Archive for June, 2012

Brother, sister spar over seat on PM junket

9 June 2012

From Delhi Confidential, the gossip column of the Indian Express:

FAMILY FRACAS

The inclusion of Team Anna member, former TV anchor Shazia Ilmi, in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media team for his trip to the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, has been the cause of much fuss in the PMO and in the MEA over the last few days.

Shazia was included in the entourage as a representative of her family-run Urdu newspaper Siasat Jadid.

But her elder brother, Aijaz Ilmi, who identifies himself as editor of the Lucknow edition, wrote to the MEA saying Shazia was now a “full-time activist” and “doesn’t represent the paper” though she was “part of the family”. He said Shazia’s nomination for the trip was done without his knowledge and must be treated as “invalid and infructuous”.

Shazia, however, counters this saying Aizaz isn’t the editor who, in turn, says: “Now it’s for the MEA to decide.”

Some decision.

Also read: Ex-Star News, ToI journos behind Team Anna

The ex-Zee News journo on Anna Hazare team

How a letter-writer entered the Guinness Book

8 June 2012

In The Hindu, Aman Sethi profiles Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the tetile merchant whose use of the right to infomration (RTI ) Act unceasingly shapes the news agenda.

Before he donned his current role, Agrawal had entered the Guinness book of records for the most number of letters to the editor of newspapers and magazines:

“His first letter, published in Dainik Hindustan in 1967, was about a bus conductor who pocketed his money without issuing a ticket. Officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation apologised. Emboldened, Agrawal wrote another letter, then another, then another till 3,699 of his letters were published, a feat that won him a place in the Guinness World Records in 2006.

“I sat in my shop and composed letters during lean hours,” he says. “I bought the Indian Newspaper Society’s address book and printed stickers with the newspaper names and addresses.” Each week, he typed out letters, stuck the addresses on envelopes and mailed them. When a letter was published, he made clippings and dispatched them to the authorities concerned.

Photograph: courtesy The Hindu

Read the full profile: A very special correspondent

Also read: Letter-writer secures win against top judge

What your settop box says abour your newspaper

7 June 2012

The perils of cross-media ownership are obvious and the Bombay daily DNA demonstrates it in ample measure today on its business pages.

The news-you-can-use story is ostensibly aimed at empowering TV viewers on the various options before them as the country’s four metros go digital from July 1. It lists the comparative advantages of Tata Sky, Airtel and Videocon D2H settop boxes.

But the “news” item carries what amounts to an advertisement for Dish TV, which costs the least, which allows unlimited recording, and which of course is owned by Subhash Chandra, who started DNA in collaboration with Dainik Bhaskar but is now said to be inching closer to taking complete charge.

Link via M.V.J. Kar

Also read: Good morning! Your paper is free of paid news!

Put your money where your mouth is: Rs 500

4 June 2012

“India’s first professionally run rural newspaper” is being crowd-sourced!

After trying to raise funds, the brains behind the venture want you to give up your coffee and sandwich—or that lipstick—and donate Rs 500 that will enable a village reporter to write a story or two.

Email Gaon Connection: gaonconnection [at] gmail [dot] com

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Is the PM’s media advisor Missing in Action?

1 June 2012

Former NDTV Hindi anchor Pankaj Pachauri took over from Harish Khare as prime minister Manmohan Singh‘s media Man Friday barely six months ago. It was seen as a scam- and scandal-tainted UPA’s desperate attempt to reshape the prime minister’s image in the eyes of the media and its consumers.

Now, as the economy goes into a tailspin and the PM himself gets sucked into the turbulence of “Coal Gate”, the following item appears in Glass House, the gossip column of India Today magazine in its upcoming issue.

***

OFF THE AIR

The prime minister’s communications adviser, Pankaj Pachauri, chose to remain, quote inexplicably, incommuncado for the press delegation accompanying Manmohan Singh on his historic trip to Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw, the first visit by the Indian prime minister in 25 years.

Pachauri did not intereact with the media on the PM’s special flight. He missed the foreign secretary’s press conference at the conclusion of the prime minister’s talks with his Myanmarese counterpart. He was not even seen in the hotel at which the media was staying.

Little wonder that the Prime Minister’s media image is taking a battering.

Photograph: courtesy India Today

Also read: At 7, Race Course Road, this is Pankaj Pachauri

Why Prabhu Chawla did not become media advisor

PM goes to Press Club without his media advisor

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