Archive for December 13th, 2011

‘The New York Times’ calls Sibal’s Facebook bluff

13 December 2011

Indian politicians are long used to happily denying what they said on record (and in front of cameras) without ever having their versions contradicted. Union telecommunications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal is learning the hard way that The New York Times isn’t write-your-pet-hate-newspaper-or-channel-here.

Last Monday, an NYT story which said “Big Brother” Sibal had urged global giants like Google, Facebook to “prescreen” user-content set off an online storm. The Congress party quickly dissociated itself from the minister’s remarks and Sibal was reduced to furiously back-pedalling before chummy TV anchors ever eager to oblige.

On Karan Thapar‘s “Devil’s Advocate” programme on CNN-IBN, Sibal said nobody from his ministry talked to NYT, nor did anybody from NYT talk to his department, and that the piece was based on Congress party sources.

Further, Sibal made heavy weather of a light-hearted comment made by an  NYT reporter at a press conference, even going so far as to suggest that the New York Times somehow wanted to get at him.

New York Times has responded to the charges and said it stands by the original story.

# The article posted on Dec. 5 notes, “Mr. Sibal’s office confirmed that he would meet with Internet service providers Monday but did not provide more information about the content of the meeting.’’ India Ink called three people in his office before posting the article: Mamta Verma and S. Prakash, spokespersons who said they had little information about the issue, and Ranjan Khanna, a secretary who was unavailable.  The article attributes no information to Congress Party personalities.

# The reporter who wrote the article, Heather Timmons, introduced herself to Sibal at a news conference the day after it was published with the phrase “just trying to keep you on your toes.” It was intended as a friendly nod to the fact that he may not have liked the story, but that nothing personal was meant by it.

Image: courtesy Outlook* (disclosures apply)

Read the full article: Our response to Kapil Sibal

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Should Facebook be censored?

Bombay Times, Hindustan Times and plagiarism

13 December 2011

Hindustan Times had an ethical malfunction 15 years ago, when its then editor V.N. Narayanan was revealed to have plagiarised over a thousand words of his Sunday column from Bryan Appleyard‘s piece in the Sunday Times of London the previous week. (Narayanan was let go without a formal explanation from the paper as to why a new editor had taken charge.)

Now, The Times of India shines the light on an even wierder case of plagiarism involving HT.

Neha Maheshwari of Bombay Times wrote ‘More than friends’ on the supplement’s television page on December 9. Unbelievable as it may be, ToI says the same piece appeared with the same byline and the same text in the Hindustan Times city supplement HT Cafe on December 11.

***

Karthik Srinivasan writes that HT has tendered an “apology”:

 

Image: courtesy Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd

Read the full article: Imitation is the best form of flattery

Also read: How should publications deal with plagiarists?

‘Plagiarists speed up spread of knowledge’

If imitation is the best form of flattery…

The award for the best opening paragraph goes to…

Since flattery is best expressed through imitation—II

Everybody’s is changing the game these days

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