Posts Tagged ‘Daily Times’

Sailing with the doves, supping with the hawks?

23 May 2010

Kanchan Gupta, associate editor of The Pioneer and a part of Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s PMO, kicks where it hurts most in the matter of the tainted Pakistani TV journalist, Hamid Mir.

The Geo TV anchor, who has interviewed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden thrice, now stands accused in the court of public opinion of instigating the murder of a kidnapped hostage at the hands of the Taliban.

“Geo TV belongs to Independent Media Corporation, which owns the Jang group of newspapers. And as we all know, the Jang group is the Pakistani partner of a well-known Indian group of newspapers in a joint venture called ‘Aman ki Asha’ which aims to promote cross-border harmony and peace.

“It would be perfectly in order to ask how can a media group that has die-hard Islamists with links to terrorist organisations vehemently opposed to peace with India in senior positions be a trans-border peace partner.

“It would also serve some purpose if we were to be told as to why the Jang group was selected over other newspaper groups or independent dailies like the Daily Times, which has played a leading role in exposing and outing Hamid Mir.

“Chinese whispers are not exactly reliable. But there could be some truth to the story doing the rounds that it was neither aman nor asha that prompted the partnership between the two media groups.”

Read the full article: The secret diary of Hamid Mir

Also read: When journo bites journo, it’s a ‘Super Exclusive’

Can newspapers bring peace between India, Pakistan?

‘The Lone Ranger of Loony Hindutva’ versus…

When journo bites journo, it’s a ‘Super Exclusive’

20 May 2010

Journalism is somewhat pompously described by its practitioners as a dog-eat-dog business. In reality, dog never eats dog; it just comes close to smelling its backside.

At least in India, where media tigers are ever so ready to reveal the ugly innards of government, bureaucracy, police, cinema, business, sport, etc, but not rival media tigers.

Take the recent case of you-know-who!

On the other hand, take the case of Hamid Mir, the hotshot executive editor of the Pakistani television station, Geo (of the Jang group), whose reported 13-minute conversation with a Taliban spokesman on a hostage being held by them was revealed by the rival Daily Times with unreserved glee.

In the conversation, Mir describes the hostage as a CIA collaborator, questions his Islamic credentials, and accuses him of playing a treacherous role in the 2007 Red Mosque siege in which over 100 people were killed. After Mir delays the hostage’s release, the bullet-marked body of the hostage is found on a roadside with a warning note to other “American spies”.”

In other words, Pakistan’s most famous anchor stands instigated the murder of a kidnapee.

There are plenty of question marks of course, starting with the timing and motive of the leak.

Hamid Mir has questioned the authenticity of the transcript, sued the paper, charged his country’s president of trying to defame him, claimed it’s an attempt to muzzle the media, and so on and so forth. His paper has instituted a probe, while the Taliban has given him a clean chit.

Still, the chutzpah of the Pakistani media, operating under the shadow of the gun, should leave its mighty subcontinental democratic counterparts, i.e. us, wondering.

Read the full transcript here: Daily Times

Photograph: Hamid Mir (left) with Al Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden, whom he has met three times

P. Sainath: ‘A media politically free, but chained by profit’

The Dawn editorial: Hamid Mir saga

International Press Institute Blog

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