Posts Tagged ‘ABP’

The investigative TV journo who now sells sarees

6 March 2014

dib

The state of mainstream Indian journalism, it can be argued, is somewhat reflected by the number of journalists churning out books; leaving for greener PR, corporate communications and “policy”) pastures; joining thinktanks; going on sabatticals, etc—and it is probably no different from the rest of the world.

But nobody drives home the issue better than Dibyojyoti Basu.

Once chief of bureau at M.J. Akbar‘s Asian Age in Calcutta. Once the director of Calcutta Doordarshan’s first news-based private television show Khas Khabar (a la Aaj Tak). Once the head of Ananda Bazaar Patrika‘s television wing. Once host of Khoj Khabar on Tara Bangla. And now…

And now, the proud owner of Woven, a lounge in Delhi’s Meher Chand marker, for Bengali sarees.

Basu, who hosted his last show in 2011  on Akash Bangla before it was pulled off by its Left-leaning promoters, sees this as a hibernation period, before he achieves his life ambition of starting his own TV station.

Visit Dibyojyoti Basu’s shop: Woven

Will The Telegraph, Calcutta, be around in 2024?

5 October 2013

telegraph

The news of former Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav being sentenced to five years in jail for the fodder scam under his watch was reported in the same old way by most newspapers which think readers do not have access to radios, TVs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

Not The Telegraph.

The Calcutta newspaper, with its tongue in rosogolla-lined cheek, telescopes into the future and enters the world Laloo will see in 2024, which is when he will be become eligible to contest elections once again, after a six-year hiatus following his release.

Laloo will then be 77, Narendra Modi will be 74, Rahul Gandhi will be 54, and Hema Malini—whose smooth cheeks became Laloo’s yardstick for smooth roads in Biharwill be 76.

While those are all real possibilities, The Telegraph also looks at the less real possibilities—like Sachin Tendulkar still playing and pondering his retirement, like Hillary Clinton ending her second term as US President.

Along the way, the paper also wonders about whether the print medium will be around in 2024:

“Watch this space. If newspapers are still around the way we know them, we will tell you how right or wrong we were.”

Also read: The last newspaper will be printed in 2043

Will paper tigers last longer than real ones?

A ‘mile-high experience’ for the hack-pack

1 October 2013

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A picture tweeted by the prime minister’s office (PMO) of the media scrum accompanying Manmohan Singh, as he answers questions in mid-air on his way back home after a five-day visit to the United States.

Among those identifiable, Raj Chengappa, editor-in-chief of The Tribune, Chandigarh (in suit, ahead of mikes); Jayanta Ghosal of Ananda Bazaar Patrika (behind him); Vijay Kumar Chopra, editor, Punjab Kesari (front row, aisle); and Mihir S. Sharma of Business Standard (third row, window seat).

In all, there were 34 newspaper, magazine and TV journalists on board.

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

‘Businessworld’ to go fortnightly from weekly

8 February 2013

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What goes around, comes around. Fourteen years after it went weekly, India’s second oldest business magazine, Businessworld from the Anand Bazaar Patrika group, is reverting to a fortnightly.

In a note to readers in the last issue of its weekly avatar, editor Prosenjit Datta explains why:

In 1999, when we had turned weekly, there was a very clear need to do so.

Twitter did not exist, and the Internet contained largely static content when it came to news. There was just one business news channel and it focused mostly on stocks. Most of the newspapers concentrated on news, and not analysis.

There was a great need for a business newsweekly…. a weekly publication that could analyse in detail the implications of the events taking place.

Over time though, the world changed and so did BW’s core content. As the Internet matured, and more dedicated business channels were born, they took over the primary role of disseminating news…. News became an increasingly small portion of what BW offered.

Now we are carrying those changes to the next logical step. We are stepping out of the news genre to focus entirely on issues, events and trends that will affect your business and the economy in the future.

Link via N.M. Upadhyay

Read the full note: Dear Readers

Also read: ‘Business journalists deserve credit for reforms’

‘Every big story in last 3 years broken by TOI’

15 October 2012

The front-page of the launch edition of Ei Samay, the new Bengali newspaper launched by The Times of India group, in Calcutta, on Mahalaya, the first day of Dasara 2012.

The first day’s issue comprises a 32-page main broadsheet section, a 32-page supplement, and an 8-page tabloid section titled O Samay.

The main section has an eight-page wrapper before the actual newspaper (above) begins. The front page of the paper carries the tagline “Dugga, Dugga” (colloquial for ‘Durga, Durga’, a traditional invocation when embarking on a new endeavour) with the kicker at the bottom reading: opening the window to a new world.

Pages 2 and 3 carry an introduction by Ei Samay editor Suman Chattapodhyay, against the backdrop of a giant cartoon. Chhattopadhyay’s interview with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee gets crossmedia play in The Times of India.

TOI’s Calcutta edition has an introduction titled ‘A Second Homecoming” penned by its editorial director, Jaideep Bose:

Ei Samay will open the windows to brave new thoughts and trends from around the globe even as it celebrates the best of Bengal. It will be intelligent, enlightened and insightful without being dense or inaccessible. It will probe beyond the pedestrian ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘what’ to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’. It will bring alive the drama and excitement of social, economic and political life by providing context and perspective, nuance and texture. It will track a society in transition and anticipate critical inflection points so that its readers are better prepared for tomorrow’s world today.

“It will not sugarcoat the truth, however bitter – almost every big story that has grabbed national headlines in the last three years has been broken by The Times of India. But it will also shine the light on tales of hope and heroism, because there is an army of remarkable people out there doing wonderful deeds to change the lives of the less-privileged, often without any expectation of gain or recognition.”

The launch of a Bengali paper pits the Times group in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with market-leader, Ananda Bazaar Patrika, which recently launched a tabloid newspaper titled Ei Bela to protect the flagship newspaper. The two groups are already engaged in a battle for the English market through ToI and The Telegraph.

Images: courtesy The Times of India

Read the full introduction: A second homecoming

Also read: The grandmother of all newspaper battles

Buy our newpaper: get a Harley-Davidson free!

Times, Telegraph and the Bengali paper wars

The new kid on the block announces an eclipse

The new kid on the block announces an eclipse

25 September 2012

The front page of Ei Bela, the new Bengali tabloid launched by the Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) group in Calcutta, as a “buffer” to counter the launch of a Bengali newspaper from The Times of India group, on the day Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamool Congress walked out of the Congress-led UPA.

This is the second tabloid from the ABP group, after the now-defunct evening daily The Metropolitan under M.J. Akbar.

Also read: Times, Telegraph and the Bengali paper wars

Read our paper, get  Harley-Davidson free!

Buy our paper, get a Harley-Davidson: Free!

5 September 2012

It’s raining gifts in the Bengali newspaper wars. And gone is the age of free flasks, timepieces and tee-shirts to woo subscribers.

Ei Bela (the moment), the soon-to-be-launched tabloid from the Ananda Bazaar Patrika group (which also owns The Telegraph and ABP News) to counter The Times of India group’s morning broadsheet Ei Samay (Times Now), is rolling out Apple iPods, laptops, smartphones, iPod Touch, SUVs and—wait for it—Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Also read: Times, Telegraph and the Bengali paper wars

‘Business journos deserve credit for reforms’

10 December 2011

India’s second oldest business magazine, BusinessWorld, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. A special issue to mark the occasion features all the  editors of the fortnightly turned weekly magazine from the Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) stable talking about their respective tenures:

Dilip Thakore (now editor, Education World): I served as editor of BusinessWorld for seven years (1981-87) during which — together with a strong and reliable country-wide team — I produced 166 issues of this then fortnightly magazine, and wrote over 100 cover stories which I believe transformed the national mindset about the character and potential of private sector business and industry.

Looking back in retrospect, I believe it was the missionaries of BusinessWorld (and Business India) who deserve a greater share of the credit for the 1991 liberalisation and deregulation of the Indian economy — than Dr Manmohan Singh and his over-hyped lieutenant Montek Singh Ahluwalia who were enthusiastic executives, if not architects, of licence-permit-quota raj for several decades and who were at the time earning unmerited dollar fortunes in the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

***

R. Jagannathan (now editor, First Post): My predecessor Dilip Thakore had made the magazine a hit with big business by pioneering personality-oriented writing…. Thakore reported on personalities, accompanied by large, professionally shot pictures. Critics sometimes rubbished this approach as soft PR, but I believe it was an important stage in the development of business journalism in India. He humanised business writing…. Thakore helped businessmen get comfortable with the camera, and coaxed them to bare their souls to the media….

BusinessWorld saw the growing interest in share investment and created a 16-page ‘InvestmentWorld’ section — perhaps the first general business magazine to do so. A bonus: if I recollect right, an amateur technical analyst called Deepak Mohoni also debuted in BusinessWorld, and was the first one to coin the term Sensex for the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index….

Another change that looked big then, but now appears routine, is colour. For the first time ever, BusinessWorld introduced 32 pages of colour during my watch. It was a bold statement to make to our readers, but we needed that to capture the bright new tapestry of Indian business. The black-and-white dullness of the Indian economy was about to change forever. But we didn’t know it then.

***

T.N. Ninan (now chairman, Business Standard):  My time at BusinessWorld (1993-96) was a productive and satisfying period when we ran some really good stories and profiles, introduced prize columnists like P. Chidambaram and Ashok Desai, and saw the over-all development of the magazine and (if memory is not playing tricks) a trebling of circulation in those four years.

Two other points are sources of satisfaction today: how well some colleagues of the time have done in their subsequent careers, in India and overseas — leading publications and TV channels, and winning awards — here and internationally; and the warmth and mutual regard that members of the team still have and share.

Unfortunately, there are no photographs of the Sarkar brothers doing a gentle jig, along with everyone else including Shobha Subrahmanyan who was the chief executive, around an evening campfire above a Goa beach, where we had gone for an editorial conference but played water-polo. Those pictures might have undermined the staid image of Aveek, Arup and Shobha, back home in Calcutta (as it was then), and were confiscated!

***

Tony Joseph (now heads MindWorks): No sooner had I taken over than the Vajpayee government decided to shake up the sands of Pokhran with a nuclear explosion. We were discussing how to handle that week’s issue and I remember the advice one senior colleague gave me.

“Ask yourself what Ninan would do,” he said, referring to T.N. Ninan, my predecessor, former boss and probably the most influential business journalist in the country. If that comment implied a certain lack of confidence in the new editor, I pretended not to notice! With a novice at its helm, I think we pulled off that issue without disaster, but soon other bombs were to go off.

A few weeks into my editorship, a consultancy firm that ABP had hired was considering what to do with BusinessWorld — let it go, or let it grow…. We started with a staff of about 71 in April 1998 and about a year and a half later, that number was down to 51, made up mainly of new recruits. Of the original staff, barely seven or so remained. I can only say that my communication skills must have been remarkable for it to have produced that dramatic an effect. Talk about inspirational leadership!

I would come into the office every morning wondering who was going to leave that day — and what would be up on the office notice board. Those who thought the magazine was going downhill despite the rising circulation would put up newspaper cartoons depicting clueless bosses making bone-headed decisions. I still wince at the sight of Dilbert cartoons!

However, we managed to retain some senior staff and build a core team of editors and writers who together shaped a new Businessworld, one that captured the zeitgeist of changing India. The change was not just in terms of what stories we covered, but also how they were covered.

***

Jehangir S. Pocha (now co-promoter, NewsX): When I joined BW, my peerless predecessor, Tony Joseph, had already turned it into India’s most sold, most read business magazine…. But the best products re-invent themselves before they are forced to. With India transforming, ABP’s editor-in-chief Aveek Sarkar wanted to refresh and re-think BW.

Given that charter, I felt BW had to transcend the traditional business news weekly formula of summing up the previous seven days. Instead, I wanted BW to become a forward-looking magazine, a kind of soothsayer and sentinel
for business.

Convinced that BW had to be world-class, New York-based designer Francesca Messina was commissioned to redesign the magazine. In-house art director Jyoti Thapa Mani, her team and I spent many hours bringing Francesca’s design to life, giving BW the look and new sections it boasts today. Though a new edit team also formed at the magazine, we remained committed to BW’s inimitable mixture of clever thinking and clear writing.

Tamil paper prints phone numbers of N-protestors

1 December 2011

In April 2010, the Bengali television news channel Star Ananda of the Ananda Bazaar Patrika group ran into trouble with the soon-to-be chief minister of the State, Mamata Banerjee, for “continously flashing” her mobile phone number after a railway accident.

Thousands of miles away, the Tamil newspaper Dinamalar, is making news for nearly similar but more serious reasons, for publishing the residential addresses and mobile phone numbers of those at the forefront of the agitation against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) that has gripped the southern State.

Below is the full text of their complaint to the editors of the paper (which is published from Madras, Madurai, Coimbatore and Pondicherry) with a copy to the press council of India headed by Justice Markandey Katju.

***

The Dinamalar issue dated November 24, 2011 published a front page story on us, S. P. Udayakumar, M. Pushparayan, and M. P. Jesuraj, the leaders of the ‘People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy’ that has been struggling against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Your news item has included our personal and private information such as home addresses, home phone numbers, mobile numbers and email addresses without obtaining any kind of prior permission from any of us. Your story has also included libelous and erroneous information about us without giving any kind of evidence or material proof.

The story has been written, edited and published with the criminal intent of inciting public anger and outrage against us and provoking the public to attack us and our families.

Ever since the story is published, our family members have been receiving obscene and threatening phone calls in our home numbers, and we all have been receiving similar calls on our mobile phones from your readers who tend to replicate your own foul language and unruly conduct.

Your story has caused enormous physical suffering, psychological pressure and mental agony to us and our family members and the story has endangered our and our family members’ safety and security.

Your criminal behavior has breached every journalistic ethos and norms practiced in India. We and our family members have filed criminal complaints with the Tamil Nadu police and our lawyers have initiated legal action against your newspaper in appropriate courts.

Yours truly

S. P. Udayakumar, M. Pushparayan, M. P. Jesuraj

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