Posts Tagged ‘IIJNM’

Prabhu Chawla: ‘TV is dishing out cheap opinion’

5 May 2011

Prabhu Chawla, the editorial director of the New Indian Express, delivered the convocation address to the class of 2011 at the Indian institute of journalism & new media (IIJNM), in Bangalore, on Monday.

Chawla’s salient points:

# Something is rotten in the state of Indian media: Journalists have forgotten that they must report violations, not commit them. Journalists have forgotten to ask tough questions. Instead, they prefer to be supercops, judges and hangmen, all rolled in to one.

# Media is ailing from negligence and ignorance: Journalists no longer seem to have curiosity or the hunger for news. Instead, they seem to be losing credibility. Stories are not based on facts, but manipulated by politicians and corporate houses.

# Generation Next is suffering from lack of training: Most journalists are not looking for a good story any more. Neither are editors pushing them for better stories. TV channels have found the easy way of dishing out opinions instead of giving viewers information.

# Good journalism needs support from consumers: If Indian media has to be liberated from the clutches of advertisers, consumers have to pay for what they read or view. With a business model based on paid news and private treaties, advertisers have begun to dictate what goes into the news.

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View Prabhu Chawla’s PPT presentation

WHAT AILS_JOURNALISM TODAY?

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Photograph: Prabhu Chawla, editorial director of the New Indian Express, leads the faculty to the convocation of the class of 2011 at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, in Bangalore on Monday, 2 May 2011. To his left is Kanchan Kaur, vice-dean. (Karnataka Photo News)

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Ask Prabhu

Vol I. No.I: Straight drives from the man behind Seedhi Baat

Vol I. No IIHome truths from the man behind Sachchi Baat

Vol I. No. III: My greatest feat and my greatest failure

Vol I. No. IV: No one can destroy Ramnath Goenka‘s Express

Vol 1. No. V: Media doesn’t need a regulatory mechanism

Kurta, sandals and the gown at the convocation

8 May 2010

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh stirred up a minor tsunami in the tea cup by flinging away the ceremonial gown at a convocation in Bhopal, calling it a “barbaric practice” unsuited for Indian climes.

Well, top Indian editors seem to be ahead of Ramesh, in a manner of speaking.  At stuffy convocations of journalism schools, they perfunctorily wear the “colonial relic” over kurta and sandals without batting an eyelid.

Last year it was Shekhar Gupta; this year it is Rajdeep Sardesai.

In picture, Sardesai (in orange robe), the president of the editors’ guild of India and the editor in chief of the IBN 18 network, leads the convocation procession at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore on Saturday.

To his right is the dean Abraham M. George, and behind them is vice dean Kanchan Kaur.

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Excerpts from Rajdeep Sardesai’s convocation address:

“The real challenge for young journalists today is the ethical challenge. If they can measure up to this challenge, they can find a way of changing the profession.

“What we have today is the journalism of short cuts; a journalism of who got it first and not who got it right. Get the story right; it doesn’t matter if it is ten minutes late.

“There is so much information available in the world today, but no knowledge. More media does not necessarily mean better media.

“We live in an era of sensationalism where people like me, who should be giving you the right information are under pressure to hype up the information.

“The real problem in Indian journalism is not with young people who entered the profession with hope, but with the top people who end up compromising the ideals they themselves set out with. They are the ones who forget to tell young people things about privacy, about the truth, about telling the story as they see it.”

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

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Shekhar Gupta: ‘No better time to enter journalism than now’

Vinod Mehta: ‘Seven rules for young journalists’

Sir Mark Tully: ‘Seven habits of highly effective journalists’

We’re all maalis in The Great Gardener’s hands

13 December 2009

Among his many stand-out traits, the photojournalist T.S. Satyan, who died in Mysore on Sunday, went out of his way to “give back something to the profession that gave them so much”.

Even in his 80s, he was ever ready to travel long distances to speak to young students of journalism; delivered anecdote-filled lectures; opened photography exhibitions; held workshops; took part in debates.

In this file picture, he interacts with photojournalism students of the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM)*, Bangalore, who visited his residence showing off his almost masterly knowledge of plants and flowers. The department head, Saggere Ramaswamy, is to the right of the frame.

* Disclosures apply

Allen J. Mendonca: Here’s looking at you, kid

29 September 2009

allensandhya

CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY writes from Bangalore: Allen Mendonca slunk away in sleep, gently tip-toeing into the darkness never to return.

This time, his flamboyance was missing.

The swagger was not there.

There were none of the histrionics either.

49 is no age to exit out. Yet, he chose to do it his way. He never did believe in giving tortuous explanations to people.

The inexplicable emotions of the heart ruled over his mind most of the time. The unmistakable lilt in his voice and freewheeling gait was proof.

Anyway, he probably had his reasons to leave early.

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For me, Allen was a friend and a supporter. For a million others, perhaps a hundred million, Allen was a friend and a supporter. His friends, like the stories he sourced, were diverse.

They included a broad swath of shallow socialites, dodgy journalists and plain beer-swilling louts. He bear-hugged  them all unmindful of their forked-tongues and crooked agenda.

Allen chose not to differentiate, not to be judgemental of people and that was his true strength, and perhaps his failing too. He practiced his vocation with the same sense of   ‘openness’ – writing on every conceivable subject with a freshness in perspective and prose.

On a good day, Allen’s writing was a piece of poetry.

On an ‘exceptionally good day’  it was deliciously defamatory. Bureaucrats and businessmen got slammed on their pompous backsides.

While some called it whimsical writing others swore by it and religiously began their day with Allen’s byline.

Everybody read it. Everybody spoke about it. And Allen, like the true showman,  loved the adulation, the applause.

On one occasion, he wrote a controversial piece on Vijay Mallya, and was forced to tender a written apology. I remember calling him that morning, expressing my disgust and railing against the world at large. Confronted by my shrill journalistic fervor, misplaced perhaps (?),  early in the morning, he merely  guffawed.

In 2002, as the visiting faculty of a journalism school, I had invited Allen, then Times of India’s metro chief, to share his experiences with the students.  Despite a late night, he was there at the Times’ office at the crack of dawn to ride in my bumpy car to the school that was located on the outskirts.

Needless to say, he won the kids over with his disarming charm and simple home-truths.

No profundities, no lofty ideological bluster, the challenges a reporter confronts are real.

The fun-part was after the interaction, when I drove the affectionate father to meet his son Aditya at the BGS International School nearby.

Much earlier, when I began my career with the Frontline magazine, Allen’s Christmas party was a turning-point for me. M.D. Riti, who had just quit The Week magazine, suggested that I apply for the position and pursue the opportunity. Allen and his wife Sandhya prodded me on to embark on this new adventure.

There are innumerable memories associated with Allen and recounting them all would be impossible. More recently, during his recent stint as editor of a city-based magazine, I would often run into him at Koshy’s.

The friendly wink and handshake remained unchanged, thankfully.

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The last time I met him was on September 16 at friend Jessie Paul’s  book-launch. Sandhya did the author’s introduction.

Even as Sujit John of the Times, Darlington Jose Hector of Financial Chronicle, Benedict Parmanand of Rishabh Media Network and I bantered around in a group, Allen accompanied by a lanky Aditya made a quick entry,  shook hands with us and vamoosed.

He seemed in an obvious hurry that evening and we couldn’t spend much time.

A few days later, on the night of September  27, I called Madras-based journalist and friend Daniel P. George on his cell phone for a general catch-up session. Danny yelled over the din of a rambunctious party and told me that he was at the Leela Palace in Bangalore with Allen and his family.

I said, “have fun” and disconnected.

That night Allen, the friend, the supporter, went to sleep.

Photograph: courtesy Chandana Vasistha Aiyar via Facebook

Also read: Allen J. Mendonca, rest in peace

‘No better time to enter journalism than now’

2 May 2009

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Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta (in picture, left) has said there couldn’t be a more exciting time to enter journalism than the present one.

Delivering the convocation address to the Class of 2009 at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore on Saturday, he predicted that the present crisis in the media would lead to the second “Golden Age”.

Recalling that the Emergency had been called the worst time for young journalists, he said that there was a journalism boom immediately after the Emergency.

That, he said was the “Golden Age” of the Indian media.

The current crisis, he said, would wipe out the large amounts of space that we have for the average, the mediocre and the below-mediocre. Competence levels will go up, he said, adding that journalism has as many incompetent people and scamsters as has any other profession.

All talk of the demise of print journalism as we know it today is all noise, Gupta said, adding that the newsroom was going to be redefined with the introduction of competent, digitally-savvy journalists.

Exhorting young journalists to be curious, he rated curiosity as the essential quality for a journalist. He also asked young journalists to be more opinionated in the news room, than in their stories, to see everything as a story, and to uncover what those in power don’t want to cover.

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Photograph: Shekhar Gupta proceeds to deliver the convocation at IIJN. To his left is IIJNM vice dean Prof Kanchan Kaur (Karnataka Photo News)

How IIJNM students put the RTI to good effect

1 May 2009

Only 10 per cent of India’s 1.1 billion population is said to be aware of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which grants citizens the right to access government documents.

Nevertheless, its power and potential is unmatched. For a small fee, any Indian, male or female, rich or poor, can step up to “the scariest government agency” and take his or her shot.

For journalists, RTI is a “game-changer“.

Students of the 2008-09 investigative class of the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore—under the guidance of Prof Ralph Frammolino, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times for 24 years and a Pulitzer Prize finalist—have used the RTI to show how killer local city bus drivers are back at the wheel; how the State government never fires chronically absentee teachers; and how the chances of corrupt officers trapped and raided by the Lok Ayukta getting punished are low.

They have also used RTI to show how chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa uses public money for his temple visits. It wasn’t easy. The students had to go to the CM’s office 12 times and file an appeal before obtaining the list.

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PAVAN KUMAR H. and P. KRISHNAMURTHY write: During his first five months in office, Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa spent more than Rs 11 lakh in government funds to make eight trips to Hindu temples—including one to Tirupathi to take part in the Bramhotsava.

Records obtained by IIJNM Investigations under the Right To Information (RTI) Act show that Yediyurappa charged the eight trips to taxpayers as “official” business.

In five out of eight instances, he used government funds to rent a helicopter or an airplane to carry himself and several top ministers to Hindu shrines, where he offered pujas and, in one case, inaugurated a food serving hall.

Interviews and records also show that during the same period, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader made no official visits to other houses of worship even after being invited by Christian and Muslim leaders.

And in one case, Yediyurappa was visiting a Mangalore temple at government expense the day after pro-Hindutva vandals ransacked two nearby Christian sanctuaries.

Despite heavy media coverage of the church incidents, Yediyurappa didn’t show up at the churches, although he denounced the attacks on prayer halls and met Christian leaders. Still, his failure to visit the sanctuaries prompted accusations that he and his pro-Hindu BJP tacitly condoned the attacks—a charge he vigorously denies.

A BJP spokesman defended the chief minister’s temple visits, saying the reason he didn’t go to mosques and churches in the first few months of his tenure was because “he was not invited.” Yeddyurappa has since gone to at least one dargah and one church, according to press reports.

“Yediyurappa is not against any religion,” said A.L. Shivkumar, media manager of the State BJP. “He treats all religions equally.”

Kumar said Yediyurappa has gone to more temples because Hindu priests continually ask him to.

“He visits many places and people invite him to the temples nearby, so he goes there,” he said. “He is a ‘pakka‘ (devout) Hindu and he goes to a temple as every traditional Hindu does. It would be wrong if he does not go there.”

But Christian and Muslim leaders have another account.

Adolf Washington, public relations officer for the Catholic Archbishop’s office in Bangalore, said church officials had called Yediyurappa “many times but he did not come. He is a Chief Minister so we cannot force him to come.”

Salim Babu, secretary of the Karnataka Wakf Board, which manages mosques for the government, said both Yediyurappa and his Wakf Board Minister, Mumtaz Ali Khan, have spurned requests from the Muslim community to attend events and meetings.

“He is not interested in attending mosques,” Salim said about Yeddyurappa, adding that the chief minister showed favoritism to the religious majority. “He should not discriminate between a tall son and a dwarf son.”

Records show that Yediyurappa’s State-paid temple visits began shortly after he was sworn in on 30 May 2008.

His first was on June 17, a trip that cost taxpayers Rs 2,440, to the Ghati Subramanya Temple in Doddabalapur. That was followed 12 days later by a Rs 854 car ride to the Sri Keshtra Siddhara Betta temple in Tumkur. There, the chief minister participated in a Guru Vadana, or tribute ceremony, in honor of Shiva Kumar Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt.

The most expensive trips were to Tirupathi, India’s most famous Hindu shrine. His trips on July 17 and October 1 each cost taxpayers Rs 3.6 lakh for a “special aircraft” and Rs 9,500 for the taxi.

The official purpose given for the trips was “local visit,” although the latter was during the Bramhotsava. The nine-day festival is the busiest time for the temple.

Twice he flew in state-paid helicopters to temples. A September 8 trip to the Banavasi temple in Hassan cost Rs 1.4 lakh for the helicopter ride. The other, on October 10, cost taxpayers nearly Rs 1.9 lakh for transportation to the Sri Krishna Mutt in Udupi, where he inaugurated  the food hall.

According to the CM’s office, a temple visit is “official” and paid by the government if Yediyurappa is invited by a local official, such as a district commissioner (DC), to attend a public ceremony, function or make an inspection.

Also read: How to use RTI and be the change you want to see

Time to listen for the graduating class of 2009

1 May 2009

# Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief, The Indian Express, delivers the convocation address to the graduating class of 2009, at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM), Bangalore, on Saturday, May 2. Time: 10.30 am.

# Kumar Shahani, film-maker and thinker, contemplates on ‘To Make Sense’ at the convocation of the class of 2009 of the Asian College of  Journalism (ACJ), Madras, at the Music Academy on TTK Road, on Sunday, May 3. Time: 6.30 pm.

Must-read: James Fallows‘ commencement speech at Medill

Ben Bradlee‘s commencement address at Columbia J-school

Steve Jobs‘ commencement address at Stanford

Jon Stewart‘s commencement address at William & Mary

American professor killed in Indian road accident

24 November 2008

sans serif announces with regret the passing away of Brent Hurd, a Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) in a road accident on the outskirts of Bangalore, on Sunday. He was 38 years old.

Prof Hurd, who was riding a bicycle back to the institute campus after a swim at a nearby club was knocked down by a local bus on the busy Bangalore-Mysore road. He was rushed to a hospital down the road, where he was pronounced dead.

The Delware-born Texan is survived by his parents, a brother, and two sisters.

A much-travelled film documentary maker, who had earlier worked at the American University in Washington DC and in Baku State University in Azerbaijan, Prof. Hurd had joined IIJNM in July 2008 to teach video journalism and documentary film making.

In a decade-long career in journalism starting as a writer at the Voice of America, Prof Hurd had reported from four continente. He was part of a team that won a CINE Golden Eagle award for the 1999 travelogue, “Surprising Bulgaria”, and his print articles and photography had been published in The New York Times, among other publications.

He had previously served as a peace corps volunteer in Bulgaria; a tour guide in Europe; and helped negotiate contracts for construction of the International Space Station.

“I have walked the streets of southern Thailand covering religious conflict, canvassed the Medina of Tunis assessing women’s rights and studied geysers to understand geothermal technology in Iceland,” Hurd had written on his website.

A memorial service was held at the IIJNM on Monday and his body will be flown to the United States.

Photograph: courtesy IIJNM

Visit Brent Hurd’s website: Border-free world

Also read: ToI headline on Hurd death irks Fulbright scholar

Vinod Mehta: Seven rules for young journalists

6 May 2008

Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, delivered the convocation address at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore on 3 May 2008, and laid out the ground rules for the graduating Class of 2008.

1) Be a professional journalist: Have a sense of mission and be proud to say your a journo.

2) Don’t be an intellectual eunuch: don’t be biased but don’t be afraid of holding a point of view.

3) Learn to exercise control over your writing whether you are a print journalist or a television journalist.

4) Be a sceptic, not a cynic: Do not be afraid to question, but do not try to doubt everything.

5) Stay away from corruption: Refuse blandishments for money, for access, for sources.

6) Avoid politicians: Know them but don’t be friendly. Don’t become buddies with them.

7) Avoid PR and ad men: Meet them, intereact with them but don’t be at their beck and call.

Announcement: Vinod Mehta in Bangalore

29 April 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, is to deliver the convocation address to the graduating class of 2008 at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM), Bangalore, on Saturday, 3 May 2008, according to a press release from associate dean, Kanchan Kaur. The time is 10.30 am. The location: IIJNM, opposite BGS international school, Nityanandanagar, on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, after Kengeri.

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