Archive for the 'Art' Category

How journalism helped a cartoonist as author

25 August 2013

20130825-064332 PM.jpg

Author and playwright Manjula Padmanabhan, who created Suki, a female cartoon character for the now-defunct Sunday Observer, has a new book out, Three Virgins and Other Stories.

In an interview in Mint, she is asked:

What effect has your life as a journalist had on your fiction?

My early training to be a journalist powerfully shaped the way I look at reality and then bend it towards an idea I want to follow. I know what it’s like to write a news story—presenting facts in a coherent and readable manner—but I far prefer to open up existing boxes of facts to speculations about their contents. Does that make sense? Being a journalist gave me the tools with which to write fiction more effectively (or so I imagine) than I felt I could write non-fiction.

Among the stories in Padmanabhan’s book is on a TV journalist “Basra Dott” who vows to fight for her cause before matters take a deadly turn.

Read the full interview:

A national newspaper goes ‘local’ in Bangalore

17 June 2013

NEWHINDU

The Hindu has unveiled a new hyper-local look in Bangalore with the tagline “Bringing Bangalore Back to You”.

Writes the paper’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan in a front-page note:

“Why you might ask. After all, Bangalore has known The Hindu for its credible, fearless and unfettered reportage. For never dumbing down. For vanguard journalism that brings the world to your doorstep. But Bangalore has evolved, and so have we. So we bring Bangalore back to you….

“We bring the city to you in a chic new design with a fresh clutch of content: sharp investigative stories and new columns in the main edition, and a crosses and mains neighbourhood view of your locality in Bangalore Local, our weekend special.”

For the record, The Times of India leads the Bangalore market, with Deccan Herald a distant number 2, followed by Bangalore Mirror. The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and DNA are all jostling for the fourth to seventh places in India’s most crowded English newspaper market.

How Praja Vani reporters tracked Karnataka poll

8 May 2013

map

On the day politicians count their seats in the Karnataka assembly elections, the 65-year-old Kannada daily newspaper Praja Vani, from the Deccan Herald group, has a page one, colour-coded graphic that chronicles the journeys undertaken by its reporters to bring the poll to its readers.

The final score: over 27 days, 10 reporters (including three women) travelled 15,000 kilometres to bring 66 spot reports.

Dinesh Amin Mattoo, Praja Vani‘s well-regarded former Delhi bureau chief,  now an assistant editor based in Bangalore (represented in red), alone travelled 4,150 km across 14 of the State’s 30 districts.

Image: courtesy Praja Vani

ʎlısɐǝ sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ plnoɔ noʎ ɟı ‘suoıʇɐlnʇɐɹƃuoɔ*

15 March 2013

Since its sesquicentennial 25 years ago, under bossman Samir Jain’s helmsmanship, The Times of India has pioneered several editorial and marketing “initiatives”, all of which are scorned at first by the competition and then quietly copied.

On the eve of its dodransbicentennial, after brother Vineet Jain told The New Yorker last year that he was in the advertising business not news business, ToI has run this ad printed the right side up and uʍop ǝpısdn pǝʇuıɹd sʍǝu ǝɥʇ.

So, whose interests come first for the newspaper, the advertiser’s or the reader’s, is not difficult to guess.

ToI CEO Ravi Dhariwal told the South Asia Media Summit in Islamabad recently that the paper’s readers actually welcomed such innovations and looked forward to it: “The reader wants change.”

¿uʍop ǝpısdn pǝʇuıɹd ǝɹɐ sɹǝdɐdsʍǝu ǝloɥʍ ǝɹoɟǝq ɹǝƃuol ɥɔnɯ ʍoɥ

* How to type upside down

Also read: Selling the soul or sustaining the business?

Selling the soul or sustaining the business?—II?

Will Britannia pay TOI for such ‘bad news’ in ads?

The masthead is no longer as sacred as it used to be

‘Talking ads’ in The Hindu and The Times of India

Only the weather section is not sold these days

What sustains our ‘free’ media is government ads

12 March 2013

adpie

The advertising share of television, radio and digital is growing, while it is shrinking rapidly for newspapers and magazines. That is the bottomline of these graphics from The Economic Times, partially explaining why the media is in its current shape.

Stunningly, the top advertising category in 2012, both in print and on TV, is “social advertisements”, in other words government advertisements extolling the virtues of one or the other social welfare scheme. In 2005, it used to be toilet soaps and two-wheelers.

adpie2

Read the full story: Trends in ad world

A twist in ET’s masthead ahead of elections

11 March 2013


Back in the early 1990s, the Ambanis sought to take on the then market-leader The Economic Times with a newspaper which promised more than business.

It was titled at different times as the the Business & Political Observer (under Prem Shankar Jha‘s editorship) and as the Observer of Business and Politics (under Pritish Nandy). But neither formulation, OBP or BPO, set the newsstands on fire and the paper from India’s biggest business house folded soon.

Now, the Economic Times, which has boasted of strong political coverage from its revamp days under T.N. Ninan in the mid 1980s, has inserted “political” into its masthead ahead of a hectic election season.

Watch FirstPost chat: ET gets political

What we can learn from ‘The Daily Telegraph’

2 March 2013

In the modern era of Indian journalism, editors come and go, reporters get hired and fired, and there are even publications who have lost the grace to record the passing of their foot soldiers.

How amazing, therefore, that The Daily Telegraph, London, should run an editorial on its cartoonist Matt Pritchett on his completing 25 years on the paper’s rolls.

The inimitable Matt

Twenty-five years ago, on February 25,1988, The Daily Telegraph carried a short statement from the Editor apologising for printing the wrong date on the masthead of the previous day’s newspaper. This turned out to be the most serendipitous error in modern journalism, because a pocket cartoon was printed alongside the apology to soften its impact.

It depicted two readers and the line “I hope I have a better Thursday than I did yesterday.”

This was the first front-page cartoon by the inimitable Matt Pritchett, who had previously seen some of his offerings published in the Telegraph’s diary column while working as a pizza waiter. We are fortunate he failed in his ambition to become a TV cameraman, and has instead spent the past quarter of a century entertaining millions of readers whose day cannot begin without Matt – whichever day it might be.

Meanwhile, Chidambaram on the morning after

1 March 2013

The Times of India

The Telegraph, Calcutta

The Times of India, All Editions

Hindustan, New Delhi

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Economic Times, All Editions

Kannada Prabha, Bangalore

There is something about the Union budget, a dreadfully dreary two-hour affair (interspersed with cliches and couplets that owe their origin to the origins of the respective finance minister) that unleashes the wildest, orgiastic spirits in Indian print newsrooms—and art cubicles.

The morning after, readers are greeted to the marvels of PhotoShop, some to good effect, most not, many quite offensive.

Take your pick from the 2013 edition—courtesy The Times of India, The Telegraph, Hindustan Times, Hindustan, The Economic Times—in which artists manage to do the finance minister P. Chidambaram what most reporters and editors would like to but will never be able to.

Thankfully, DNA gets it.

Its lead photograph on page one has jokers from a circus catching the budget proceedings on a TV screens..

DNA, Bombay

Fabindia, The Times of India and Trishla Jain

28 February 2013

Trishla Jain, the artist-daughter of Times of India bossman Samir Jain, has teamed up with the ethnic store Fabindia for “a limited-edition collection of furniture, furnishings, giftware, ceramics, inspired by the young painter’s art”, and TOI and the group‘s business paper, Economic Times, are leaving no stone unturned to let the world know.

On Monday, page 3 of the Delhi Times supplement carried a quarter-page story on the launch of the line; on Wednesday, ET carried a six-column story; and the events section of the city-specific “Advertorial, Entertainment Promotional Feature” are replete with announcements of Kaleidoscopic Eyes.

Getting_Light_Headed

The ET report notes helpfully:

William Bissell, managing director of Fabinida, chanced upon the work of Trishla Jain, 28, at a Delhi art gallery.

“I saw the exuberance and joyous spiritedness in her work which I thought was great fun and Trishla also wanted to make her work accessible to lots of people,” said Bissell, whose father John Bissell founded Fabindia in 1960.

“Jain, a Stanford University graduate and a self-taught artist who started painting at the age of seven, said she had always wanted to create everyday objects inspired by her art. “Fabindia has greatly expanded the technical and aesthetic possibilities of my art. These art objects give my work a utilitarian aspect as well as allow me to reach a larger public.”

Also read: Power of the press belongs to those who own one

How Business World got its fortnightly look

25 February 2013

new-look-pu

Business World is out in a new avatar with a new periodicity.

In the first issue of the relaunched magazine, Fortune India art director Nilanjan Das and deputy art director Sanjay Piplani explain how they came up with the new design for the ABP group’s original business magazine.

The Grid: We live in an integrated world. We access content across media, platforms and screens. So we reassessed the grid — the intersecting lines that form the structure of a layout — to make the magazine a visual as well as literary delight, while maintaining fluidity across pages. Now, there is more white space, and images come out stronger and sharper.

The Fonts: A magazine’s character largely depends on typography. So we scoured 300 fonts to find the ones that were smart and elegant, so essential for a business publication. We selected 25 — 15 serif and 10 sans-serif fonts. Mixing and matching them on page, we cherry-picked three sans-serif and two serif fonts. And, we tried to challenge traditional styles of section heads and drop caps by making them bigger and bolder.

The Palette: Business persons are a dynamic herd. So should the media they engage with. There should be myriad colours; in all hues and tints. BW’s colour palette offers just that — a wide range of bright, warm, cool and elegant shades. We assembled the new palette with the intention of giving the pages a fresh, distinctive and powerful look, vis-à-vis our peers.

Also read: Business World to go fortnightly from weekly
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