Archive for November, 2012

30-plus, glamourous, sexy, brainy and seductive*

16 November 2012

Raveena Tandon is playing Shobhaa De, the former editor of Stardust, Society and Celebrity, in the Hindi film Shobhana’s Seven Nights that is already doing the rounds at international film festivals. But quite clearly the journalist turned best-selling author is not amused.

In an interview with Kavitha Shanmugham of The Telegraph last Sunday, Tandon says:

“The movie is about a gossip columnist and pulp fiction writer, and most people are assuming that it’s about Shobhaa De. I would say some traits of the character—such as her spunk and attitude—are inspired by her, but the story is not.

“Shobhaa De is a dear friend and avery different person from the one depicted in the film. However, her publisher is called Harry Davidar in the film and the logo of his publishing house does look like a penguin. That part is deliberate (smiles mischeviously).”

However, in January, the movie’s director, Sudipto Chattopadhyay hadtold Mumbai Mirror that the character was clearly based on De:

“Yes, Raveena plays a character based on Shobhaa De, who’s a dear friend of mine. So, I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing from her personality. I needed someone 30-plus, glamorous, sexy, brainy and seductive to play the part, and Raveena was my first and last choice.”

*Search engine optimisation techniques at work

Also read: Will underworld dons trust such a hot reporter?

Enter: the queen bee of Bollywood film journalists

Mouth ka saudagar to play Arnab and Rajdeep

For some journos, acting is second string in bow

Finally, Karnataka gets an ‘acting’ chief minister

Look, who wants to play Christiane Amanpour!

What Aung San Suu Kyi learnt from a ‘Hindu’ man

14 November 2012

The Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to India. In her interview with Nirupama Subramanian of The Hindu, the Nobel laureate remembers her association with K. Rangaswamy, a political correspondent of the paper in Delhi, during her growing-up years in the capital.

“I got to know [Mr. Rangaswamy’s] daughter at school. We were together at the Convent of Jesus and Mary. Kamla and I were in the same class and then we also went to Lady Shri Ram College together the same year. We both took political science honours, and that’s how I became friendly with them.

“But I became particularly friendly with Uncle Rangaswamy when I was preparing for my Oxford entrance…. Uncle Rangaswamy knew, because I was in and out of his house all the time, that I did not have a teacher and that I wanted to take this exam in three months.

“So he said he would teach me!

“Some people were rather scared of him, because Uncle Rangaswamy has a rather formidable exterior. But I thought he was very sweet, and he was very, very sweet to me.

“He said to me one day, which I shall never forget and which I think was so admirable about him, he said: “I’ve taught you all I can, I can’t teach you anymore, but you’re the best student I’ve ever had, so I’ll find you a teacher.” And he got a contact of his — an old student of his for all I know — a mathematics teacher. He told her to continue to teach me the rest of the curriculum, which she did, and then I managed to just scrape through the exams, and I made it to Oxford that year instead of having to wait another year. It was because of Uncle Rangaswami.

“He had enough faith in me. He said “I’ll teach you”, but I’ll never forget the way he said “I’ve taught you all I know.” I was so fond of him. I wish he were alive now. I’m sure he’d have had a lot to say to me!”

Read the full interview: Aung San Suu Kyi

Follow Nirupama on Twitter: Tall stories

Look, who wants to play Christiane Amanpour!

10 November 2012

Priety Zinta‘s role in Lakshya is rumoured to have been based on NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt. Now, Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor is tipped to play CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour in Prakash Jha‘s next film, Satyagraha.

Mail Today reports that Jha visualised Kareena’s role of a reporter who reports at the international level.

“The director was reportedly influenced by the huge fan following that Amanpour, famous for her reportage from war zones, enjoys…. Kareena has been closely observing Amanpour to play the character perfectly. Her look will be modelled on Amanpour’s daily style,” a source was quoted as saying.

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Visit Christiane Amanpour’s blog: Amanpour.

External reading: Tunku Varadarajan vs Amanpour

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Also read: Will underworld dons trust such a hot reporter?

Enter: the queen bee of Bollywood film journalists

Mouth ka saudagar to play Arnab and Rajdeep

For some journos, acting is second string in bow

Finally, Karnataka gets an ‘acting’ chief minister

 

When stringer beats up reporter, it’s news!

8 November 2012

From the Delhi edition of The Hindu:

News Channel Correspondent beaten up by stringer

Staff Reporter

New Delhi: A special correspondent with a television news channel was beaten up by a stringer working for the same media house at Baba Haridas Nagar here on Tuesday. The stringer, who has been arrested, has also been accused of extorting money on the pretext of carrying out sting operations.

In his complaint, Mukesh Singh alleged that on Tuesday, he received instructions from a senior to crosscheck the allegations of extortion being made against one of the stringers named Naveen Kumar. The correspondent subsequently met a property dealing agent who accused Naveen of indulging in extortion.

Singh then went to Gopal Nagar when Naveen came to meet him along with his accomplices. When the correspondent enquired from him about the allegations, the accused beat him up at gunpoint and then dragged him to a nearby house where he was kept in confinement.

The correspondent somehow managed to make his way out and then called up the police. Based on his complaint, the police have registered a case and arrested the accused.

Also read: Zee News, Jindal Steel, silence of the media

Rs 50 crore? rs 100 croe? It’s all in the Zee business

Bonus reading: When gang of four meets in IIC, it’s news

When a star weds a journalist, it’s news—I

When a film star weds a journalist it’s news—II

When a magazine editor weds a starlet, it’s news

Because when dog bites dog, it’s news—I

Because when dog bites dog, it’s news—II

Will Barack Obama be page one news tomorrow?

7 November 2012

Will Barack Obama‘s reelection be front-page news in your newspaper tomorrow?

Not if your paper has a “jacket advertisement” in this Diwali season, in which case it will technically be on page 3. Not if your paper two jacket ads, in which case it will be on page 5.

In many ways, Indian newspapers have overturned the traditional importance of the front page (the disease now afflicting even The Guardian, London) although there are many  media watchers who believe a newspaper is well within its rights to monetise its most important space.

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The veteran editor Surendra Nihal Singh addresses the issue in the latest issue of Society magazine:

In this age, the advertisement department has more sway than the editorial. What do you have to say about it?

Nihal Singh: The front pages of mainstream newspapers are plastered with adverts. This is happening very often. These newspapers are killing the essence of the front page.

The Statesman had strict restrictions on front-page advertisements. During my editorship of the paper in Calcutta, the advertisement manager Chandran Tharoor (father of politician Shashi Tharoor) would beg me for an xtra half-centimetre of space for a front-page advert, but I used to turn down his request.

The contrasts could not be starker with today’s media. In many newspapers, it is the advertisement department that sets the terms. The newspaper owner has given himself the title of editor.

Then again, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was not front-page news in “India’s national newspaper”. Reason: The Hindu only carried ads on page one in the innocent days of 1948.

Also read: Selling the soul or sustaining the business?

Arun Shourie: a Hindu right-wing pamphleteer

12 media barons worth Rs 2,962,530,000,000

6 November 2012

Twelve media barons in Forbes India‘s list of the 100 richest Indians are worth $54.6 billion, in other words Rs 2,962,530,000,000.

There are five pure-play media barons in the Forbes list: Subhash Chandra of Zee (total worth $2.9 billion) at No. 22, Kalanidhi Maran of Sun ($2.8 billion) at No. 24, Indu Jain of The Times of India ($1.9 billion) at No. 31, Shobhana Bharatia of Hindustan Times ($620 million) at No. 93 and Ramesh Agarwal of Dainik Bhaskar ($580 million) at No. 95,

There are seven others with partial media interests: Mukesh Ambani of TV18-ETV ($21 billion) at No. 1, Shashi and Ravi Ruia of TimeOut ($8.1 billion) at No. 8, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Living Media ($7.8 billion) at No. 10, Anil Ambani of Bloomberg ($6 billion) at No. 11, Rajan Raheja of Outlook* ($2.2 billion) at No. 29 and Sanjiv Goenka of Open ($725 million) at No. 80.

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The Forbes special issue features a four-page profile of Satyan Gajwani, the son-in-law of The Times of India‘s bossman Samir Jain and CEO of Times Internet Limited (TIL), the group’s digital arm.

“It was in the last year of Stanford that Satyan’s life took a turn when he met Trishla Jain. “I didn’t know anything about Trishla’s family. We dated through college. We both moved to New York, she was doing other work at NYC.”

# Samir Jain told Gajwani that he really should think about coming to India. “He said a lot of strategic decisions are going to be made in next six months that may have long term impact, so you should be part of them.”

# “Fortunately, Trishla’s dad was very progressive, both in terms of intellect and culturally. He was convinced that we would have married anyways. He said, you are already my son for all practical purposes. So I moved here as her boyfriend and lived with them in Delhi for six months. And then when I was comfortable, we got engaged, and a year-and-a-half later, we got married in 2011.”

# “I have the autonomy to make a big change in our culture and processes. It’s partially because I am the family.”

# That Gajwani has come into Times Internet Limited at the top, as CEO, has had many people saying his success was not earned. That includes his own father. “My dad says you should work your way up a company, slog it out for five years first, so he’s like, you’ve just got put in this position so soon.”

# “In India there is a hierarchical perception: They will agree because I am the boss. That is not what I want, my intention is to stimulate debate.”

# “Digital media is different from other media. Most media companies suck at it.”

# Trishla is now carrying their baby and in a few months, they’ll be parents. “So I have got four more months of being able to work very hard and then life goes normal. He does not want to ‘outsource’ parenting. “I am excited to have kids, but if it’s too much to handle then I can just give them to Samir Uncle.”

* Disclosures apply

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Also read: Forbes can name India’s second richest woman

External reading: How did Satyan Gajwani become CEO at 27?

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