Posts Tagged ‘Malayala Manorama’

The quasquicentennial of ‘Malayala Manorama’

13 March 2014

mm1

Malayala Manorama, once India’s largest selling newspaper before being overtaken by Dainik Jagran and The Times of India, has just completed the valedictory of its quasquicentennial celebrations.

Above is the first issue of the paper, which began as a weekly, published on March 22, 1888.

Below is the March 13, 2014 issue, which captures prime minister Manmohan Singh lighting the ceremonial lamp at the valedictory of the 125th anniversary in Delhi, with the paper’s chief editor Mammen Mathew at extreme right and executive editor Jacob Mathew, second from left.

Below is Ajit Ninan‘s magnificent cartoon of INS Manorama, with all the group’s (mostly bespectacled) captains, stewards, boatswains, navigators, and satellite systems, in position.

Also read: K.M. Mathew, chief editor of Malayala Manorama, RIP

A Spanish hand behind a Malayalam newspaper

The dodransbicentennial of The Times of India

‘UFO’ sends South Indian papers into a tizzy

19 June 2013

mm

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Two south Indian newspapers, the Malayala Manorama (in picture, above) and the New Indian Express, have reported the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) in Kannur district in Kerala.

According to Manorama, the picture was taken by Major Sebastian Zachariah, an Indian army officer serving on the UN mission in Congo, when he was testing his new mobile telephone.

UFO

The Express (above) followed suit, and quoted the major’s wife:

“My husband had a new mobile (HTC-1) and he was checking the features by clicking photos randomly. It was around 4.30-5 pm and suddenly he screamed saying that he got a UFO image. We couldn’t believe it first and thought he was playing a prank,” Divya who hails from Kannur said over phone.

“He did not see the UFO with his naked eye. We checked every frame carefully and only one had a flying saucer on it. We looked in the sky to spot something unusual. We came back home and did a thorough search on the internet and even scanned the NASA website.”

Thankfully, Express also quoted Professor Jayant Murthy of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore, who rejected the claims.

“Due to reflections of some optics there could have been illusions. People sometimes experience camera illusions and they are not UFOs. These are nothing real.”

The wellknown rationalist, Sanal Edamaruku, wrote on his Facebook page:

“UFO attacks can be “recorded” with new HTC-1 mobile phone App. UFO-logists have enough stuff for some time.”

Edamaruku also suggested a You Tube link to show how it is done:

However, one blogger put the whole thing in perspective:

“HTC–1 is a powerful phone with a very powerful camera. HTC -1 produces perfect images with one-press continuous shooting, VideoPic, and a camera that captures 300% more light. It has a very powerful Ultra Pixel camera supporting continuous shooting. It looks like the picture got captured only because of this powerful camera. Hence we cannot rule out the possibility that this a genuine UFO phenomenon caught on film due to a very powerful, advanced camera phone.”

Also read: How a giant pig fooled the American media

How a newspaper’s prank exposed websites

How Indian TV slayed a dangerous superstition

The only place black magic works is in your mind

A Spanish hand behind a Malayalam newspaper

7 February 2012

The Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama has unveiled a new look. The redesign has been done by Errea Commuications, the design house of the Spanish designer Javier Errea.

Image: courtesy Newspaper Design

Also read: Another boilerplate redesign from Mario Garcia

Also read: In its golden jubilee year, ET gets a redesign

Good heavens, another Mario Garcia redesign

Yet another paper redesigned by Mario Garcia

How come Mario Garcia didn’t redesign this one?

Finally, a redesign not done by Mario Garcia

Less is better for the new, redesigned rediff.com

Now, you can lick an “Indian Legend” for Rs 5

3 August 2011

From left, K.S. Sachidananda Murthy, Delhi resident editor, Malayala Manorama; P.J. Kurien, MP; Kapil Sibal, Union communications minister; Mammen Mathew, chief editor, Malayala Manorama; Manmohan Singh, prime minister; and Thangam Mammen at the release of the stamp in memory of the late Malayala Manorama chief editor, K.M. Mathew

No statue may be erected in memory of a critic, but a stamp can certainly be issued in memory of an editor.

K.M. Mathew, the chief editor of what was once India’s largest selling newspaper, Malayala Manorama, who passed away a year ago, has been described by the prime minister as an “Indian legend“.

And a five-rupee stamp and first-day cover have been released in his memory.

Also read: K.M. Mathew, chief editor, Malayala Manorama, no more

15 things you didn’t know about K.M. Mathew

What K.M. Mathew could teach today’s young tykes

Why doesn’t INS oppose ‘no-poaching’ pacts?

21 June 2011

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has branded the recommendations of the Majithia wage board as an attempt to muzzle the freedom of the press. But why does its heart beat for media freedom when competing newspapers enter no-poaching agreements which curtails the freedom of journalists?

That is the question that Yogesh Pawar asks. Pawar, a former Indian Express reporter who did a stint with NDTV before joining DNA recently, has been both a wage board employee and a contract comployee. He says both systems have their pluses and minuses.

But he uses tacit no-poaching agreement between papers (essentially to keep wages down) to drive home INS’ hypocrisy in ranting against the Majithia wage board in the name of media freedom.

Pawar writes:

“When there were only two broadsheets in town (The Times of India and The Indian Express in Bombay), they had a deal disallowing movement between themselves.

“What this did to morale and salaries can only be guessed as the drive to do well and get noticed simply stopped mattering. While some moved to television briefly as a bridge arrangement before coming back to their jobs of choice, others moved to Delhi where there were more options. The ones who couldn’t simply languished.

“Apart from your annual appraisals from within, when offers are made from other firms, it means the other organisation recognises your value. When media organisations changed to contract regimes, it was said that media-persons confident of their work need not be afraid.

“Doesn’t this work the other way round too with anti-poaching deals?”

Read the full article: What is sauce for the goose

Also read: Should papers implement Majithia wage board?

Why Majithia wage board is good for journalists

9 reasons why wage board is bad for journalism

Media barons wake up together, sing same song

INS: “We reject wage board recommendations”

External reading: Why not wage board for all journos and non-journos in media?

Should papers implement Majithia wage board?

20 June 2011

Notwithstanding the exponential growth of the print media post-liberalisation, it is clear that the voice of journalists in the publications they bring out is subservient to that of the proprietor, promoter and publisher on most issues and certainly so on the Majithia wage board for journalists and “other newspaper employees”.

Although owners and managers have unabashedly used the columns of their newspapers to rile against higher wages and build “public opinion” against the Majithia wage board through reports, opinion pieces and advertisements, a similar facility has been unavailable for journalists to air their views in the same publications.

It is as if journalists and “other newspaper employees”, whether on contract or otherwise, are in sync with their organisations in opposing the wage board’s recommendations. Which is, of course, far from the truth. Which is, of course, why a nationwide strike has been slated for June 28  to draw attention to journalists’ demands.

So, what do you think?

Is there a case for higher wages for journalists and “other newspaper employees”? Should the Majithia wage board be implemented or should wage boards be abolished? Are newspapers, which are rolling in profits, exploiting journalists with low wages and longer working hours? Or should journalists wisen up to the realities of the modern work place?

Is there truth in the charge that industry organisations like the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) are being used by big newspaper groups to prevent if not stall the new wages? Or is the contention of newspaper owners that they will wilt and crumble under the pressure of a higher wage bill justified?

Note: This sans serif poll is protected from repeat voting. Only one vote per computer, per IP address.

Also read: Why Majithia wage board is good for journalists

9 reasons why wage board is bad for journalism

Media barons wake up together, sing same song

INS: “We reject wage board recommendations”

‘Newspaper In Education’ has a new meaning

28 May 2011

For decades The Times of India Relief Fund used to be the paper’s most prominent “CSR activity”. Malayala Manorama took the lead the in building houses in earthquake-hit Latur in the mid-1990s. Plenty of newspapers and magazines chipped in for the tsunami-affected in Tamil Nadu. India Today even launched a project called Care Today.

Now, Shekhar Gupta‘s Indian Express takes the lead to build a block in a government school in the home-State of the paper’s founder, Ramnath Goenka. The two-storey, 12-room was constructed at a cost of Rs 87 lakh raised through the paper’s citizen’s relief fund, with the veteran journalist Swadesh Talwar in charge of the project.

Image: courtesy The Indian Express

‘The Week’ photographer bags WAN-IFRA gold

3 May 2011

Bhanu Prakash Chandra, photographer with The Week magazine, with the gold award in feature photography which he bagged at the 10th annual Asia Media awards hosted by the world association of newspapers and news publishers (WAN-IFRA) in Bangkok on Thursday, 28 April.

Chandra earned the award for his pictorial travelogue of a bike journey in the Himalayas.

External reading: My photo session (with Bhanu Prakash Chandra)

What K.M. Mathew could teach today’s tykes

9 August 2010

By T.J.S. GEORGE

Being famous is different from being important.

The trimurtis of English journalism in India–Pothan Joseph, Frank Moraes, M. Chalapathi Rao–are still unequalled in their star value and brilliance of writing. But historically they mattered little because they introduced no movement that transformed their profession.

Devdas Gandhi of Hindustan Times and Kasturi Srinivasan of The Hindu were not celebrities, but they were historically important personages because they helped convert pre-1947 missionary journalism into an organised industry, lending it strength and direction.

Ramnath Goenka was both celebrated (for his king-maker role in politics and his daring in opposing the Emergency) and important (for launching the then-original concept of a newspaper chain covering the vastness of India).

C.P Adityanar of the Dina Thanthi and Ashok Sircar of Ananda Bazar Patrika are other print media leaders who carved a niche for themselves in the history books. Both encouraged innovations to turn newspaper language from scholarly “written” style to accessible “popular” style. This was a major step towards the era of mass readership in India.

When we look at the media scene in this wide perspective, we see one man standing out as historically more significant than most others. The importance of K.M.Mathew, who passed away last week, rests not so much on the growth rate and acceptance level he achieved for Malayala Manorama as on how he achieved them.

First, he had a visionary outlook.

Secondly, he had that rare ability to change with the times.

When he became chief of the family-owned newspaper in 1973, it was selling 30,000 copies. He told a circulation department functionary: “If we can somehow reach 50,000, we can have an all-India presence, right?”

What was noteworthy was not the figure mentioned, but the vision of an all-India presence for a language paper from a small town in Kerala. A few days before Mathew’s death last week at age 93, his paper crossed a record print order of 18 lakhs.

He worked the magic by becoming an innovator. Eager to learn from others, he was instrumental in bringing the International Press Institute’s Tarzie Vittachi to India. Mathew helped Vittachi visit other newspaper establishments as well, often making the arrangements himself.

Seminars and workshops followed. Several newspapers benefited, but none more than Mathew who built a team of young journalists and managers, giving them training in India and abroad and professionalising management practices as well as journalism.

Mathew’s innovations were effective because he was a modernist who changed as ideas around him changed. Especially in the 1980s and 1990s, the world changed in revolutionary ways, IT and mobile phone leading the way. Mathew was ready with new inroads into television, FM radio, on-line editions. He even devised ways to reorient print journalism so that it could rise above television’s 24-hour breaking-news advantage.

Only in political orientation, he remained old-fashioned. Anti-communism sat as heavily on his paper as the position that the Congress could do no wrong. But Mathew’s personal warmth towards ranking communist leaders helped keep bitterness away.

Besides, his paper’s social involvement was too deep for anyone, including political critics, in ignore.

Special teams were commissioned to propagate one movement after another–water conservation, environment protection, garbage disposal. Large funds were spent to provide free heart surgery for children and housing for victims of earthquakes and tsunami.

On development issues he spent company money to convene meetings of experts so that constructive ideas would emerge for the authorities to act upon. He never cheapened these projects by using them as publicity gimmicks. He was a corporate citizen in the truest sense.

The greatest lesson Mathew left behind was that a newspaper could achieve commercial success and simultaneously fulfil its social responsibilities in a big way. This is a timely lesson because some very successful papers today have adopted the philosophy that they have no social responsibility whatever.

That is selfish, ignorant bunkum, and the proof is K. M. Mathew.

(Author, columnist and editor, T.J.S. George is founder editor of Asiaweek and editorial advisor to the New Indian Express)

Also read: K.M. Mathew, chief editor, Malayala Manorama, is dead

15 things you didn’t know about K.M. Mathew

15 things you didn’t know about K.M. Mathew

2 August 2010

The passing away of the doyen of Malayalam journalism, Kandathil Mammen Mathew, better known as K.M. Mathew, on Sunday has resulted in a rare outpouring of coverage, with Indian media proprietors burying their usual pettiness about competitors to salute one of their own.

So much so that the news of the death of the chief editor of Malayala Manorama is the front-page lead in its closest competitor, Mathrubhumi, accompanied by a front-page editorial. But the English language papers have a wealth of detail on the deceased doyen, too.

# That he was the eight child of his parents, which is why he titled his memoirs Ettamathe Mothiram (eighth ring).

# That his nickname was Mathukuttichayan ; that he was a hands-on editor; that he attended office till almost the last day.

# That he had short stint in the family’s balloon business in Bombay and as a planter in Chikamagalur before taking over the reins of the paper following his brother’s death.

# That he took the circulation of Manorama from 30,000 copies in 1973 to 18 lakhs in 2010; from one printing centre to 18.

# That the Manorama group now publishes 46 publications, and has presence in radio and television.

# That he maintained a low profile despite the soaring circulation of his paper. That, “KM never shouted; he smiled. He wouldn’t say, ‘ You’re wrong, that’s a crazy idea’.  He’d say and it was sincere, ‘Very interesting, would you help me understand your thinking?'”

# That he said: “Mistakes might appear on a newspaper. I too have made mistakes. The solution is not to write a resignation letter but to ensure that such a thing does not happen in future”.

# That he kept himself abreast of even the most minute developments in the media world.

# That he introduced reader-friendly editorial packaging techniques and professional page designing, and that he got a bunch of foreigners to work on the Manorama‘s design at various stages like Edwin Taylor (The Times, London); Peter Lim, (Strait Times, Singapore);  Peter Ong (American society of newspaper design) and Mario Garcia

# That he pioneered the hyper-localisation of news before “zoning” became a trend; that he thought a newspaper should reflect even the subtle issues of a region; that he brought out local editions for two or three panchayats, with less than 50,000 population.

# That he was so close to India’s ruling Nehru-Gandhi family that one of the first condolences upon news of his death came from UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.

Illustration: courtesy Sudipto Sharma/ The Indian Express

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,699 other followers

%d bloggers like this: