Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Beast’

Tarun Tejpal: Hubris and self-loathing in Goa

26 November 2013

Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast on l’affaire Tarun J. Tejpal:

“What made Tarun Tejpal do this?” everyone asks. Some answers suggest themselves, the most unsettling of which is that, for all his rhetoric in the cause of women, Tejpal is, perhaps, just another unreconstructed, predatory Indian male who was playing the part of PC editor for commercial effect.

“A more complex explanation might be that his assault on his young reporter was the result of self-loathing: The “Think” festival in Goa is an ambitious affair, of a piece with Tejpal’s growing sense of himself as a media entrepreneur who has outgrown the relatively modest confines of Tehelka.

“To bankroll his new dimensions, the once-crusading editor has to go cap in hand to sponsors, some reportedly rather unsavory, with questionable civic records. This, surely, has had a corrosive effect on Tejpal and his self-image. None of this explains attempted rape, but it could explain the astonishing absence of moral guardrails and the alleged exercise of dominance as salve.

I’ve begged from the powerful, now I’ll take from the vulnerable.”

Read the full article: The fall of India’s conscience

Also read: Tarun J. Tejpal steps aside as editor of Tehelka

Life yourselves up, dearie, or get into my elevator

POLL: Is sexual harassment rampant in Indian media?

Online petition to protect Tehelka journalist’s privacy

Tarun Tejpal was trapped in a skin not his own’

***

Tarun Tejpal on the five facets of his life

How Congress regime stepped in to help Tehelka

A magazine, a scam, a owner & his Goan house

NYT, WSJ weigh on Tehelka‘s Goa controversy

Tehelka promoter says he didn’t turn off FW tap

‘Newsweek’ prize for South Asian commentary

2 May 2012

PRESS RELEASE: The American newsweekly Newsweek and the website The Daily Beast are offering a prize for the best commentary writing in South Asia in partnership with the Open Hands Initiative in order to celebrate and nurture outstanding talent and find fresh voices covering the region.

The aim of the prize is to promote and support the work of an individual who has contributed thoughtful, important, and engaging commentary on the great social, political, and cultural issues of their region.

The prize offers $25,000, a one-month residency at the Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a biweekly column for a year on The Daily Beast. The winner will be honoured at a dinner at the Asia Society in New York City on June 20.

Any nominated columnist, journalist, or writer based in and writing about South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh) is eligible for the prize. Only commentary written in the year prior to submission will be considered eligible for the prize.

Nominees must be available to travel to New York for the June 20 prize ceremony.

Editors, publishers, and writers across South Asia may nominate the best English-language columnists and journalists  or apply by sending us three to five examples of their work and writing a brief letter explaining why that particular individual deserves this recognition.

A panel of prominent international journalists and media experts— including writer and historian William Dalrymple, Editor of Newsweek International Tunku Varadarajan, Newsweek & The Daily Beast books editor Lucas Wittmann, author and journalist Sir Harold Evans, and Madhulika Sikka, executive producer, NPR—will read the submissions to select one winner and two finalists.

To submit a nomination, email commentaryprize@newsweekdailybeast.com

NYT, WSJ weigh in on Tehelka’s Goa controversy

11 November 2011

The controversy surrounding Tehelka magazine’s Goa conference, ThinkFest, had so far been largely confined to sections of blogosphere, which used an editorial page piece in Hindustan Times by the theatreperson Hartman de Souza, and Tehelka editor Tarun J. Tejpal‘s response to it, as a trigger.

Only Deccan Herald among the large English dailies gave any play to the kerfuffle kicked up by remarks reportedly made by Tejpal at the end of the first day of the conference, that since they were in Goa, they could eat, drink, be merry and “sleep with whomever you want.” (Also see “Crusader turns Collector“)

Possibly because Tehelka‘s conference had international backers in Tina Brown‘s Newsweek and its sister website, The Daily Beast, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have both found the controversy over the location and sponsorship juicy enough to put out stories today.

***

Lydia Polgreen in NYT:

The slick and well-attended conference led some in the Twitterverse and blogosphere to wonder: had Tehelka sold out to India’s mining barons and real estate tycoons?

The festival was sponsored by some of India’s top corporations and held at a hotel allegedly owned by men in jail awaiting charges involving the 2G telecommunications scam.

Potentially even more damaging, Tehelka faced accusations that it withheld an investigative story about illegal mining in Goa in exchange for the Goa state government’s support for the festival, an allegation the magazine’s editors strenuously deny. A version of the article was later published by Firstpost, a news Web site….

Tarun J. Tejpal, Tehelka’s editor, said that he was unaware of who owned the hotel or any environmental violations in its construction when his staff scouted the location months ago.

“When we looked for a hotel that could accommodate the scale we wanted, we couldn’t find a single hotel that could find a hall that could accommodate 600 to 700 people,” until they found the Grand Hyatt, which was still under construction. “Much later on the virtual eve of the fest we began to hear of these other issues.”

By then it was too late to shift to another location, he said.

Essar, one of the corporations sponsoring the festival, runs huge mines in Chhatisgarh and elsewhere, and some press critics have accused Tehelka of softening its criticism of the mining giant in exchange for sponsorship.

Tejpal flatly denied this, and said it was spurious to claim that his magazine’s journalism was somehow suspect, arguing that no publication has done more to highlight the plight of India’s dispossessed than Tehelkha, which frequently runs exposés of corporate and political misdeeds.

“There is a kind of absurdity for these arguments,” Tejpal fumed. “At the end of the day, by that count, virtually everything in India is suspect.”

Lucy Archibald in the WSJ:

However, some of the controversy merits a closer look. Most contentiously, writing in the Hindustan Times, Hartman De Souza, the sexagenarian theatre veteran and activist, accused the Tehelka editor of compromising a story about Goa’s illegal mining in order to get a green light for the festival.

According to De Souza, Tehelka reporter Raman Kirpal visited the state in March and discovered the illegal mining of iron ore at several times the environmentally cleared rate. This allegedly amounted to an illegal profit of Rs 8 billion ($163.5 million). Subsequently, the state-appointed Public Accounts Committee reportedly put the figure lost by the state exchequer closer to Rs 3,000 crore.

De Souza contends that Tejpal delayed the publication of the story just when he was in talks with Goa’s Chief Minister Digambar Kamat about approval and sponsorship for the event. And so far no such story on Goa’s illegal mining has run in Tehelka.

The reporter has since left the magazine and published his story on Firstpost.com, where he has now taken up a staff position. Coverage of the mining scandal followed in various local media outlets.

Several Goan government officials, including Kamat, were allegedly castigated in the committee’s report…. As a result of all this, De Souza objects to the inclusion of the Goan government as a sponsor of the ThinkFest event.

Tejpal published a strong riposte pointing out that the reporter in question was fired by Tehelka “on account of poor performance.” He strongly rejected De Souza’s version of events, calling his article “bizarre and baseless” and its author “full of rage at the world, but no facts.”

He also pointed out that they “actively refused sponsorship from all the Goan mining companies.” The festival was partly sponsored by companies including Aircel, Essar and Tata Steel.

Photograph: courtesy Newsweek

Also read: A magazine, a scam, an owner and his Goan house

Tarun J. Tejpal: “We haven’t bent or violated any rule”

Shoma Chaudhury in ’150 most powerful’ list

9 March 2011

Shoma Chaudhury, managing editor and one of the promoters of the weekly magazine Tehelka, has been named among the “150 Women Who Shake the World” in the re-launch issue of the American newsweekly, Newsweek.

“Champions women in India’s celebrated newsmagazine Tehelka,” is the seven-word caption for Chaudhury.

Newsweek has been relaunched this week under Tina Brown, former editor of Tatler,  Vanity Fair, New Yorker and Talk, who currently runs the webzine The Daily Beast.

Chaudhury had interviewed Brown during her 2007 India visit and written for The Daily Beast founded by her in 2009. Tehelka editor Tarun J. Tejpal interviewed Tina Brown during the Jaipur literature festival in 2009, was crowned muckraker-in-chief by the webzine earlier this year.

Tina Brown has been quoted as saying that “Tehelka is one of the most exciting news magazines in the world. Its probing in public interest, its vitality, enterprise and tenacity give it influence beyond the subcontinent.”

Also read: Arun Shourie: ‘Intolerant, abusive, dictatorial’

Newsweek: Who, why, when, how, where, what, what the…

Sudip Mazumdar: How a slumdweller became a Newsweek reporter

The Daily Beast prize for South Asian journos

3 August 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Tina Brown‘s portal, The Daily Beast, and the US-based non-profit organisation Open Hands Initiative have announced a new prize for South Asian journalists and writers covering the region. The aim of this prize is to promote and support the work of an individual who has contributed thoughtful, important, and engaging commentary on the great social, political, and cultural issues of their region.

Prize: The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize, a one-month residency at the Norman Mailer center and writers colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a biweekly column for a year on The Daily Beast. The two finalists will also be invited to contribute commentary to The Daily Beast.

Structure: Editors and publishers across South Asia will be asked to nominate their best English-language columnists and writers by sending us three to five examples of their work and writing a brief letter explaining why that particular individual deserves this recognition. To submit a nomination, email commentaryprize@thedailybeast.com

Eligibility: Any nominated columnist, journalist, or writer based in and writing about South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) is eligible to participate. Only commentary written between October 1, 2009, and October 1, 2010, will be considered for the prize.

Deadline: The prize will be awarded at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011. Finalists will be announced in December. All nominations must be submitted by October 1, 2010.

Also read: ‘Magazines, like mushrooms, must grow in the dark

Sir Harold Evans: Families are the best custodians of newspapers

How Kremlin trapped ‘Newsweek Russia’ editor

4 April 2010

The editor of Newsweek Russia, Mikhail Fishman, has been surreptitiously filmed snorting what appears to be a line of cocaine and sitting on a sofa next to a woman wearing only a t-shirt, in what is being described as a “honeytrap” laid by Kremlin to ensnare critics.

The video has surfaced on YouTube (the operative portion after 3 minutes). Fishman is quoted by The Sunday Times, London, as saying the KGB style tactic was a signal to independent journalists to keep a low profile.

Read The Times article: Honeytrap ensnares enemies of Kremlin

Read The Daily Beast article: Russia’s amazing drugs and hookers scandal

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