned.

Despite the fire

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-12

On April 11 the fourth floor of the Times of India building in Delhi caught fire. Today the paper patted itself on the back for having brought out an edition despite this major  disruption, and wrote a three column story on how it did it. Its newspaper rivals  reported the..

Want to use a map? Go get a licence first

IN Law and Policy | 2016-05-12

Like earlier regulatory attempts, the draft Geospatial Bill is yet another response by the state to its bafflement about the Internet and how to govern it.

High on hype

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-11

 CNN News18’s Dawood’s house story demolished Pakistan’s denials about him in 5 min 24 seconds! The story wasn’t such a big deal and Zakka Jacob needs to tone down his dramatics a bit. It sounded silly when India Today had a much newsier interview at that point with Christian Michel...

Erdogan: “You laughing at me kid?’’

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-11

The prosecution of a German comedian’s satire against Erdogan betrays a Turkish inability to stomach dissent and German cravenness.

Is the Nagaland press free?

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-10

“...Externalities like economic needs, political compulsion, socio-cultural and religious demands have narrowed press freedom in Nagaland”.

Chhattisgarh scribes protest at Jantar Mantar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-10

Drowned out by the Jat reservation rally in the next enclosure, Journalists from Chhattisgarh joined the many petitioners at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to protest the arrest of their colleagues in that state. The speakers included those who had been jailed for short periods of time for their reports and..

Death of a lensman

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-09

 A photographer was tragically killed in an accident in Jhansi on April 9. PTI  reported the incident and cause of death the same day but did not name the publication he worked for. TOI’s own report gave the cause of death but did not name the publication. Indian Express, the..

Two years of Modi Sarkar—ring out the reporters!

IN Digital Media | 2016-05-09

In the mostly one-way information super highway built by this govt. there is little room for doubts or questions.

Pundits were arrogantly wrong about Trump!

IN Opinion | 2016-05-09

…you do have to wonder why so much energy is devoted to crystal-ball gazing when nothing seems to be learned when pundits are way off target.

Did I say that?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-07

The Shourie-Thapar interview on India Today on April 6 had moments when Shourie would let Thapar put words in his mouth.  “I have to put this to you—you’re suggesting that Mr Modi is not good for India.” “No… you see, if he changes… but this is the direction…”  “But you..

Get permission from a DC to post on WhatsApp!

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-07

Kashmir’s new curbs aim to stop false rumours spreading but they infringe the right to free speech and section 79 of the IT Act.

NDTV in black again

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-07

After continuous losses  in recent years New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV) turned profitable in the March quarter of  2016. It posted  Rs 7.5 crore net profit this quarter compared to a Rs 10.7 crore net loss in the same quarter last year, reports Business Standard...

Why is the media naming the Kerala rape victim?

IN Media Practice | 2016-05-05

Kerala’s ‘Nirbhaya’ has been named and her photo published. Because of pressure from social media? Or because she was a dalit?

Invisible goof

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-05

Headline in the Indian Express web edition this morning: "Manohar Parrikar on AgustaWestland probe: Invincible hand guided action or inaction". The text also said, "it appears that an 'invincible' hand was guiding the action or inaction of CBI and ED."  Evidently the mistake is 'invisible' to the paper's  desk, though..

Celebrating cartoons

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-05

Both the Times of India (Delhi edition) and its sister publication Maharashtra Times observed World Cartoonists' Day using their mastheads. The first used some of R K Laxman's memorable caricatures, but the second used a different cartoonist,  and both papers mentioned  the occasion on their mastheads...

HT gets a new editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-04

Staff at the Hindustan Times got confirmation today that Aparasim "Bobby" Ghosh, until now editor at large at Quartz, will be taking over as editor of the Hindustan Times, succeeding Sanjoy Narayan. Other changes that the paper is predicted to see soon according to a report  in are the..

The Environment for India's Environment

IN Videos | 2016-05-04

  The Media Foundation's B G Verghese Memorial Lecture, delivered on March 17, 2016, by Jairam Ramesh, former Union Minister for Environment and Forests...

Getting away with murder in Akhilesh Yadav’s UP

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-03

Eleven months after the uproar over his death, court pronouncements and govt promises, there is neither chargesheet nor arrest in the case of Jagendra Singh.

Four months, 22 assaults on the press

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-03

All over India, journalists at the district level are vulnerable but things are worst in Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Inside the blaze? Really?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-03

What exactly is ground zero when you are reporting on a forest fire? TV anchors have been speaking of reports from ground zero in covering Uttarakhand's forest fire, which is impossible unless s/he is becoming a cinder in the process of filing the report. And from the fringes of the..

Which one am I reading?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-03

On April 30 the Indian Express in Jaipur carried a few pages from the Times of India in that city!  The mishap seems to have occured as both of them have same printing press, and there was a technical error!  ..

Press freedom record

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-03

There have been 21 cases of attacks on journalists  and their property so far this year in India and one case of hostage taking.  These have taken place in Odisha, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, UP, Delhi, Tamilnadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Assam and Maharashtra.  Six cases of threats..

Nepal SC quashes Dixit detention

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-02

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, appropriately enough, the Supreme Court of Nepal quashed the detention of veteran editor Kanak Mani Dixit who was arrested on April 22 by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority. He had been admitted into ICU when his health deteriorated. He is now a..

Bail pleas of two journos admitted in C’garh HC

IN Media Freedom | 2016-05-02

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, the prospects for four jailed scribes are mixed in Chhattisgarh.

India’s love triangle

IN Opinion | 2016-05-01

These pundits are like frogs for whom every event is a monsoon shower which makes them sing in joyous disharmony.

Referral bonus for journos

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-05-01

Hindi newspapers pioneered the practice of incentivising news stringers to bring in advertising. For the ads you procured you got a commission.  The Rajasthan Patrika's management has applied this policy to staff hiring as well.  Its online news site Catch News has announced a  recruitment referral policy which incentivises  staff  ..

Nihalani not fazed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-30

While the Benegal committee recommends limiting the CBFC's powers to certification, the current CBFC chair Pehlaj Nihalani continues his bull run. In a hearing before the Supreme Court on April 29, he submitted an order passed on April 21, 2016 that the documentary 'En Dino Muzffarnagar' must be denied a..

BJP's social media champs and duds

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-30

India Today reports that PM Modi asked the BJP's digital media cell to report on the social media performance of its MPs and they came up with a list. Among ministers, Sushma Swaraj is among the 10 best performers on Twitter and Maneka Gandhi in the list of 10 worst. Arun Jaitley..

Tour de Scam

IN Archive | 2016-04-30

A Hoot Retrospective from 2013: Tourism in Rome, Milan and Sicily will get a boost as Indian investigators shop for insights into the chopper deal.

Mind explaining?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-29

Pray, what exactly is a "laser wall"? PTI didn't explain, but which newspaper added that "dear reader" paragraph to elucidate?..

Film certification overhaul needs change in law

IN Law and Policy | 2016-04-29

The Benegal panel recommends restricting the CBFC’s powers but, while welcome, this doesn’t go far enough. India’s 1952 law on films must also change.

JNU videos—NBSA’s deafening silence

IN Law and Policy | 2016-04-29

The AAP has stepped in to pick up the whip which the Broadcasting Standards Authority should have cracked over the doctored JNU videos.

Changes at NDTV

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-29

Nidhi Razdan has been named executive editor at NDTV and the channel’s prime time anchor line up is about to change. Barkha Dutt and her show will move from 9 pm to 8 pm from next week, and the faces at 9 pm are likely to include Nidhi Razdan, Sonia..

Late night invite, even later cancellation!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-28

After the  much talked about asset sale of JSW Energy, business journalists in Delhi witnessed this strange situation. At about 10 pm on April 27, JSW sent an invite for a press conference this morning at 10 am and then sent another email  after 1 am (28th) to inform them..

Appeasing Arnab

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-28

Ahmed Patel, MP and Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, itching to end Arnab Goswami's loud inquisition on Augusta, reminded the anchor that he had agreed to only three questions on the camera by a hook up (not for him to visit a studio). When a few more questions popped up, with..

Look who's lecturing

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-27

At the 2016 Redink Awards Nite in Mumbai Minister Piyush Goyal lectured to journalists about the importance of  media getting its information right. "Correctly sanitized data" and  "accuracy of that data" are necessary he said. He should know! It's his government that relied on doctored videos to put JNUSU students..

Handwara girl’s video: a hornet’s nest

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-27

Her minor status raises a host of issues about the legality of her detention, the video, its leak, and the disclosure of her identity.

Hanuman first media victim?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-27

Hanuman, according to Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao,  was the first instance of a reporter under attack for his work, if you stretch the definition of journalism a bit. "The job of a journalist was never easy. Hanuman was perhaps the first messenger to be attacked. He had his tail burned..

Tale of an empty chair...

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-27

Rajdeep Sardesai on India Today did an Arnab Goswami on his News Today at Nine on April 26--placed an empty chair to show viewers that the Congress backed out from the "debate" on Augusta choppers. Minutes later he waved his cell phone implying a text message: Randeep Surjewala would come..

Second anniv promotion?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-25

Even as some newspapers including the Dainik Jagran and Indian Express are reporting that an informal group of ministers has suggested ways to step up focus on the BJP government's achievements as it approaches its second anniversary, unnamed "top" government sources quoted in TOI  are hastening to scotch the reports...

Self censorship?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-24

The Delhi govt takes three TV channels to court for airing allegedly doctored footage of the Feb.9 protests at JNU. The hearing will be on April 25. The Indian Express has it on page 1 and names the channels--Zee News, NewsX and India News. The Hindu puts the news on page 1 but does..

Disastrous coverage

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-23

Global coverage of Nepal soared with the earthquake and died down immediately after, attention did not return when Nepal was reeling under a ruinous Indian blockade.

Goading protesters

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-23

This Catch News story describes how two photographers from PTI and Tribune tried to create more provocation at a tame Jantar Mantar protest against the recent Handwara killings  so that they could get more newsy pictures. It names the journalists and has their photographs. From the story: "Zeroing in on..

Zee TV fined Rs 20 lakh in CP shootout case

IN Judgements | 2016-04-23

Three policemen guilty of killing two innocent persons in 1997 sued Zee for defamation. They have won. Is this a flawed judgement?

Kanak Dixit arrested in Nepal

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-22

Himalmedia co-publisher and well known civil rights activist Kanak Mani Dixit was detained today  in Kathmandu on the direct orders of the Chairman of the Commission to Investigate the Abuse of Authority (CIAA). The Federation of Nepalese Journalists said in a statement that he was detained on Friday just before..

Welcome to the Simhasth Kumbh

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-22

The Simhasth Kumbh at Ujjain sprang upon our consciousness on April 22 via full page ads in the  highest circulated English and Hindi dailies. There was careful omission of any mention of the government of Madhya Pradesh, except for the chief minister's smiling visage. But the ads seemed  to have..

Excitable anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-22

Megan Peterson, an American who claimed being raped by an Indian Catholic priest in 2004, spoke to India Today TV on the phone about how the priest had been reinstated, calm about her ordeal. Her lawyer Jeff Anderson  speaking from New York was equally calm,  listing out how she would..

Excitable anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-22

Megan Peterson, an American who claimed being raped by an Indian Catholic priest in 2004, spoke to India Today TV on the phone about how the priest had been reinstated, calm about her ordeal. Her lawyer Jeff Anderson  speaking from New York was equally calm,  listing out how she would..

Secular and inclusive!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-22

Bhupendra Chaubey’s Big5@10 show on CNN News 18 has added an Adaab to the programme’s opening salutation. Will Sat Sri Akal follow? ..

Migrant crisis makes EU journalists hate targets

IN Media Freedom | 2016-04-21

Stuck between the right wing accusing them of being ‘refugee lovers’ and twitchy governments, the media is under attack in this polarized climate.

Read comments in context

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-20

Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan speaking at the NIBM convocation after the brouhaha over his description of India's growth. "...every word or phrase a public figure speaks is intensely wrung for meaning. When words are hung to dry out of context, as in a newspaper headline, it then becomes fair game for..

Wage board survey

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-20

The Mumbai Press Club has sought information from journalists on the implementation of the Majithiya Wage Board with a promise that the "identity of the journalist will be kept confidential if required".  A joint action commitee of scribes' bodies is to meet the Maharashtra labour minister on the issue...

CNN NEWS 18--too consumer oriented?

IN Opinion | 2016-04-20

Either you will enjoy the channel’s new cockiness or it will get on your nerves, making you go to the tried and tested NDTV 24x7

The unsung hero of the Washington Post

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-20

The staff researcher whose work contributed to four of the six Pulitzer prizes the Post won earlier this month is profiled

Ham radio on poll duty

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-19

The Hindu reported on April 19 that the Election Commission has decided to let ham radio operators provide communication  from 24 polling stations in North 24 Parghanas for the ongoing elections. Forty seven such operators will be working in the mobile shadow areas of the district to enable a free..

2002-3 Mumbai blasts: swallowing the police version

IN Opinion | 2016-04-19

Even in reporting the verdict, journalists accepted the police version as gospel, glossed over crucial facts and distorted the true picture.

Stood up by the mantri

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-18

Is Piyush Goyal slipping up on his media relations? Today some journalists walked out of an event hosted by the government company POSOCO as the power, coal and renewable minister did not turn up till 3 pm for an event scheduled at 1 pm. The usually media savvy Goyal has..

Just reporting facts!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-16

On April 15 the Hindustan Times reported that Gurgaon's name switch to Gurugram had sparked a web race to book Gurugram-related domain names. It quoted web experts as saying reselling domain names could fetch upto Rs one lakh. It said nothing about its own company. On Saturday the Indian Express's..

Whose exclusive?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-16

The Indian Express carried an exclusive  on  Friday morning about the Kerala DGP objecting to PM Narendra Modi and the Congress Vice President visiting the temple where explosions had taken over 100 lives. It would disturb the police work,  the paper quoted him saying. By early afternoon, amazingly,  the story..

TV anchor plagiarises

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-15

When a news channel anchor puts forward a data driven story should one be suspicious? Read this account by Vivek Kaul in his blog, about Rahul Kanwar using his data on India Today without attribution and then getting it wrong...

Telangana media: Hey, thanks for the free flat!

IN Regional Media | 2016-04-15

For Telangana journalists, Christmas has come early. Santa Rao has given them flats virtually free of cost.  

Turmoil in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-14

The government has suspended internet services in North Kashmir after protests in Kupwara resulted in four people being killed there. There have also been attacks on journalists, with the Kashmir Reader reporting that  on Wednesday journalists were beaten  by police while covering the events there...

NIT Kashmir: local and national versions differ

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-14

The national media whipped up emotions by carrying provocative stories. The Kashmir papers stuck to the facts.

Kitne aadmi thhey?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-13

 The fire brigade rescued a large number of people from a Bhiwandi residential building which also had power looms,  but how many were the lucky ones? Times  of India said "over 200" in the copy, but the headline said 250. Indian Express: "300 evacuated "; The Hindu : "170  saved"; DNA: "63..

The LA Times and erasing India from textbooks

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-13

In reporting California’s history curriculum changes that will remove the words ‘India’ and ‘Hinduism’, the LA Times has been less than truthful,

NDTV’s Battleground Assam: wrong on history and facts

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-12

Prannoy Roy classifies all Muslims in Assam as migrants and Ahoms as Assamese but the earliest Muslim settlers came before the Ahoms did,

Billowing moments

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-12

The TOI (April 12) had fun with the visiting royals with  photos of the Duchess's billowing hemline, both on its front page and inside, though  most Delhi dailies opted for more staid pictures. The 'Marilyn Monroe moment' headline was echoed around the world, mostly in the British press which also..

Specious claim

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-11

Arnab Goswami opened his Monday's Newshour saying 90 days ago, they had "spearheaded" the women's right of entry to places of worship. Wasn't it, unless we are grossly mistaken, the Bhumata Ranragini Brigade for temples, and the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan with regard to Haji Ali? The Nation wants to..

Governor feels for scribes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-11

TOI reported on April 11 that Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao has come out openly in support of a law to prevent attacks on scribes across the state. Three chief ministers have paid lip service to the idea, the current one included, but nothing has moved so far. This is the..

Panama Papers: the Indian journalists behind it

IN Media Practice | 2016-04-11

An Indian Express team was among the 250 journalists in the gigantic, global investigation which has begun to topple presidents and prime ministers.

Mamata, Gogoi fight without media support

IN Regional Media | 2016-04-09

Without the TV channels their parties could count on in the last elections, both CMs have aggressive media to reckon with.

Raj Thackeray's wisdom

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-08

"Visit any newspaper or channel's office, and you will see the vertical divisions among journalists, Raj Thackeray said on Friday night at his party's annual rally. "If one is with a political party, and the other is with the rival". Media owners and journalists share platforms with political parties and..

Makeover for Mamata?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-08

A visibly glammed up Mamata Banerjee is on the cover  of Outlook magazine. Foundation, a touch of rouge and reddish lips. Or did they just touch up her photograph?..

Aadhar: why classification matters in law making

IN Law and Policy | 2016-04-08

Using classification strategies to get legal sanction for new, controversial technologies is not unique or a one-off.

DNA's new innings

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-07

DNA began with its editors drawn from print but is increasingly becoming integrated into  Zee's TV empire. First Uday Nirgudkar who headed Zee 24 Taas was asked to head its editorial operation after the last editor drawn from print, C P Surendran quit. Now he moves over as business head..

Water vs IPL

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-07

Times Now editor Arnab Goswami needs one victim on every prime time show . On April 6 it was sports anchor Charu Sharma whom he held personally responsible for the IPL being held in Mumbai  despite such a massive water shortage. Sharma in turn challenged Goswami asking him if the..

All aboard Gatimaan!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-06

More than 170 journalists from  print, electronic and online media were taken for  a joyride on the Gatimaan Express on March 5  for  a taste of  India’s first semi-high speed train.  Arrangements were quickly  made  as a lot of journos had asked to be taken. Although Indian Railways had reserved..

Kashmir’s cronyism means a news blackout

IN Regional Media | 2016-04-06

Khyber Agro Farms is convicted for adulterating milk but the story is absent from the top papers

Urdu, the Trojan horse?

IN Opinion | 2016-04-06

That’s the implication of a government form which insinuates that Urdu is the medium of expressing anti-national sentiments.

Free speech: a dire three months

IN Special Reports | 2016-04-05

The first quarter has seen not just censorship but violence, sedition and defamation cases, arrests and a murder

ETV Urdu congratulates CM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-04

Eyebrows rose in Srinagar when ETV Urdu put up  hoardings congratulating PDP chief minister  Mehbooba Mufti on becoming the first woman CM of the state.  ETV Special Correspondent Rifat Abdullah, who was working since 2005 with the channel said he submitted his resignation today on "moral grounds" after the hoardings..

Won't talk to you

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-02

The mainstream media is finally getting around to building some pressure on what is happening to journalists in Bastar. After the Editors Guild's fact finding  report made public earlier this week, NDTV aired an edition of Truth Versus Hype on journalists' arrests in  Chhattisgarh on Saturday. But the man at..

Wrong word

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-04-01

Will someone tell The Hindu deskhands that a stopwatch  (that can be started and stopped to measure exactly a race, for instance)  and a watch that stops showing time are entirely different things?  Just as apt headlines and too-clever  ones are different propositions.   ..

Anonymous sourcing at the New York Times

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-31

Journalism as a profession has a long, sordid history of misusing and abusing anonymous sources. The New York Times is no exception.

Hyping facts

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-31

Earlier this week a lecturer from Edinburgh University wrote to the University of Hyderabad that he and other academics felt "compelled to ask whether we can any longer continue to sustain research links and ties with the UoH. Many of us have strong academic connections and affiliations to colleagues at..

Stop shouting

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-30

It is understandable  by Indian standards that an anchor would be excited that he or his channel has an "exclusive" on the "Indian Spy" story. But it came to a point on March 30's  10 pm show when Shahzad A Chaudhry, a former Pakistani diplomat, had to ask Rahul Kanwal (India..

Picked up one evening

IN Media Freedom | 2016-03-30

Police are increasingly dispensing with due process in handling offences involving media,

The Editors Guild gets around to investigating Bastar

IN Media Freedom | 2016-03-30

‘We could not find a single journalist who could claim with confidence that he/she was working without fear or pressure’

Priyanka Kapoor: It’s all her fault

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-29

A Hindustan Times’ report on her suicide commits all the same errors that the papers were guilty of in the Aarushi Talwar case

Damaging retweets

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-29

How many fake RSS Twitter handles are there and how much damage can they do?  @RSS_org for instance is not the official RSS handle. It has 6000 plus tweets (the two official handles @RSSonweb, @RSSorg have  barely 500 plus tweets between them) and when it retweets some sly poison from @friendsofRSS do the..

Don’t be like the Indian media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-29

The Pakistani TV regulator PEMRA advised the country’s media in the wake of the Lahore attack to cover events with utmost professionalism, and said, “Pakistani media needs to follow the example of professional handling of Brussels attacks by international media rather than following in the footsteps of Indian media that..

Vikaspuri vs Dadri

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-28

Did social media communalise and mainstream media self-censor the lynching of a Delhi dentist last week? The police actually had to list the religion-wise  break-up of the mob that did the lynching to counter what they said was social media disinformation. "Out of 9 accused persons, 5 are Hindu…” an..

Journalist arrested in Dantewada

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-26

Deepak Jaiswal, the Dantewada bureau chief of daily newspaper Dainik  Dainandini has been picked up by police, according to Kamal Shukla, convener of the struggle committee for the security of local  journalists. With two journalists already in jail and Prabhat Singh, arrested this  week on charges of obscenity for a Whatsapp message, Jaiswal..

Colourful repeat

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-26

Some stories are hardy perennials and the one about Vrindavan widows playing holi breaking with a 400-year-old tradition is one such. It pops up every year as a first. In 2013 the Hindu reported it: first colourful holi for Vrindavan widows. In 2014 Firstpost and others said ‘Vrindavan widows' first..

Afghanistan journalists’ worsening reporting perils

IN Media Freedom | 2016-03-26

Government officials and elements of the Afghan military accounted for many of the attacks – 82 cases, or 43 percent, according to the AFJC.

Commoditising tragedy?

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-26

The picture of the Jet Airways employee has gone viral but what about her privacy and how the picture was used?

The heat is on at DNA

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-26

Two members of the DNA staff in Mumbai fainted in office on Friday (March25)  because the air-conditioning has failed for the last few days. Repeated attempts to bring this to the notice of the HR department have come to nought. A new spin to 'hot' news?  ..

Holi Times

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-25

When you own a newspaper, 39 photos of your Holi party go up on it's website. Part of the "advertorial, entertainment,  industry promotional feature" business?   ..

Cricket on TV: Egos, axes, and biases

IN Opinion | 2016-03-25

Why do TV channels choose ex-cricketers with a less than glorious track record to commentate on the glorious game?

Twitter diplomacy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-25

PM Narendra Modi started following Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia on Twitter. Both were highly gratified, and tweeted pleased messages thanking him for following them. And promptly put in requests for pending clearances from the Centre. Whatever bills the Delhi Vidhan Sabha passed in a..

Boycott JLF if Zee is sponsor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-24

The Telegraph  reports that several writers have begun a campaign for the  boycott of  the Jaipur Literature Festival if the Zee Group continues to be its chief sponsor. The paper says that they are "upset with the channel for allegedly airing 'doctored videos' in the JNU case and labelling poet Gauhar Raza..

Hindu gets a new editor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-23

The Hindu has announced that Mukund Padmanabhan who was editor of Business Line will be the next editor of the paper. Raghavan Srinivasan, Senior Associate Editor of Business Line, has been named as editor of Business Line. The paper says that both appointments were made on the basis of the..

Failing to curb J&K’s bogus newspapers

IN Media Business | 2016-03-23

A new advertisement policy is intended to tackle ‘litho’ papers but look closely and its loopholes will allow them to get through the net

Kerala backtracks on RTI restrictions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-23

Apropos our earlier brief on the Kerala government order restricting information which could be given under RTI on vigilance probes, the latest is that the order has been withdrawn after the Opposition created a ruckus over it. The Hindu reports that the office order issued by the Vigilance and Anti..

Vulnerable in Bastar

IN Media Freedom | 2016-03-23

A reporter is picked up on an obscenity charge even as two others still languish in jail in Bastar. Conflict zone pits journalists against each other.

Another C'garh scribe picked up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-22

Sources in Chhattisgarh report that Prabhat Singh, a fearless local journalist from Dantewada, was picked up by the police last night. He had reportedly been a strong critic of I G Police S P Kalluri, and had played a key role in highlighting many of the police atrocities in Dantewada district...

2001-2016 --- What a Hoot!

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-21

Enfants terrible grow old, a lurch to the Right, family coups and the rise of Arnab the Terrible.

The media’s record on SAR Geelani

IN Archive | 2016-03-21

As the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack accused S AR Geelani is acquitted by the High Court, it is instructive to revisit the reporting on his case,

Commercial uplinking

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-21

This advert appeared in the Mumbai Times of India today: “News Channel, Already on Tata Sky, Dish, DD Freedish, and cable networks, Desires to sell TIME SLOTS  for News Bulletin and Entertainment content. Producers, Broadcasters, Journalists and Cable Operators may call…” Who needs an uplinking licence from the ministry of..

Convenient restrictions

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-20

The Kerala  government has imposed restrictions on providing information on vigilance probes against ministers, MLAs, MPs and all-India service officials under the RTI Act. The Indian Express reported that according to a government notification issued in January  the T-Branch (Top Secret Section) of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has been..

Deutsche Welle seeks more visibility

IN Media Business | 2016-03-18

Although the German channel is available on some DTH platforms, it is now poised to reach the urban middle class through Tata Sky.

Loksatta and Mother Teresa

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-18

Loksatta, a Marathi newspaper of the Express Group,  has withdrawn its editorial 'Asantanche sant" published on March 17, with the editor expressing regret if "it has hurt the sentiments of the readers". The editorial had questioned sainthood of Mother Teressa. The withdrawal was posted on the newspaper's website. Girish Kuber..

Not a story?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-18

A job aspirant on the J.P. Nagar Infosys campus is killed by falling bricks. The Hindu did three stories in its Bangalore edition and one decently  displayed story in its national edition (March 16) and the TOI carried a small story in its Bangalore edition. So did Deccan Herald and Deccan..

Trump gets the most free media

IN Opinion | 2016-03-17

The media prioritizes Trump, then Clinton, and, if there’s time left over, Sanders. Sanders’ major sin appears to have been choosing to discuss policy,

Journalist or not?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-16

The TOI's reporting of the case involving the reporting of an RTI reply in Milli Gazette is intriguing. Three other papers describe Pushp Sharma who was picked up by the police on March 15 as a journalist working for Milli Gazette. But TOI does not mention the publication and insists..

Rustication or not?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-16

So was Kanhaiya Kumar's rustication recommended by the JNU panel or not? The TOI's page one headline said `JNU panel for expulsion of Kanhaiya, five others', as did Hindustan Times'. But The Hindu headline mentioned only two students. The copy said the rustication of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya was..

Ditch your preconceptions

IN Books | 2016-03-15

Whatever fixed ideas you have about the Chinese media vs the Indian, forget them. Both are constrained, in different ways.

Saffron fantasy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-14

"Secularists shaken by Sri Sri's grand show" said the headline for Swapan Dasgupta's 'Usual Suspects' column in the Pioneer. But the column itself  rambled on from News TV's Delhi obsession, to Kanhaiya Kumar, to the assertion that a similar event by a minority faith group would not have seen the..

Jamia Radio: Hello, hello.....?

IN Community Media | 2016-03-14

Is anyone listening to Jamia Community Radio? If not, is it because its content is irrelevant?

Some like it soft: Indians and satire

IN Opinion | 2016-03-11

Satirical news websites are not sharp, witty and edgy. Despite a good start, they have fallen back on a formula.

Forgotten the Good Times, asks Mallya

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-11

As the media heat on Mallya grows expect some embarrassing disclosures about media honchos to surface. The Hindu has a foretaste today in a tweet from him which it quotes:  "Let media bosses not forget help, favours, accommodation that I have provided over several years which are documented. Now lies..

Zee's favourite theme

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-10

Doesn't Zee News ever get  tired of its own hyped up nationalism act?  Last night (march 9)  Sudhir Chaudhary was at it again on his programme called DNA, ranting about an 'Afzhal premi gang' which supports the breaking up of the country. The specific target was scientist and poet Gauhar..

Yamuna and AoL: selective environmentalism?

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-10

The frenzied media outrage over the event is great but where were the channels all these years when others were guilty too?

Will diversification bail out NDTV?

IN Media Business | 2016-03-09

NDTV’s expansion into a digital business and e-commerce could rescue a TV venture which has been losing money for years.

Women's Day, DD style

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-09

On March 8 this year Doordarshan  pulled in their celebrated women anchors of yesteryear to return to the studio. Ghazala Amin, Rini Simon, Usha Alberqurque and others participated in a  6.30 pm discussion to mark International Women's  Day that had great nostalgia value.  ..

ET’s charming whitewash

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-08

…this article was a masterclass in avoiding a word, a specific word — the word “crook”…or any variant thereof.

Zee chief on backfoot?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-08

On Monday when the Delhi government decided to take legal action against channels which had been accused of airing doctored footage on the JNU episode,  Zee TV owner Subhash Chandra went on his channel at night saying they had not doctored any videos and the allegations against Zee TV were false...

Different takes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-08

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's forthcoming jamboree on the banks of the Jamuna spread over 1000 acres of land has run into a huge controversy. While some channels like NDTV India and CNN IBN on Monday evening discussed the environmental concerns raised with 35 lakh people expected to attend, Aaj Tak took the..

Criminalising the public discourse

IN Opinion | 2016-03-07

A much bigger game is being played out in the JNU episode, involving political power and corporate interests. Eyeballs are not sought for advertising alone,

So much attention!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-07

The media is intent upon launching Kanhaiya Kumar on his political career  earlier than he might have planned. With a little help from Sitaram Yechury who claimed him for the CPM last week. The interviews are endless: when he is not making speeches on the campus, the JNUSU leader has..

Death threats for Dutt

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-05

NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt has been receiving death threats for her JNU coverage.  She filed an FIR  on March 4  and the police visited the NDTV premises.  This comes after  the death threat  to Asianet news editor  Sindhu Suryakumar for hosting a discussion on 'Whether Celebrating Mahishasur Jayanthi is an..

Sudhir Chaudhury rails again

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-04

Zee TV now spends a lot of its energy countering real and imagined attacks on its JNU coverage, specially its videos.  Late last  night anyone who tuned into Zee News caught Sudhir Chaudhury holding up offending English newspapers (HT, IE, TOI) and railing against their coverage of the JNU episodes...

The good news is, there’s plenty of it

IN Digital Media | 2016-03-04

A portal called The Better India which carries only good news gets over four million hits a month. Get inspired by their stories.

How the media twisted Irani on Mahishasura

IN Media Practice | 2016-03-02

Why were her remarks framed as being in opposition to Mahishasura worship rather than as opposition to the denigration of Durga?

News apps: DailyHunt and Inshorts blaze a trail

IN Digital Media | 2016-03-02

NDTV is still the leader but these two apps, with more than 11 million downloads, are snapping at its heels.

Significant miss

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-03-01

In the spades of coverage that the  FM’s rural focus in the Union Budget got, a significant aspect was almost entirely un-commented on, with one exception. Who was much of this rural spending going to be channeled  through? It took an economist-turned-journalist-turned finance minister to point out that the  Rs..

Trendy DD

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-29

 The finance minister answered questions from the public on Doordarshan. The interlocutor  was adman Piyush Pandey, and the public was on Twitter, as Pandey read out questions for Arun Jaitley to answer. ..

Budget for dummies

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-29

The Hindu website helpfully provides this glossary of terms used in the budget for those who want to comprehend budget talk. The paper also gave a minute by minute enumeration of budget proposals as they unfolded, interspersed with soundbites from their editors.  ..

Peddling simplistic ideas of nationalism

IN Opinion | 2016-02-29

The media is trying to redefine and appropriate definitions for concepts like nationalism under a propaganda-induced context.

Catch News changes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-29

Nobody at the editorial set up at Catch News is clear yet about why editor-in-chief Shoma Chaudhury was called to Jaipur last week and asked to quit. The site's editor Bharat Bhushan remains for now, he has not been asked to quit. ..

Green inconvenience

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-29

As the finance minister was reading the Budget speech the Press Information Bureau helpfully informed journalists that this year hard copies of the budget will not be distributed at Parliament House and at the National Media Centre. The number of  hard copies had been curtailed it said, as part of..

Murthal rapes: the risks of premature news

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-29

The initial Tribune story, with no victims and limited evidence, raises questions about reporting during social unrest when rumours abound.

Instagram blocks pix in Kashmir

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-28

 Are social media sites getting more hyper after the JNU incidents? A piece of graffiti in Srinagar yesterday, clicked by a photographer and posted on Instagram,  resulted in the latter removing the picture. It said "Kashmir hearts beats only for Pakistan" (sic),  the occasion being the Indo-Pak cricket match on..

Soooo impressed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-28

Prannoy Roy was impressed with this year's Economic Survey. His programme with Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on NDTV on Feb 26 began thus: "In 15 years of covering the economic survey I have never said this. It is the best researched, most comprehensive, pathbreaking, most excellent economic survey that..

A new Tehelka

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-27

Mathew Samuel who investigated Tehelka's Operation West End in 2001 and has been editing that magazine of late, has just launched a new venture which is kicking off with an investigation  on Congress politician Rajeev Shukla. It alleges a money laundering scam involving match fixing money and provides documents..

A religion born out of new media

IN Digital Media | 2016-02-27

Dinkoism has emerged in Kerala from the vibrant troll culture that rules the Malayali social media scenario.

The powerful four

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-26

The Indian Express's 2016 pullout on the 100 most powerful Indians does not explain either the criteria or the methodology adopted by the paper in making its selection. It does not explain why those dropped from last year's list have been dropped. The latter list includes the editor-owner of  Dainik..

What does the internet mean to low-income Indians?

IN Research Studies | 2016-02-26

It’s a basic need. They all want it. But a new study shows how education, age and gender determine internet access.

The art of manufacturing international outrage

IN Opinion | 2016-02-25

One area of persistent obfuscation in many media accounts, especially in international media, was the use of Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech of Feb 11 as the reason for his arrest.

Mutual promotion

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-25

Said Smriti Irani at one point during her speech in the Lok Sabha on Feb 24, "This is not a video, not a police, not an Arnab Goswami, this is the report of the security personnel who do not have connection with the government".  Are his competitors eating their hearts..

Which daily was it?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-24

 The article for which Ashish Nandy has said he is willing to apologise was titled Blame the Middle Class, and published by the Times of India on January 8, 2008.  Most news reports on Feb 24 did not name the daily while reporting what Nandy told the Supreme Court. This..

“The government started to give up control”

IN Media Business | 2016-02-24

Twenty five years after the 1991 liberalisation The Hoot interviews leading media business players on how it shaped India’s media explosion.

Saintly Melodrama at Prime Time

IN Opinion | 2016-02-24

Ravish Kumar’s histrionics on NDTV are well-received while other anchors are lampooned as dangerous rabble rousers.

Fake videos: checks channels can do

IN Digital Media | 2016-02-23

As the Kanhaiya video controversy continues, the BBC's Social Media Editor explains how to handle videos.

Harassing the messenger

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-22

On February 21 and 22 the Special Task Force in Delhi has been tracking down journalists who are covering the JNU student protests, visiting their homes or calling them up. Reporters from DNA, HT, Dainik Jagran and NDTV are among those who have received such unwelcome attention. The men receive..

"Shrinking space for dissent"

IN Videos | 2016-02-22

    The BG Verghese memorial lecture by Gopal Gandhi, March 19, 2015 at the Indian International Centre, New Delhi.     A panel discussion on Shrinking space for Dissent, March 19, 2015.   Panelists: Siddharth Varadarajan, Shubha Mudgal, Ashok Malik, Nilanjana Roy.     ..

How Zee TV fuelled state action against JNU students

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-21

Local police filed their FIR not on the basis of the information they gathered on campus on February 9, but on the basis of Zee TV footage made available to them.

On the sins of TV anchors

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-20

The JNUSU events in Delhi  since February 9 have seen two kinds of assaults involving media—an attack on journalists within the Patiala House Courts, and an assault by some TV anchors on the JNU student community, repeated every day.  Journalists protested all week about the first, and have been totally..

Closing in, in Bastar

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-19

Even as press freedom advocates are now absorbed in protesting  the attacks on journalists in Delhi, the situation is becoming grimmer for the reporter  whose property was attacked last week. Malini Subramaniam's young household help was summoned to the police station twice  for interrogation, and kept there for hours...

New information commissioners

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-19

The BJP government's commitment to the right to freedom of information shines through in every appointment of information commissioners that it makes. The two latest names to be announced are of former I & B Secretary Bimal Julka, and former special director in the Intelligence Bureau D P Sinha. Julka..

“Liberalisation allows you to play in a much bigger field”

IN Media Business | 2016-02-19

Twenty five years after the 1991 liberalisation The Hoot interviews leading media business players on how it shaped India’s media explosion.

Can Wikipedia revive dying Indian languages?

IN Digital Media | 2016-02-19

Yes, by encouraging content and involvement, Wikipedia language communities keep languages relevant.

Never a Dull Moment

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-18

Various news channels' coverage of the JNU crisis and the Patiala House Court attacks range from the outrageous to the laughable. Arnab the Terrible on Feb 17's Newshour Debate, lashed out at the media at large for being unprofessional (read anti-national) and not having the courage, as Times Now did, ..

News TV takes

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-18

On Zee TV Prime time anchor Sudhir Choudhary while unraveling the day's events in his news show aired a clip from the  epic tele-serial Chankaya in which the legendary statesman talked about the importance of Rashtra Dharma and how supporting nationhood was the ultimate and foremost duty of every individual...

Arnab Goswami constructs moral panic

IN Opinion | 2016-02-17

Racial comments are so common in social media. Goswami provided one more opportunity for it,

Even more headless

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-17

Public broadcasters Door-darshan and All India Radio, have been functioning without regular DGs for over an year now. Now DD's acting DG Lalrosanga, who was appointed last year to head the broadcaster till a regular DG is chosen, has sent in his papers to the Information and Broadcasting ministry citing “personal..

No Sirji!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-17

For a channel that didn't report on the attacks by lawyers on the media and JNU students, in its Feb 15 primetime shows, Times Now in its Feb 17 afternoon coverage more than made up by closely following the latest attacks against the media and students by a belligerent set of..

The art of manufacturing nationalist outrage

IN Opinion | 2016-02-17

Evidently the Times Group does not have a problem with the damage their anchor and channel can do.

Playing Down the Malda Violence

IN Opinion | 2016-02-17

Was it because the mob was Muslim and the victims Hindu? The English media’s credibility is at issue.

A black day for media and democracy

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-16

Sedition charges, BJP assaulters, attackers in lawyers’ robes, nationalist anchors—the media’s freedom was tested on Monday by all of these.

Arnab does JNU’s anti nationals a favour

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-16

 I am talking about hypocrisy with a capital H, Arnab Goswami screamed on Times Now on Feb 15, referring to free speech issues which arose during the UPA regime. He claimed that he did not see freedom of expression become an  issue then. Not only was he rewriting history, he..

Self censoring again

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-16

PTI and others report that “a TV channel has been directed by a Delhi court to pay Rs 20 lakh damages to three sacked police officials, including former ACP S S Rathi, who are serving life terms in the 1997 Connaught Place shootout case, for harming their reputation by showing defamatory contents.”..

The Hindu’s troubled financials

IN Media Business | 2016-02-15

Over the last two years the paper and its parent company have been increasingly in the news for their human resource and financial management,

Facebook’s censorship

IN Digital Media | 2016-02-14

The social media giant removed a cartoon published in Kashmir on Afzhal Guru’s death anniversary.

Bastar: the story not told

IN Regional Media | 2016-02-13

Rape, beatings and looting in Bastar by the security forces remain hidden because of media indifference.

Gushing ET

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-13

The Economic Times was the only paper to write a first edit on Mukesh Bansal's exit from Flipkart. On Feb 12 it had an effusive headline--Bye, Third Fiddle, Hail Entrepreneur--and explained why the paper thought his exit would benefit both Flipkart and the man himself. And it ended with  an amazing final..

In its hurry, TRAI ignores crucial aspects

IN Law and Policy | 2016-02-13

Its regulation ‘saving’ the internet can be seen as unconstitutional in that it limits freedom of expression.

Made for each other

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-13

A TV spectacle. Last night Nupur Sharma of the BJP and anchor Zakka Jacob had a royal spat on CNN- IBN while debating the JNU students sedition issue. It deteriorated by the second and had Jacob asking Sharma if she lacked any TV decorum and Sharma actually said yes she..

What a silly column

IN Opinion | 2016-02-13

What appeared in the HT was not a column but an Ode to Hollande by Karan Thapar  

Zika vaccine and press release journalism

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-12

Coverage of Bharat Biotech’s Zika ‘’vaccine’’ was almost totally uncritical despite the dubiousness of the claim.

Here’s why Chhattisgarh police won’t act against attackers

IN Regional Media | 2016-02-12

Local Hindi papers expose links between the Samajik Ekta Manch (which attacked the Scroll contributor’s house) and the police.

Hamara PM

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-11

Each year the Press Information Bureau in Delhi comes up with a large coloured calendar that has beaming pictures of beneficiaries of government schemes. This year it does that and manages to promote the PM too. Cutouts of him posing in a range of jackets--a different pastel shade for different..

HuffPost Live bites the dust

IN Media Business | 2016-02-11

Even Arianna Huffington has failed to figure out the future of video news.

How politicians let their hair down

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-11

Dancing a jig on TV, firing in the air, disco-dancing –politicians seem to have become bolder and more open.

Press club privileges

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-10

Its great to be a member of the Mumbai Press Club. Goodies keep coming your way. The latest is Vodafone offering a special corporate scheme for members. This includes free replacement of the 4G sim, unlimited free calling within group, waiver of the activation deposit, exclusive tariffs for Mumbai Press Club, etc. etc...

Sex-obsessed hacks and the harm they do

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-10

Hacks use sex to tarnish and malign the accused. The coverage of the Arzoo murder is a case in point,

Raking it in

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-09

In what must be a record for media companies anywhere in the world the Times Group has reported a profit growth of 44 per cent in FY 2015. According to the data provided by the company to the Registrar of Companies (ROC) BCCL's income was three and a half times more than..

Cease and Desist

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-09

While reporting on February 7 on the murder of the 23-year-old from Delhi University many news channels, prominent among them India Today, kept repeating that the victim was found in the home of her ‘boyfriend’ even as her distraught mother was shown weeping inconsolably. The network even suggested that it..

TRAI upholds net neutrality

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-08

TRAI ruled today in favour of net neutrality, and prohibited discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. What are the implications of this for Facebook's Free Basics? Free data to some extent is allowed only as long as it is website agnostic. So in effect it strikes..

Dubious ethics in Bengaluru assault reporting

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-08

The media hypes up racism, but who will call out the racism that Deccan Chronicle and others displayed,

New Yorker Shooting Blindly at Bernie Sanders

IN Opinion | 2016-02-08

The 'New Yorker' is clearly in this attack mode. It ran a piece by Alexandra Schwartz asking, “Should Millennials Get Over Bernie Sanders?” You can guess the answer.

Tell us and we'll tell the world

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-07

Some kinds of sponsored trips for journalists are not a bad idea. In January  the Sikkim government took journalists from Delhi to study how the state had become  India’s first fully organic farming state. The trip was meant to coincide with the prime minister's visit to Sikkim to  announce this..

Requiem for a demonised university

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-06

The coverage of such crises have always thrown up the responsibility aspect of our media. In its quest for prime time justice it seems oblivious to the damage it does,

Delaying defamation verdicts defers justice

IN Judgements | 2016-02-06

The Star News and IBN7 cases show how the courts are failing to hold the media to account.

China’s great media wall

IN Media Freedom | 2016-02-05

The outlook for 2016 is even worse. The draft Cyber Security Law proposes to make it an offence to use encryption programs or publish anonymously.

The BJP government’s preferred icon

IN Special Reports | 2016-02-04

Sardar Patel is energetically memorialized by this government, Ambedkar embraced, and Nehru snubbed,

Inconveniencing SoBo

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-02

Mumbai saw a 3-4000 strong morcha against Rohith Vemula's suicide on Feb. 1, unusual by the city's apathetic standards. Traffic in the  commercial hub of South Mumbai was held up. Predictably, that was the aspect emphasised in the English press. TOI Mumbai  said on page 1: ``Rohith death: Stir hits..

Where would you be without us?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-02-02

Arnab Goswami's modest take on the change Times Now has brought about in 10 years: "The coverage by Times Now from 2010 to 2012 brought in a massive change in terms of bringing corruption as a subject of public debate and a subject on which politicians were held accountable. Before the Times..

Dalit voices, loud and clear

IN Media Practice | 2016-02-02

The YouTube channel, Dalit Camera Ambedkar, captures events and emotions the mainstream media has no time for.

When reportage illuminates

IN Books | 2016-02-01

The latest book on the North East is essentially journalistic ethnography--it explains complexities and leaves the judging mostly to the reader.

Media and civil society only hear dead people

IN Opinion | 2016-02-01

Media misread campus politics. The ABVP’s Hindutva aggression is not normal student activism, but they ignored this until it led to Rohith’s suicide,

Not a dull page

IN Books | 2016-01-30

The entrepreneur from Haryana who built the Zee empire tells an unvarnished story. Tact and discretion do not figure.

Hi tech memorialising

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-30

On Jan. 30  Divya Bhaskar has a 2.59 minute drone video on the journey of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from Mohandas to Mahatma. The paper claims it is the first time that its readers are being offered a unique video taken using drones. The video is called Gandhi Circuit. It takes the readers to Porbandar,..

When Kannada papers outdid the English press

IN Media Practice | 2016-01-29

The Republic Day release of convicts in Karnataka got better and a more humane coverage in the Kannada press rather than the English press.

When just reporting is not enough

IN Media Practice | 2016-01-28

As an expat reporter in Bahrain, Anwar Moideen’s stories uncover the lives of poor Indian workers and touch the conscience of local people.

Media, journalism and technology predictions 2016

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-28

In the survey of 130 leading Editors, CEOs and Digital Leaders for this report, 79% said they would be investing more in online news video this year

Confession vindicates Tehelka

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-27

The confession  of the constable in the Chungkham Sanjit case also helps two vindicate two journalists who have faced repeated enquiries since then. Six and a half years ago Tehelka magazine carried photographs of a man being shot dead in an alleged encounter, following which the then correspondent who procured..

Media related awardees

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-26

This years Padma awards had its share of journalists in every category. The Padma Vibhushan was conferred upon Ramoji Rao, the founder of the Eenadu Group. Barjinder Singh Hamdard, the managing editor of the Punjabi newspaper Daily Ajit, and columnist and TV commentator Ashok Malik were conferred the Padma Bhushan..

Dead or "dead"?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-25

Why is TOI repeatedly using the word death in this story  about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in inverted commas?  Does the paper not believe that he is dead? (TOI, January 23)    ..

Global news from a South Asian perspective

IN Media Business | 2016-01-24

‘People want to see the world from a South Asian lens. They have never had this opportunity before.’

Kashmir’s fake news and fake journalists

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-24

The rumour about anti-polio drops killing Kashmiri children is the latest example of fake journalists misusing social media to spread lies.

Subhash Chandra's gossip

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-23

Does the PMO screen books that the PM agrees to release at 7 RCR? If they scanned  Zee founder Subhash Chandra’s autobiography their either missed or decided to ignore some tales. One on former PM Vajpayee who would not appear on Aap ki Adalat before the 1999 elections because he..

New editor for EPW

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-23

The Economic and Political Weekly which has been in the news recently following the resignation of its editor, announced today that Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, journalist, publisher, author, Hoot contributor and Media  Foundation board member will be the next editor of the journal. Among the members of the Sameeksha Trust who..

DB returns to English publishing

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-22

 Four years after exiting DNA, their joint venture with Zee media in Mumbai, the Dainik Bhaskar group will be launching an English newspaper in the city that is their base: Bhopal. To be called DB Post, the venture's first move has been to poach good people from the Hindustan Times's..

No naming and shaming

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-22

Whats with this habitual self-censoring of the names of media outlets while reporting? TOI reports actress Poonam Pandey filing a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against "a media house" for a scurrilous story they carried. HT and India report the same but also decline to name. Why not? It is clear from the story.  ..

Maharashtra leads in free speech violations

IN Special Reports | 2016-01-21

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the states which registered the most free speech related cases in 2015.

For my friends

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-21

PM Modi is generous with time and praise for those media men who have been part of his life’s journey. In Dec. 2014 it was for Rajat Sharma celebrating the 21st  anniversary of Aap ki Adalat. On January 20 he released Zee founder Subhash Chandra’s autobiography at his residence. A small gesture to make..

Journalists under attack

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-21

Siddharth Varadarajan, founder editor of the Wire, was held hostage for half and hour in the office of the VC at Allahabad University by ABVP members of the student union journalist on January 20, according to TOI. In Ahmedabad journalist Revati Laul was attacked by riot accused  where she went to research her book, reports..

Not outwitted by FB

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-20

Facebook’s aggressive ad campaign after TRAI  asked for its Free Basics to be put on hold  may not have been such a bright idea after all. In this point by point rebuttal of Facebook's response to TRAI, the regulator takes apart its methods for drumming up support for Free Basics. It spells out why the..

Double standards

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-19

Media houses such as Rajasthan Patrika and Dainik Bhaskar are sponsoring events at the Jaipur lit fest.  The Patrika  is sponsoring an event on Trial by Media featuring Avirook Sen, Shoma Chaudhury and others.  The irony is that this is a paper which participated in a similar trial by media with the kind of reporting  it..

When journalists also pitched in…

IN Media Practice | 2016-01-19

The media overcame its scepticism of the odd-even scheme to publicise and support the scheme in a big way.

Modi vs Kejriwal on Twitter

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-18

The prime minister is not afraid to be boring, and sounds remarkably like Doordarshan. The CM is not afraid to be pugnacious, and retweets journalists all the time.

Lampooning dowry

IN Opinion | 2016-01-18

Two new videos depicting men who accept dowry as objects purchased by the bride, have received very little play in the media.

Television diplomacy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-17

 India and Pakistan may have deferred official talks  following the Pathankot attacks but an Indian channel - India Today - began track II diplomacy of sorts by telecasting a joint broadcast with Pakistan's premier media house, Dawn News. Anchoring the programme at the India Today end, Rajdeep Sardesai declared that..

Unreported NGT ruling

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-15

On January 8, 2016 the Pune bench of the National Green Tribunal upheld the appeal of fishermen in Gujarat against the environment clearance   given by the MOEF to the expansion plans of the  Adani-Hajira Port Pvt. Ltd.  It held the EC illegal and set it aside. The NGT said mangrove..

The Miracle of Radio ‘Bultoo’

IN Community Media | 2016-01-15

In this Adivasi region, about 80% of the residents not only have Bluetooth technology-enabled phones, but also routinely utilise it to transfer songs and films,

Requiem for a news channel

IN Media Business | 2016-01-15

On January 13, we learned that Al Jazeera America would soon close. If AJAM gave us one thing in its brief life in the US, it was a dedication to covering economic inequality in the wake of Occupy Wall Street.

PC interviews Barkha

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-15

In a reversal of roles, UPA heavyweight P Chidambaram interviewed Barkha Dutt at the Mumbai launch of her book ``This Unquiet Land''. The interviewer was sharp; the interviewee not always so. When Chidambaram blamed the media and NGOs for thwarting govt.  efforts to strengthen anti-terror measures, Barkha was quick to retort:..

Twitter’s policy reboot: the good, the bad, and the ugly

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-15

The lack of transparency in what is considered the promotion of terrorism risks Twitter applying its new policy to users inconsistently and arbitrarily,

RSS's image management

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-14

The RSS thinks it is getting bad press as a communal organisation and needs to do something about it. It will hold a five-hour session for journalists on Friday Jan 15 to acquaint them with the true nature of the organisation, its history and thinking. There will be discussion on..

Media start-up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-13

Pankaj Mishra, formerly with ET and Mint, along with a few others, is launching a new media platform which is looking to be India's answer to Vice+Atlantic+Verge. Apparently, Accel Partners, which also has interests in Facebook, is funding it. Like several others, they are also in informal talks with the new..

Self-censorship vs FOE?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-13

Caravan has published 'The Father of Man', a short story by Saikat Majumdar on its web exclusive Vantage section, with the explanation that the story 'was summarily dropped by Mint Lounge, just as the paper was on the point of carrying it in a year-end fiction special issue'. The decision was reportedly taken after..

A constellation of godmen

IN Opinion | 2016-01-13

TV godmen thrive and astrology is embedded in the papers. But neither media, politicians, nor courts want to curb the mumbo-jumbo epidemic,

Mirror's insensitive gaffe

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-12

While the 'selfie' tragedy occupies media interest in Mumbai, a front-page report from Mumbai Mirror today (Jan 12) mixed up the names of the young girl who was rescued and the one who has not been traced. They fell into the waters off Bandra Bandstand while taking selfies. The paper had two..

Responding to Netflix

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-11

Competition is always good for consumers. With the advent of Netflix  last week in the  Indian market, Tata Sky has had a change of heart. Its online app Everywhere TV which offered  80+ streaming TV channels live for  Rs 60 a month, has now become free for Tata Sky subscribers. For..

Ignoring Sadhvi Prachi’s latest

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-11 seems to be the only news site which reported Member of Parliament Sadhvi Prachi’s controversial statement in Lucknow that following the Pathankot incident Muslim officers in the Indian army should be investigated for their possible links to Pakistan. "Kahin unke taar Pakistan se to jude nahin hai…” she is reported..

Facebook: Opening the gates to the Web or closing them?

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-11

Does the fact that only 30 websites are part of Facebook’s Free Basics mean an increase in its ‘gatekeeping’ power?

Expansive anchor

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-10

Keep your questions short, Barkha Dutt tells her audience while anchoring a session with three Nobel Peace Laureates on NDTV. She needs to watch a playback of this session to see why this is advice she needs to follow herself. After she’s done ranging all over the place, you want..

Bail denied

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-09

Barely two weeks after CM Raman Singh promised a delegation of journalists that his government would work to find a route for the speedy release of two journalists in jail,  bail has been denied to one of them, Santosh Yadav, after the  state prosecutor opposed it.  What price a chief minister's assurances?  ..

Will media now pursue names of big defaulters?

IN Media Practice | 2016-01-09

A Supreme Court ruling will finally force banks to reveal who is defaulting on loans. Public interest will trump secrecy if reporters persist with RTIs,

Copying my idea

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-07

Former Indian Express editor  Shekhar Gupta’s latest venture, a broadcasting and media production company called ThePrint, is kicking off with an event series whose format  is identical to the Express Adda, started during his stewardship of the newspaper. This one is called Off The Cuff, and has him interviewing Soft Bank Corp president..

Not giving in to critics

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-07

The next stage in Facebook's relentless advertising push for Free Basics is a single page ad which appears on January 7 only in the Times of India and the Hindustan Times. In it Mark Zuckerberg ups the ante, personally urging people to respond to TRAI's consultation on whether free basic internet services should..

TV anchor certifies I & B minister's integrity

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-07

India TV proprietor and anchor Rajat Sharma made minor history by deposing in court in defence of the information and broadcasting minister’s 'integrity, honesty and high moral standards’. This was at the Patiala House court in Delhi, during a hearing  on Arun Jaitley's defamation case against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and 5 other..

Reporting on the Naxal movement

IN Research Studies | 2016-01-06

How well do India’s multiple language dailies provide essential political knowledge to citizens of this electoral democracy?

Parthasarathy's resignation

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-05

Malini Parthasarathy who quit the editorship of the Hindu today said in her mail to her colleagues that she had done so "in view of the strong feedback I have been receiving on 'general dissatisfaction' with my performance as Editor these last 11 months." She added that she was deeply..

Changes at the Hindu

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-05

Malini Parthasarathy dropped the description editor from her Twitter handle today setting off speculation about her not remaining editor of the paper. Her Facebook page remains unchanged. News coming in from Chennai indicates that an interim editor has been appointed, Suresh Nambath. The board will meet in coming days, and..

Malicious reporting?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-05

The Tamil Nadu government has begun the new year undeterred, filing two criminal defamation complaints against TOI and Dinamalar for their coverage of the Chennai floods. In Dec. 2015 the Supreme Court had observed that the bulk of defamation cases in the country are filed in Tamil Nadu. The city..

Five net neutrality myths busted

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-04

Neither side in the debate fully supports the public interest in its entirety, only partially.

Are they comparable?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-04

Are Indian Muslims comparable to Muslim immigrants in Europe? While both are minorities surely the crucial difference is that Muslims in India  are Indians, not immigrants?  Praveen Swamy in his question to the Belgian Ambassador in the Express `Idea Exchange'  (January 3) seems to forget this. It's the ambassador who points..

KCR govt persists against Outlook

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2016-01-03

Outlook magazine is not totally out of the woods in the  defamation case filed against it for an item on an IAS officer in the CM's office in Telangana. Even as the Hyderabad high court quashed the case against it calling it  an "abuse of legal process", the Telangana government got a  defamation case..

Environment reporting in digital media

IN Digital Media | 2016-01-02

When rated for the degree of original content offered, The News Minute and Catch News came out on top.

Free speech in India, 2015

IN Special Reports | 2015-12-31

Eight deaths, 30 attacks, 48 cases of defamation, 14 of sedition—its been grim year for free speech in India.

Doesn't climate change affect Hindi readers?

IN Media Monitoring | 2015-12-30

A comparative analysis of coverage from and related to the Paris summit shows that Hindi newspapers gave substantially less coverage than the English press.

Media minorityism

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-30

This year information and broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley threw a Christmas party on December 29 with bishops, sundry Delhi citizens of the Christian faith and and an assortment of Christian journalists invited, mostly Malayalis, for some reason. A choir sang Christmas carols and the guests took home gifts of Christmas..

Now we're spat at

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-30

This has been a bad year for journalists in India - killed, attacked, beaten and now, spat at! The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) chief Vijayakanth, who has been attacking Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, decided to 'spit' out his fury towards journalists for their alleged lack of courage in..

TOI takes credit

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-27

No occasion is too serious or solemn to be turned into an opportunity for self congratulation.  After the Rajya Sabha passed the amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act the Times of India ran a large advertisement on December 26  taking credit for leading the campaign to lower the age of..

Perils of absolute freedom

IN Opinion | 2015-12-27

The Supreme Court’s 66A ruling earlier this year bolstering free speech was widely applauded. Its downside, though, is torrential abuse on social media,

Facebook’s battle, media’s gain

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-25

Facebook is advertising aggressively after TRAI has asked for its Free Basics to be put on hold, and the newspapers are raking it in. TRAI has asked Reliance Communications, Facebook’s telecom partner in India,  to stop offering Free Basics until it can determine whether it conforms to Net Neutrality, the..

Allegations against Jaitley played down?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-24

It is not unusual for a story which rages on TV networks on any evening to figure only in the inside pages of newspapers the next day. But when charges of nepotism are levelled against the finance minister and occupy prime TV time, one expects newspapers to also report them..

Neelabh Mishra quits Outlook Hindi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-23

Neelabh Mishra, editor  Outlook Hindi, has quit the magazine following the announcement that Alok Mehta will be returning to this magazine as chief editor. The group had originally hired Mehta in 2002 to start the magazine, and he has edited several publications in the interim. These include Nav Bharat Times, Hindustan, Nai..

Mumbai costs hurting the Mahavishnu

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-23

The Hindu's Mumbai edition, launched with much fanfare last month, has set off a crisis for the paper. The editor is under pressure from some members of the Board for exceeding the budget set for the edition. The cost overrun is huge, and the price for it is being paid..

CM Raman Singh promises release of scribes in jail

IN Regional Media | 2015-12-23

C-garh journalists organise against police harrassment, govt concedes demands. “We were adamant that the media representatives on the committee should be field reporters, and not owners or editors.”

Raman Singh govt acts on scribes' plea

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-22

The coming together of 300 journalists from across the Bastar region  to court arrest in front of the office of the IG police, seems to have led the Raipur government on Monday to do something about police cases against the media. CM Raman Singh met scribes and agreed to consider their demands..

Is media creating mass hysteria?

IN Media Practice | 2015-12-21

Was the juvenile brutalised by his depiction? Do the facts of the case fly in the face of the media myth-making?

The democratic swindle

IN Opinion | 2015-12-21

The media – an instrument of democracy – is used by the ruling elite to undermine the interests of the majority in a democracy.

Give us your version

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-20

Tavleen Singh interviewed Arun Jaitley for the Indian Express on the DDCA accusations made by the Aam Admi Party. It is a delightful example of  how to do an enabling interview. No tetchy cross-questioning here.  ..

One blunders, another blusters

IN Media Practice | 2015-12-20

If anchors would do some homework before launching into shrill debates, the outcome would be more informative for viewers,

Don't name the paper

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-20

A journalist from a Rajasthan newspaper is arrested and denied bail for reporting that a Pakistan flag was seen flying in the Dausa area. This is after residents file a complaint saying it is actually the flag of a community and the report was an insult to their beliefs. The..

Newspaper shut down in Manipur

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-18

The journalist fraternity of the State came out on Imphal streets on Wednesday to protest against the bomb threat on Impact TV editor-in-chief Yumnam Rupachandra Singh who is also the general secretary of the Editors’ Guild of Manipur. The newspapers did not come out on December 17. A grenade was found at the..

HT's shady classifieds

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-17

Does HT have a policy on ads it will not accept? On grounds of decency or grammar? This appeared  in the Mumbai edition of the paper on December 17: Alliya Parlour. "Wanted male give full body massage to rich housewives foreigners earn 45000/ guaranteed daily..." etc. The paper actually has..

Media and migrants: fanning prejudices?

IN Special Reports | 2015-12-17

When stories of migrants are reported with no facts or context, the result is toxic, says a new study of migration coverage.

Kejriwal drives the story

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-15

Slum  demolitions are not normally page 1 news for Delhi’s English press. A child could even die unnoticed. But when a CM gets into the act it drives the story. The news about the Shakurbasti night time demolitions by the railways on Dec 12 broke when Arvind Kejriwal tweeted at..

Ten months, it took

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-15

The chargesheet in the Govind Pansare murder case has finally been filed in Pune, ten months after the murder and one day before the judicial custody of the accused was to end. It was filed by a special investigation team of the state police and has been accepted by the..

The paradoxes of censorship

IN Censorship | 2015-12-14

How does one turn to the state to censor when an image does not have a single meaning, when the intention of the author is not fully known, and when the reception is multiple?

For better vision

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-12

Freebies for journalists become more wide ranging by the day.  A group of "experienced eye surgeons"  who say they have come together to open a "state of art multispeciality eye centre"  in the heart of Mumbai at Opera house, have cleverly invited all members of the city's press club to..

December sedition update

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-11

In the first  10 days of the month so far three new cases of sedition have been filed, one each in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and in Tamil Nadu. There were two arrests for sedition in Punjab and Haryana, and one case of denial of bail in a sedition case to..

Unreported job fair

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-10

Jobs are a major concern of the Delhi citizenry, right? But maybe not of the English newspaper readership. Yesterday (Dec 9) was the concluding day of a three week job fair (November 16-December 9) which the Delhi Administration had organised, the second of its kind. Not a line on its..

Flout with impunity

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-09

TRAI's efforts to regulate the number of advertisements run on news and non news channels have not been very successful. While it is mandatory for channels to submit data on the number of minutes of advertising to programming, the data submitted by channels to TRAI shows that close to 140 channels flouted..

Leaks: to report or not to report?

IN Regional Media | 2015-12-08

The Telangana media, by reporting the ruling party’s leaks, has become complicit in its violation of the election code of conduct.

Defamation happy TN

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-07

Reporters from outside Tamil Nadu covering the floods are discovering the self censorship that prevails in the state. Officials won't answer questions at press conferences, they read out statements invoking Amma every now and then. Journalists say  their papers will have defamation cases filed against them if they are critical..

BJP’s commemoration politics

IN Media Practice | 2015-12-07

2015 marks the 125th birth anniversaries of both Ambedkar and Nehru, but the treatment given by GOI to the two is strikingly different.

Failing to read Bihar

IN Opinion | 2015-12-07

A few brilliant reports apart, the preconceptions of the English press prevented them from grasping what was happening in the Bihar election.

Start-up fever

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-06

Journalists are not immune to the start-up fever that they have been reporting. Three of them have left different editions of the Economic Times in recent weeks to start digital companies. That includes the principal correspondent and the technology editor at the Bangalore ET who are partnering another person to..

Syria's anonymous collectives

IN Media Freedom | 2015-12-04

Over four years of conflict, Syria has become a graveyard for both international and local journalists. But a new generation of citizen journalists are replacing war correspondents.

No news for Jaya channels

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-03

While TV channels all over the country are full of footage on the Chennai floods the channels belonging to the ruling AIADMK-- Jaya TV, Jaya Plus and Jaya Max-- are  either unable or unwilling to telecast any news at this time. Jaya Plus has an endless lead-in to a bulletin..

Meet the people who put together the Chennai rains spreadsheet

IN Digital Media | 2015-12-03

Over 250 people have offered their homes so far, promising to accommodate anywhere between two people to 50 families.

Doesn’t merit page 1

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-02

 Starvation deaths in West Bengal’s tea gardens have been intermittently reported  in the mainstream media  in the last few months. Surely more prominent display would force more attention on the issue while Parliament is in session?  The Pioneer reports a figure of 106 deaths from hunger in the past three..

Firings at the Hindu?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-02

The floods in the city are not the only crisis affecting the Hindu in Chennai which failed to come out on December 2. Easing out is apparently taking place of senior staff, though nobody is confirming the names as yet,  or how many.  ..

Not free to caricature ISIS

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-01

Offices of the Lokmat newspaper across Maharashtra were attacked for a cartoon in the paper's supplement which picturised  funding for ISIS as a piggy bank. DNA reports that the article titled 'ISIS cha Paisa' (ISIS' money) and the cartoon irked members of the Muslim community and hundreds of them in..

CNN IBN partnership renewed

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-01

TV18 and CNN International have extended their collaboration on CNN-IBN. Both parties have entered into a licensing agreement for use of the “CNN” brand and CNN news content by TV18 with effect from January 1, 2016. CNN entered India by partnering with IBN, an English-language news channel launched by Network18, in 2005...

More cable channels blocked

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-12-01

The number of Indian channels blocked in Nepal by Cable TV operators has risen to 42. The block is in protest against what is being called  an unofficial "blockade of goods" into the country. A former Maoist splinter party started a campaign against Indian movies and TV channels in Nepal...

Punjab crackdown on social media

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-30

With hatred spreading on social media against the SAD led government, police in Punjab have registered over a dozen cases in the past one month -- including eight against NRIs -- for sedition, issuing threats and posting derogatory material on the internet. At least a hundred requests have been made..

The fringe element is in our living room

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-30

In the intolerance debate, TV channels have been stoking the Hindu-Muslim fires.

Green journalists, red zones

IN Special Reports | 2015-11-30

As the Paris talks begin Reporters Without Borders (RSF) investigates the ‘Hostile Environment for Environmental Journalists.’

Free speech umbrella for paid news?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-28

Speaking at the Times Litfest in Delhi on Saturday evening on legal cases that have shaped Indian democracy, I and B minister Arun Jaitley said the one area in which the Supreme Court has always ruled liberally is free speech. He gave several examples to show how the apex court..

Appeal to Release Journalists Jailed in Chhattisgarh

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-27

Journalists and activists petition ministers for the release of jailed Chhattisgarh journalists.

Journalists attacked in Assam

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-27

Assam Tribune reports that  two miscreants attacked four journalists belonging to different media houses when they went to cover news at 9 Mile, Baridua. The journalists had gone to 9 Mile after being tipped-off about illegal sale of Marijuana in the locality. Sylbester Majaw of T7 news channel of Meghalaya..

Honour all without favour

IN Opinion | 2015-11-27

Do the Ramnath Goenka awards try to honour the excellence of journalists working for small publications and in small places or only those who belong to the elite?

Award as stain remover?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-25

The Ramnath Goenka award for the best broadcast journalist in Hindi for 2013 was given to Sudhir Chaudhary of the Zee-Jindal extortion case fame. A wag wants to know if journalism awards have become stain-removers. As for Chaudhary who is a leading anchor of Zee News, he quizzed Aamir Khan..

Aamir's 'alarm' and media bias

IN Opinion | 2015-11-25

The cliche ‘one is an anecdote, two is a coincidence and three is a trend’ explains the media’s ‘intolerance’ narrative,

Bias: the new norm

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-25

Enough of personal opinion masquerading as reporting. Lamenting this new trend,

A governor’s strange wisdom

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-24

The Governor of Assam and Nagaland, PB Acharya gives the Assam Rifles-Naga Press controversy a fresh lease of life.

Mandatory social sharing

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-23

Medianama reports that the Times of India management has linked the target variable pay (TVP) of their journalists and content developer’s salaries with the amount of social sharing they do of stories written for the paper. The site said it had access to emails which clearly states that every journalist working..

Seeking legitimacy for hate speech

IN Judgements | 2015-11-23

The outcome of Subramanian Swamy’s case is going to be important for the future of both free speech and hate speech in India.

It’s True, media did cover Beirut bombings

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-22

…About 1/40th as much as they covered Paris attacks. The New York Times did cover the Beirut blasts—in one story, on page 6.

NDTV gets ED notice

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-21

 The Hindu reports that the Enforcement Directorate has served a show cause notice on NDTV Limited, involving a sum of Rs.2,030 crore, for violation of FIPB conditions and FEMA rules. NDTV has said that it had received the notice, has been advised that it was not legally tenable and would..

Facebook's 'mistake'

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-20

A former diplomat posted in UK at the time of Narendra Modi's 2003 visit wrote an insider account   for The Wire on November 17.  It was a piece fairly damaging to Mr Modi's recent version of the event, cited on his UK trip. Thereafter the article  apparently disappeared from the..

We are not terrorists

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-20

Earlier this month PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) asked all Pakistani broadcasters to refrain from covering 72 banned groups including LeT, JuD and FIF under UN restriction. But Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has challenged the decision to ban media coverage of his outlawed organisations Jammat-ud-Dawah and its front..

Why so intemperate?

IN Opinion | 2015-11-20

India’s intellectuals are guilty of dishonesty in their depiction of India under Modi.

Assam Rifles:infected with Foot-in-mouth Disease!

IN Opinion | 2015-11-19

Through decades of armed conflict, the media in Nagaland have been playing their role intrepidly and with as much fairness and objectivity their situation allows them.

Paid news in Telangana bypoll?

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-18

Misuse of family-owned media at election time is exemplified in Warangal by the CM's newspaper and TV channel.

Most showed restraint

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-18

What call should a newspaper take on picturising a story about a gruesome incident involving a child? In the case of the Hyderabad schoolchild who died after her head was caught in a lift, most papers used pictures of the school or a passport pic of the victim. The Deccan Chronicle had..

Recall the ones we got right?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-17

The Bihar elections may have been driven out of people's news recall by subsequent events but the outcome still rankles for Today's Chanakya, the pollster who inverted the results somewhat. It has now come up with a new effort to retrieve its reputation: a release saying that they would just..

Reporting or covering up?

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-17

The Kerala media have been self censoring stories to protect advertisers and influential people.

Blank editorials today

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-16

The editors of six newspapers in the North East have issued a statement  reacting to the Assam rifles order. Three have left their editorial space blank today. The Morung Express said, “On the occasion of the National Press Day, The Morung Express is exercising its independent choice to leave the..

Guardians of the law attack free speech

IN Censorship | 2015-11-16

Between the state and some high courts, free speech is constantly under attack. The Assam Rifles order is only the latest in a string of diktats.

The army is totally out of line

IN Censorship | 2015-11-14

“Would the Assam Rifles dare extend the same order to ‘national’ media houses?”

Whose Nehru?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-14

Does Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy only belong to the Congress Party? On the 125th birth anniversary of India's first prime minister it is difficult to find government ads commemorating the occasion. Only front page ads put in by the Congress party, and others by the Rajiv Gandhi Study Circle or the Himachal..

Namo-ste Apollo Hospital!

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-14

After Prime Minister Modi's speech ended at Wembley Stadium, Times Now made full use of its ratings by airing some medical advertising practically in a loop. An advertisement, made to look like a news story, highlighted Apollo Hospital's success in preforming simultaneously a liver and heart transplant surgery. At the end of..

Who needs news?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-13

All of  Friday evening (Nov 13) there was no other news as the news channels shifted focus to Wembley Stadium and stayed there. Dishing out non stop hyperbole: Modi rules Britannia! Londoners welcome Modi! Indian tricolor over Wembley, world's biggest political event, London lights up in saffron white and green!..

Sedition cases multiply

IN Law and Policy | 2015-11-13

From folk songs to Facebook comments, the charge of sedition is being generously applied.

No Modi mania, only Modi phobia

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-13

Coverage of Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK has highlighted his ability to divide and arouse hatred.

DD in London

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-12

 The PM is in London, and don’t expect  Doordarshan to cover anything else. We were  told in the first hour by several NRIs  it interviewed how important the visit is for Britain,  and how Britain needs India economically more than India needs Britain.  If you want  a slightly souped up..

Do we know him?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-12

While reporting the London case of entrapment for paedophilia of Hasan Suroor, the Hindu describes him as a British Indian columnist who writes for a range of publications in India and the U.K.  No  mention  of the fact that Suroor was employed by the Hindu for more than 15 years,..

Do we bow to the VHP?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-10

Has opposition to Congress programmes by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad  become so legitimate that governments should change their programmes in deference to the latter's threats? The anchor on the Newshour 10 pm debate on Times Now on Tuesday repeatedly asked the Karnataka Congress spokesman whether his government's decision to celebrate..

Unlawful to report militant statements

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-10

The Assam Rifles warns editors in Nagaland that they will be breaking the law if they do so.

Tribune on Modi

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-09

The Chandigarh Tribune is a conservative newspaper not usually given to taking on prime ministers. But the current editor Harish Khare who earlier served as former prime minister Manmohan Singh's media advisor is breaking with this tradition. In a comment titled "The Modi presidency is over"  he says the prime minister has lost..

The horror of the ‘encounter’

IN Books | 2015-11-09

An army officer’s confession reveals chilling details about ‘live kills’ and how awards for officers are linked to body counts.

Pollster feels vindicated

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-09

The Axis exit poll which CNN IBN chickened out of using when it predicted the huge margin of victory for the Grand Alliance accurately, now stands vindicated. The pollster, Axis-Ad-Print-Media put out a statement stressing its 100 per cent accuracy. It had predicted 169-183 seats for the JDU alliance and..

Solo guesswork

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-09

Who came the closest to getting the final seat outcome in Bihar right? Neither a pollster nor journalist nor political pundit, but an economist. In a column in the Indian Express on November 5 Surjit Bhalla  gave 175 seats to JDU+ and 60 seats to the NDA. He says he arrived at those figures..

Winning channel, losing pollster

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-08

By 11 am on November 8 there were two clear media outcomes. CNN IBN which had been calling itself the election headquarters just as Times Now had, was the clear leader among channels, with far more leads at a given time than the others. It called the Bihar elections  just..

Stop killing us

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-07

Journalists are being killed around the world in greater numbers than ever before.

One step forward, two steps backwards

IN Media Practice | 2015-11-07

Caste dominated the Bihar election and its coverage. The state's progress was seen through its prism

Bihar sings Namo?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-05

Today's Chanakya turned out to be the exit pollster that did not subscribe to the photo finish theory. It stuck its neck out and predicted for the BJP and its allies a comfortable 155 seat win. And it sent out mailers announcing  its projected outcome thus: "Bihar sings & rhymes..

Getting away with murder

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-05

CPJ's 2015 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free.

Zee TV to the rescue

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-04

Modi government getting flak? Zee TV  will be on permanent trouble shooting duty. On Nov. 4 night it wanted to know why the troubled intellectuals in this country were not shedding tears over the Kashmiri Pandits, and the ghar wapasi they have been denied all these years. It ran a..

When it suits us...

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-04

When it suits its interest the TOI will even reprint an entire column from another paper. The Mint column it reprinted in its business section on November 4 was making the point that e-commerce advertisers get more mileage for their ads in offline media, because people are more receptive to..

Honest opinion not defamatory

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-04

A woman who called an accountant "unprofessional, rude and obnoxious" in a Facebook review has won out in a defamation case, using the rarely-successful defence of honest opinion. As reviews of businesses take off on social media, the District Court of Western Australia was asked to consider whether a series..

Sexual harassment: setting legal precedents

IN Judgements | 2015-11-03

DOCUMENTATION---On October 14 and 30, two judges in Goa have given separate judgements in complaints filed by 3 journalists.

India’s impunity toll

IN Media Freedom | 2015-11-02

On the UN International Day to End Impunity for crimes against journalists, we revisit the 8 murders of journalists this year.

NE Channel apologises

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-11-02

Pratidin Time, the news channel in Assam which ran a story  on women wearing skirts, faced a huge attack on its sexism and has apparently now tendered an apology for the story it carried. The editor of the channel apologised on Facebook. The original story was titled, ‘Scantily-clad girls, a summer-time nuisance!’..

Facebook changes 'real name' policy

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-31

Responding to a public outcry and a global campaign by advocacy groups called the 'Nameless Coalition', Facebook announced changes in its 'real name' policy whereby users provide additional context to their chosen names and complainants against fake accounts give more robust information to ensure that trolls do not misuse the policy. In..

RTI: Triumphs and Infirmities

IN Special Reports | 2015-10-31

The RTI Decade: Part III---RTI is proving to be a powerful tool for exposing wrongdoing but the backlog of applications and a gradual watering down of some of its provisions are weak areas. 

Tripping up

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-30

From the Ahmedabad Mirror, in a story on the banning of fire crackers:  Parvez Jivani, 43 Vendor, Delhi Darwaza. “I've been in the business of selling firecrackers for 65 years now and have seen generations uphold the tradition of bursting crackers…”  that’s a bit difficult, if you are 43...

Only partly free

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-30

Freedom House's global Internet freedom survey ranks India at 40 (0 best, 100 worst) and describes the Net here as partly free. It gives India a score of 12 on obstacles to access (0-best, 25-worst), a score of 10 on limits on content (0-best, 35 worst) and 18 on violation of user..

Are one per cent of Indians using RTI?

IN Special Reports | 2015-10-29

A decade of RTI, Part II---How many Indians are using their right to information? Studies suggest that the figure of users has yet to cross one per cent of the population in a given year, but there could be substantial under-reporting.

Rajputs, Jats--same thing

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-29

The atrocity earlier this month at Sunped village in Haryana in which a Dalit home was set on fire and two children died, was reported by most news outlets as being a clash between Dalits and Rajputs. however carried a long report which described it as a clash between Dalits and..

Upadhyay returns to Reliance

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-28

CNN-IBN has announced that Umesh Upadhyay, President of News, Network18, is moving back to Reliance Industries, having laid a "strong foundation" for the growth of the Network. In July 2014 Upadhyay moved from Reliance where he was media director for a few months, and the move came after Reliance took management..

An under-the-table account

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-28

Those who did not see the online version of The Hindu  on October 26 missed this gem  called "Meeting a quake". Apparently a  bunch of senior editors of the paper and the editor were sufficient traumatised by the Hindukush quake that shook Delhi that afternoon to crawl under a conference..

That’s not what she said

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-28

A report in The Hindu on Romila Thapar's talk: on "Indian Society and the Secular'' in Mumbai Oct 26, was headlined: "Secularism begins with Uniform Civil Code''. But she did not say that. She spoke of the need to curtail the power of religion over the state's functioning, and to..

No wheat, all chaff

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-27

No one cares about the profound farming crisis in Punjab. Look at how the media have covered the prolonged agitation and all you find is chaff,

Why Jaitley?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-27

It is not clear why Arun Jaitley decided to deliver this year's Sardar Patel memorial lecture but he is the first I & B minister to do so. Since 1955 when it was instituted in memory of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel,  India's first minister of information and broadcasting,  it has..

Championing the cow

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-26

Zee TV is riding the anti cow slaughter bandwagon. On Sunday when all other channels were busy analysing why India lost the ODI series against South Africa, a Zee anchor launched into a  9 pm harangue on cow slaughter: Dharm bechain, kanoon lachar." (Religion is restless, the law is helpless.) It was billed  as an..

Biased journos?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-25

The bad press BJP ministers are getting for things they say is the media’s fault. Journos are among the “Usual Suspects” Swapan Dasgupta writes about each week in the Pioneer and according to him ministers and MPs don’t realize  that when the media chases them for quotes it is not..

Codify privilege to prevent abuse

IN Media Freedom | 2015-10-25

But even after codification the legislature can legally codify its privileges in a manner which clearly violates fundamental rights.

Govt gets online flack

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-25

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's 'small incidents' are not small in online perception.  The I & B ministry's cell which monitors over 400 news channels and websites on a minute to minute basis, is apparently reporting that the huge positive blast generated online by the prime minister's US visit  was undone..

Creating public intellectuals

IN Books | 2015-10-23

Since Modi became PM a vigorous debate has been going on about the intellectual atmosphere in the country. But who exactly is an intellectual? Who creates them?

Blood on the anniversary

IN Special Reports | 2015-10-21

The RTI decade—I. The first of a three-part series on ten years of the Right to Information Act.

UP attacks on journos

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-21

In what is the fifth reported attack on a journalist in UP this year a journalist was shot at by unidentified assailants who tried to rob him in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj district, on Tuesday, according to the police. They think it could be the result of a robbery attempt. (IANS) Meanwhile..

Pensions for the Bachchans

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-21

The Bachchans do well for themselves whenever the Samajwadi Party is in power in UP.  Three generations of Bachchans have been given the cash award Yash Bharti Samman for their contribution to the arts. Now Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan will be among the first beneficiaries of the..

Whose Facebook is it anyway?

IN Digital Media | 2015-10-21

Some of Facebook’s policies fuel hatred against women and minorities. Time for some answers from Mark Zuckerberg,

More FDI in news?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-20

The BJP permitted FDI in news when Sushma Swaraj was I & B minister in A B Vajpayee's government. Now if minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore is to be believed  the government is considering increasing the amount of FDI permitted in news. He said this after an industry rep at..

ABP blooper: retire Sehwag, then analyse why

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-20

Tributes flowed following PTI and ABP’s gaffes. The amazing sequence of a newsbreak that wasn’t. And then was!

Sorry Ghulam Ali…

IN Censorship | 2015-10-20

…We don’t deserve your music because, in this new India, you are just a Pakistani agent.

Peepli Live redux

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-18

The media blame politicians for exploiting social issues for political mileage but are the media any different with their feeding frenzies around tragedies, as the Dadri coverage showed?

Troubling Times in US newsrooms

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-16

As attention paid to Cecil grew, I wondered why it was that everyone knew a lion’s name and face while virtually no one knew the name or face of a Palestinian baby burnt alive by an Israeli zealot.

Look out notice in Goa

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-15

The sexual harassment case filed against journalist Rupesh Samant who is Goa bureau chief of PTI and also works for the news channel HCN, has reached an unprecedented denouement. On October 14 an additional sessions judge in Mapusa passed an order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea. Today a look out..

CNN IBN's elusive investigator

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-14

On October 13 CNN IBN came up with its second  exclusive on Pakistan in less than a fortnight. But who is the mysterious reporter producing these? One Manoj Gupta whom you never see on screen. He provided the input for the 'Living Hell in PoK' story dated September 30 and is..

What do rural folk watch?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-14

Starting 23rd October BARC India will release rural TV viewership data, it announced today. Doordarshan is waiting for it in the hope that it will magically produce evidence of a bigger viewership for the public broadcaster. Other private channels are watching out for it will a degree of apprehension---nobody knows for..

Fifty shades of saffron

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-14

After each attack on free speech, the television channels choose to rant and bring in a chorus of Parivar apologists to fully justify their politics.

Farewell dear Aachi

IN Opinion | 2015-10-13

The death of the legendary comic actress, Manorama, leaves a huge gap in the industry that will be hard to fill.

Countdown patter

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-12

The democratic presidential debate for the US elections is 30 hours from now, and CNN is, believe it or not, doing a countdown already, with a timer counting down in hours minutes and seconds. It will be a CNN debate so the channel will not stop hyping it. It is..

Now BJP cast as free speech defender

IN Media Freedom | 2015-10-12

Maharashtra CM Fadnavis is all set to put his government’s might behind the Kasuri book launch as a free speech issue even as the Shiv Sena blackens Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face.

The strange phenomenon…

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-12

... of No Negative News Day. Each Monday Dainik Bhaskar urges its readers to “Jiyo No Negative Life”.

Prove charges, Bastar scribes tell state govt

IN Media Freedom | 2015-10-12

The arrest of two journalists has triggered a movement among Chhattisgarh journalists to demand protection against police and Maoist harassment.

The ad paper

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-12

The Times of India took boss Vineet Jain's assertion that the company is in the advertising business very seriously on October 12. Page one was on page 5, four pages of advertising preceded it. Then after page one you got two more pages of only ads, then one more page..

BARC’s new norms for ratings claims

IN Media Business | 2015-10-11

“Analogous misuse of TV ratings is commonplace and BARC India… must use the powers vested in it by its constituents to prohibit it.”

New tune in Jansatta

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-09

Jansatta, the Hindi daily of the Indian Express group has had a change of editors and with it, apparently, a change of heart. On October 8 the paper carried an article reader would not have expected to find in Jansatta earlier. Its main edit page article was written by BJP..

Incomplete saga

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-09

The Hindu's page one story on GVK Biosciences and its disgruntled whistleblower quotes the company, the Commerce Ministry, the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance and a drug controller here to rue the loss of reputation for the drug maker. The story suggests that the harm done to the company's reputation by international..

Truth has two versions in Bastar

IN Media Practice | 2015-10-08

Did villagers seek police help against Maoists or did they visit the police station to secure the release of villagers wrongly accused by police of being Maoists?

Arrested, tortured, jailed in South Bastar

IN Media Freedom | 2015-10-08

Nag was a rare Adivasi journalist in the region. Yadav was a very active reporter, and villagers often approached him for help since he knew Gondi and Hindi.

Urdu writer returns award

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-08

After Nayantara Sahgal, Urdu writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee from Maharashtra Rahman Abbas has decided to return his award. He cited the example of others like poet Ashok Vajpeyi, Kannada writers, Veeranna Madiwalar, T. Satish Javare Gowda, Sangamesh Menasinakai, Hanumanth Haligeri, Shridevi V Aloor and Chidanand Sali and said it..

Why Christians are up in arms

IN Media Freedom | 2015-10-08

The demand for a ban on ‘Agnes of God’ reveals a new assertiveness among Christians.

Digital India and the political class

IN Digital Media | 2015-10-07

If the personal use of digital tools is a measure of conviction, many leading politicians today, including several cabinet ministers, would fall short.

Fictionalising facts

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-06

Being the media partner in a movie production means you can rewrite facts. It is a movie after all. We said on Oct. 5 that "Talvar" produced by the Times Group had shown a crucial interview that NDTV did with Noopur Talwar, which affected the case, as being done by their media..

Jagran still downplays Dadri

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-06

Dadri continues to  simmer on the front pages of all general newspapers, and Dainik Jagran continues to downplay it as much as possible. For the last 7 days it has failed to figure on page 1 of the Rajdhani edition of the world's no.1 paper as it called itself on October 4: Duniya ka number..

Impact of ad blockers on the media

IN Media Business | 2015-10-05

The technology battle over ad blocking will hurt the web: Readers have the right to use ad blockers, and publishers will be pushed to block users who use ad blockers.

Read me, then watch me

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-05

Karan Thapar in his Sunday column in Hindustan Times eloquently describes his interaction with Aung Sang Suu Ki in Yangon, Myanmar (or Rangoon and Burma as Thapar prefers even though the country has officially changed its name in 1989).  While drawing out the challenges facing  ‘the Lady', he writes, that..

Blithe and brazen

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-05

Granted that Vineet Jain, MD of  the Times Group, is one of the producers of the film, Talvar. But that should not mean that the film should twist facts to suit the producer's media company.  One of the triggers of the case was a detailed interview by NDTV's Sonia Singh's..

Downplaying Dadri?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-04

The Dainik Jagran must be one of the very few papers in Delhi to not consider the incident at Dadri and its aftermath a continuing page one story. October 2nd onwards it has not figured on page 1 in Jagran.  On Sunday there could have been a good reason for such an..

Digitally challenged CMs

IN Digital Media | 2015-10-03

Half the country’s CMs have no truck with websites, blogs or Twitter.

Change of mind?

IN Media Watch Briefs | 2015-10-03

Back in May 2008 TOI had famously headlined a story on Rajesh Talwar "Dr Death and the House of Horror". And carried one more: "Attack Showed Clinical Precision and Planning" (Earlier this year TOI referred to both headlines without attribution! )  But now the circumstances are a little different. A..

Raising the threshold for defamation