Saturday, April 16, 2011

How Editors are managed

Editors can be broadly divided into two categories: those with substantial circulations spread over large areas of the country; and those with regional circulations. The latter, naturally, have smaller circulations, though there are exceptions (the best example being the Ananda Bazar Patrika). However, both kinds of editors have trouble with two sets of people: the Government and the managements. The views of Government and owners are not necessarily the same, but on one point most owners of publications seem to agree: that their editors should not take criticism of Government too far. And they agree on this because most owners are vulnerable: having business interests apart from news papers, they are aware that if Government wants to, it can create significant barriers between them and their profits from other factories.
No one would deny the owner of a newspaper group the right to choose his editors, but at what point does this begin to hurt the fundamental duty of the Press, and how does one prevent an owner from crossing this point? No one, equally, can deny the right of a management to remove an editor but is there any recourse for an editor if he is removed on unethical grounds? The editor’s job may look glamorous, and indeed it has its rewards, but it is also one of the least protected jobs in the publishing industry. (Would it be more honest if all owners simply became the editors of their publications too? These tensions often find their worst expression when an editor has to leave. The best and most enlightened of managements have often behaved atrociously with departing editors. We think that- this subject should be discussed frankly, without prejudice to anyone, with honesty. And for this reason we have decided to name names. We would welcome it if the managements named here would reply: we will publish their rep
lies equally prominently. We would be happy if SUNDAY became a vehicle for a public debate on this important, crucial, issue.


The Great Media Slide

This is a cut and paste from the blog by Dasu Krishnamoorty at sulekha . The original blog can be read here

There is not an area of public life that has not claimed front-page space in the national media for excellence in corruption. Doctors, engineers, judges, sportsmen, legislators, civil servants, lowly employees of the government, industrialists, businessmen, film makers, vice chancellors of universities, everyone of these categories is making its humble and devoted contribution to the corruption industry. We compete successfully with countries in Africa and our own neighbors, according to Transparency International's reports. It is entirely a different matter that there is corruption in this international certification also. But there is one sector of public interest that does not figure in this gallery of greats. That is, the media. In their modesty, they shun publicity.

Lets sanitize all the national symbol

It seems Anna’s movement for Jan Lok Pal has hit a rough patch. Several secular and liberal sections of the society has started to raise their voice against Annas movement. One of primary reasons often cited by Secular Civil Society is Annas usage of “Non Secular” Symbols.

Harsh Mander in his article Why I didn't go to Jantar Mantar writes

And yet why could I not actively join the demonstration at Jantar Mantar? First, the symbols and allies that the campaign chose disturbed me: the stage was decorated with a picture of Bharat Mata, almost identical to that propagated by the right-wing RSS

It seems that consistent pressure from secular civil society is getting its desired results. According to Deccan Herald, New symbol for Hazare’s movement

Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement will have a new symbol in the future with 'Tiranga' at the centre.

The tricolour will replace the Bharat Mata image that was in the background set-up of the stage erected at Jantar Mantar on which Hazare was lying on a fast-unto-death for the Jan Lokpal Bill.

In view of all the above, Media Watch calls upon Congress Party and PM Singh to constitute a commission consisting of secular civil society to sanitize all the national symbol and ensure that they are secular and has approval of the secular class. 

Our sources indicated that civil society is seriously considering to recommend chicken as India's national bird. The senior activists has taken strong exception to India continuing to use"Peacock" as national Symbol. The secular brigade is of the opinion that Peacock is too closely associated with Hindu Religion. Its considered vehicle of Lord Murugan and even Lord Krishna's Crown always has a peacock's feather. Due to this Peacock, donot comply to the strict standards adopted by the civil society on matters pertaining to secularism. Chicken is considered a far "secular" bird considering almost all the religions eat it without reservation. Some pockets of reservation from vegetarian  can be ignored as they are too few in Numbers afterall you cannot please all with such decisions. The senior activists are also of the opinion that National Symbols should be a reflection of national psyche and Peacock, the current national bird is considered too aggressive to symbolize India. India's official response to various issue's ranging from the 26/11 to uprising in in Tibet - can best be described as chicken hearted.


Another national symbol which is up for review is Bharath Mata  as current picture of Bharath Mata resembles the picture being used by RSS. Our sources indicate that Civil society is of the view that current Bharath Mata should be replaced by the one drawn by M. F Hussain. Civil society intents to kill two birds with one stone, This will further reinforce civil societies support for M F Hussain and it also be a blow to RSS who has always opposed M F Hussains depiction of Bharath Mata. There is also a suggestion to rename Bharath Mata as Indian Mom which is a more neutral language.

Civil Society Version

It is rumored that even national emblem will be reviewed because it has lotus in it!

Civil Society leaders has taken a strict stand on this issue .They have threatened to launch a indefinite candle light vigil if their demands are not accepted

Friday, April 15, 2011

Know your Media Personalities

Journalist Media House Related Politician/Sr. Officer Relation Organisation
Neha Seth IBN Jitin Prasada's (Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas) Wife Congress
Sonia Singh NDTV RPN Singh (first time MP) Wife Congress
Seema Chisthi Indian Express Sitaram Yechury (CPI(M)’s senior member of Politburo and Parliamentary Group Leader) Wife CPM
Sagarika Ghose IBN Bhaskar Ghose, Director General Daughter Doordarshan
Karan Thapar ITV General Pran Nath Thapar COAS during 1962 war Son Army
Radhika Roy NDTV Brinda Karat Sister CPM
Anuradha Prasad News24 Rajeev Shukla Wife Congress
Anuradha Prasad News24 Ravi Shankar Prasad Sister BJP
Chandan Mitra Daily Pioneer



Shobhana Bhartia Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times group



Congress RS MP
Vinod Sharma Hindustan Times



Member of National Minority Commission
Shahid Siddiqui Nai Duniya     Congress, SFI, SP, RLD
H.K. Dua Editor of the Hindustan Times, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express,Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Publications and Editorial Advisor of The Times of India

Good Read: Editorial changes in The Times of India raise disturbing questions.
    RS MP
Arun Shourie Indian Express     BJP RS MP

Please leave a comment if you have more information

Does criticizing PM for not voting make you a “true politician”?

PM of India, Worlds largest democracy is expected to lead by example. According to Election Commission of India

India is the largest democracy in the world. The right to vote and more importantly the exercise of franchise by the eligible citizens is at the heart of every democracy. We, the people, through his exercise of our right to vote have the ultimate power to shape the destiny of country by electing our representatives who run the Government and take decisions for the growth, development and benefit of all the citizens.

It is shameful and sad that PM Manmohan Singh failed to exercise his franchise setting a bad precedent. This is not the first time that the prime minister skipped voting in Assam. Singh’s absence in the polling station had first come under media-glare during the polling for the state Assembly elections in 2006, just two years after he had taken over as the prime minister.

Media Watch is amused by congress explanation that PM Manmohan Singh did not vote because he was busy serving country. For busy people like PM Manmohan Singh, we have postal ballots to cast vote under Clause 20 (4) of The Representation of The People Act. This clause has a postal provision for special category people like the President and PM, as in case of officials on poll-duty or security personnel.

According to K Balaji, the returning officer of Kamrup (Metro) district said no application was received from  Dr Manmohan Singh seeking postal ballots

“There was no request from the PM within the stipulated time, so there’s no question of his exercising postal ballot,”

Considering the fact that PM Manmohan Singh has not been elected to LokSabha, It is interesting to note how Manmohan Singh ended up reprsenting Assam! Manmohan Singh has been representing Assam in the Upper House since October 1991. Former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia made him his ‘tenant’ and had him registered as a voter overnight to facilitate his nomination. Dr Manmohan Singh  has been dutifully paying a nominal rent to Saikia’s widow Hemoprova Saikia for a duplex at Nandan Nagar in Guwahati’s Sarumataria area. Not an Ideal example to quote to younger generation!!

Now back to our original point. All these facts were known to most of people who follow politics closely. But PM not casting vote largely went unnoticed thanks to underreporting my Media! Also, it seems to protect PM from the embarrassment rumors were floated that he voted using postal option

It took BJP Leader and Gujarat CM to bring focus back to this important issue.

And Media Watch is pained the way NDTV is trying to portray this as another political stunt! On the front page they have picture of Narendra Modi with a caption “Spoken like a true politician”. Does NDTV mean to say anyone who raises such issues make them a politician?

Also on the video page, the caption reads

Never a man to miss a political opportunity, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not voting in the Assam election.

This is one issue which Media should have takenup forcefully. Media Watch believes that Indian media failed in that front. After failing their own duty, the best the could have done is to support people who are making this an issue but it seems Media is trying to trivialize even that. SHAME! 





Thursday, April 14, 2011

ToI could have used a proper picture of 'athirathram'


Media Watch is not surprised at general lack of Media coverage of 4,000-year-old ritual of 'athirathram' is being performed in Kerala. Improper depiction of actual event is even worse! Please take a look at the picture accompanying ‘athirathram’ news published by ToI! Below is the actual picture of the Athirathram

More Photo of Athirathram can be viewed Here

Is TOI using Morphed pictures of celebrities?

From the looks of it  ToI has used morphed picture of Vidya Balan?

Vidya Balan

Now its seems this is not the first time ToI has done this. Another blogger DIG TV has reported Times of India caught red handed publishing morphed photo of Kareena Kapoor

DGTV Reports as under

On 9th May 2009, TOI had published Kareena Kapoor's Morphed Photo. Look at her face.

Now, have a look at the original photo of Jeniffer Lopez

Today, I tried to search this photo again with the search title "Draped Desires" but could not find it, which means TOI has removed the photo from its archives.

Question to TOI : What was its purpose to stoop down so low ?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ms Ruby, NDTV 24X7’s Letter to Yogesh Sheetal, protestor at India Gate

Yogesh Sheetal has published letter Mr Pradhan has received from Ruby Dhingra

मिस्टर प्रधान को मिस रूबी द्वारा लिखित निजी पत्र

Media Watch’s take on the letter

1. It is still not clear if this is an official letter from NDTV or a personal letter from Ruby as its not issued on NDTV letter head(Assuming this is actual scanned copy)

2. We are also surprised Ms. Ruby decided to directly communicate instead of  communicating thru lawyers which is usual practice in such cases

3. We are are also surprised to realise that Ruby inspite of being assaulted (allegedly) has not yet filed a police complaint yet. Neither there is any indication of her visiting a doctor.

4. Media Watch is glad that NDTV has recognized Yogeshs right to protest. 

5. Media Watch is confused what Ms Ruby would like to achieve from this letter. She has not requested any action from IIMC. Neither has she demanded an apology from Yogesh. 

6. Lastly, it is important to understand that NDTV has not yet reported this incident as a news.

Media Watch believes that this is a personal letter from Ms Ruby to Mr Pradhan (Professor of Yogesh). The objective of this letter is merely to inform.

Based on above understanding we have now changed our headline

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Narration of sequence of events by IIMC student Yogesh Shital who was one of the protestors

Further to our earlier posting on Barkha Dutt, Group Editor, English News reaction to protest at India Gate

Following is the narration of the events by IIMC student Yogesh Shital who was one of the protestors.

Monday, April 11, 2011

TOI: Was this a News or Views?

This news item from ToI is another case in which Headlines of news has no resemblance to what is reported in the Body. In fact, this may be one of those extreme cases in which the entire news is just a figment of Imagination of the Reporter.

The Headline of the news item says Civil society's victory fails to enthuse BJP. But NOT once  (Repeat once) did body of news mentions how the reporter came up with this conclusion?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barkha Dutt, Group Editor, English News reaction to protest at India Gate

This is continuation to our earlier blog Anger against Indian Media boils over at India Gate. When twitterati asked Barkha about her reaction, following is what she tweeted


Barkha is within her rights to believe that the people who were involved in protest were “Lumpens and rowdies

Media Watch would like to understand from Barkha Dutt following -

1. In her opinion were all the protestors at India Gate Lumpens and Rowdies or only the people who protested against NDTV were lumpen and rowdies?

2. NDTV in its reports prominently mentioned the protestors also booed and protested against Uma Bharati. And to the best of knowledge of author NDTV did not classify those protestors as lumpen and rowdies. How is this different from the protest against NDTV?

3. If the people involved in this incident were Lumpens and Rowdies. Has NDTV registered a FIR against them

4. According to your tweet “they punched the show producer” which is a very serious allegation. Has NDTV registered a FIR against the people who were involved in this assault?

5. It is well accepted practice that Media reports to nation any incident involving physical attack on its employees. Also, we would like to understand why has NDTV not yet carried this news item? wont it help expose these so called “Lumpens and Rowdies”.

6. We are a bit confused by conflicting claims in two different tweets.

You tweeted to @amishra77 mentions

@amishra77 yes they punched the show producer. Abhorrent behaviour. We shifted camera and resumed show.

This was again reconfirmed in a subsequent tweet

@StealthPwr @primary_red really? The female producer was hit in the face. The men were assaulted. Lumpenism. 

However, your tweet to @sonaliranade says

@sonaliranade at india gate a group of vandals tried to hit one of our show producers. The so called civility of discourse ! Abhorrent 

In your first tweet you have confirmed a physical attack while the second indicates an attempt. Could you please clarify which one is the truth?


Anger against Indian Media boils over at India Gate

This Video shows protestors shouting slogans Barkha Dutt Chor Hai, Barkha Dutt Go Back etc..

This video is a continuation of above video in which protestors are shown shouting slogan Barkha Go Back

This Video shows protestors Booing CNN IBN

Its high time Indian take a deep breath and ponder on where they stand in grand scheme of things