Posts Tagged ‘The Times Group’

The house that Raj Rewal built for a TOI editor

9 June 2014

sham lal

The national gallery of modern art (NGMA) in the capital is playing host to an exhibition by the architect Raj Rewal. And among the many works on display is Rewal’s design for the residence of the former editor of The Times of India, Sham Lal in New Delhi’s Gulmohar Park area.

A true man of letters, Mr Sham Lal wrote a weekly editorial-page column titled “Life and Letters”.

When T.N. Shanbag the owner of Strand Book  Stall in Bombay passed away, Namita Devidayal wrote in The Times of India:

“There was a time when the senior editors of The Times of India would go to Strand after lunch, browse and catch up with Shanbhag, and then stroll back through the arched arcades of Dadabhoy Naoroji Road, as part of their daily constitutional.

“‘Sham Lal’s wife hated me because he spent all his time and money on books,’ Mr Shanbhag used to joke about the former Times editor.

In her book on The Times, Bachi Karkaria wrote:

When Sham Lal retired, the newsroom (which he had never stepped into) gave him a farewell. It was held in the 6th floor canteen where the aam janata, not ‘invited’ to the august directors’ lunch room, ate.

Sham Lal was seldom seen in the latter, so he probably did not even known of the existence of the former. He was escorted up in the lift and into the huge hall. News editor, chief reporter, subs, peons, all sung his fulsome (sic) praises. The quiet but universally admired editor was presented ‘floral tributes’ and a salver.

Then the master of ceremonies grandly announced, ‘Now Mr Sham Lal will give a speech.’ Sham Lal slowly shuffled to his feet, cleared his throat, and as the packed hall waited in anticipation for an outpouring of enlightenment from the man who had attained intellectual nirvana, he merely said, ‘Thank you’. Then he went back to his chair and sat down….

At a party in Mumbai, Sham Lal was cornered by a large, garrulous American woman. After a 15-minute monologue, she stopped mid-flow and asked, “Am I boring you?” and Sham Lal replied with extreme and genuine courtesy, “Yes I am afraid you are.”

An epitome of an ivory-tower editor, Mr Sham Lal was once famously accosted in the ToI corridors by a studious looking young man as he stepped out.

“Who are you?” he is said to have asked the young man.

“Sir, I am your assistant editor.”

Also read: Man who educated Bombay journalists is dead

Khalid Mohamed on Sham Lal

Question: India’s best political reporting is in…?

20 March 2014

etplug

Although India’s best and biggest corporate scams—from Satyam to Sahara and everything else in between—routinely escape the business papers and business magazines and business channels, for quite a while, the best political reporting has come from The Economic Times.  And The Times group is losing no opportunity to drum home the message, even as it expands coverage.

Also read: ‘Business journalists are PR mouthpieces': Aniruddha Bahal

Aakar Patel: ‘Indian journalism is regularly second-rate’

SEBI chief: Business journalism or business of journalism?

New York Times: Why Indian media doesn’t take on Ambanis

Arnab Goswami has done a fab job: Vineet Jain

10 December 2013
vineet

From left, Raj Nayak, Kapil Sibal, Vineet Jain, and Anurag Batra at the Impact person of the year event, in Bombay

Times group managing director Vineet Jain has been named person of the year by the industry journal Impact, from the exchange4media group.

In an accompanying interview, Jain junior answers a couple of key questions.

Talking to Ken Auletta of The New Yorker [last year], you said, “We are not in the newspaper business, we are in the advertising business… If you are editorially minded, you will make all the wrong decisions.” Do you think advertising carries the Times Group’s media products or content?

I wish to reiterate that we are in the advertising business and not in the business of selling news – and I’ll explain why. If we were in the business of selling news, then the cover price we charge readers should have made us profitable. Fact is, subscription price does not come even close to covering the cost of newsprint. As much as 90% of our revenues comes from advertising; effectively, therefore, our advertisers are cross-subsidizing our readers. Which is why I say advertising is at the core of our business model.

There is a whole debate about Arnab Goswami being a brand by himself, overpowering Times Now. Is that good or bad for the channel?

Times Now has dominant leadership now for over six years. Arnab Goswami has done an incredible job for Times Now, which has established itself as the ‘go-to-TV-channel’ for breaking news, big news and significant views. He is a courageous journalist and respected by viewers of Times Now. Further, the Times brand is what gives viewers the trust and belief in what he and his able team deliver 24 x7.

Photograph: courtesy The Times of India

Read the full interview: Vineet Jain

External reading: Why Uday Shankar should have won

Also read: An editor explains Arnab Goswami to an NRI

POLL: The biggest news story of last 175 years?

23 April 2013

The Times of India, formerly known as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce, has kickstarted its 175th anniversary—its dodransbicentennial—celebrations.

Under the rubric “Leading change for 175 years”, R.K. Laxman‘s iconic dhoti-clad Man from Matunga under goes a partial makeover, with one half wearing jeans and goggles.

***

On its website, ToI has launched a microsite and there is even a poll on the biggest news story of the last 175 years.

Editorial director Jaideep Bose aka JoJo has a signed piece in the paper, and there will be a full page of archival material in the paper each week for the next one year.

Writes JoJo:

“The fact that this paper has grown from a single edition of a few thousand copies to some 50 editions with a circulation of close to five million — the largest in the world for any English newspaper by a long margin — speaks of its ability to divine the ever-changing mood of this chaotic, contradictory and creative superpower-in-waiting, which lives in many centuries all at once.

“Which big brand in India (and how many globally) can claim to have been around 175 years ago and grown the way The Times of India has? We are often asked, how do you do it?

“The secret, we believe, lies in being contemporary and relevant — the “Old Lady of Boribunder” remains young at heart, nimble on her feet, and razor-sharp up there. Incredibly proud though we are of our heritage, we don’t sail solely on it, but work continually to leave behind a legacy even more iconic than the one we’ve inherited.”

ET’s advice to media: move on, let go

19 March 2013

As a wave of earnestness sweeps across newsrooms over the Delhi gangrape, The Economic Times strikes a blow against the emerging political correctness:

“The media, the general press especially, must recognise that neither public purpose nor journalistic remit is being served by what sometimes appears to be a predetermined decision to find a ‘Nirbhaya headline’. Two unwelcome consequences follow whenever the media refuses to let go and move on in such situations. One, the lack of broader relevance of such stories becomes painfully apparent.

“Two, such stories begin, even if unwittingly, to trivialise the memory of the person and invade the privacy of those who loved her most. When such consequences become apparent, and they clearly are now, the media must self-correct . The bigger lesson here, one that the media should always remember , is that public discourse is inherently dynamic and many-layered.

“Changes, shifts, variety and multiplicity are its defining attributes. No single story, no single newsmaker, no single tragedy or triumph can really define public discourse. Therefore, efforts to impose a single narrative – no matter how well-intentioned – will always seem contrived. The sooner the general press realises this, the better it is for everyone and everything, not least the memory of Nirbhaya.”

Read the full editorial: ‘Media mustn’t force headlines’

How a martyr’s wife changed Arnab’s outlook

28 November 2012

The bumper 318-page eighth anniversary issue of Impact, the media magazine from Anurag Batra‘s exchange4media group, features dozens of print, electronic, digital and radio professionals recounting their personal stories.

Among them is the 2012 television editor of the year, Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Times Now*:

By ARNAB GOSWAMI

In August 2007, Sanjay Dutt was being moved from Arthur Road jail to Yerawada jail in Poona and we were following it keenly. Everybody was in the middle of this crazy chase, looking desperately for a shot, a sound byte, a picture….

In the midst of it all, I received a phone call from a viewer in Bangalore who said that he had been following my career and Times Now for a long time, but he wouldn’t do it anymore.

I was very surprised and asked him why he felt that way.

The person said he had a friend, a colonel in the Indian Army named Vasanth Venugopal, who had died fighting on the border. His body was being brought back to Bangalore but not a single news channel was bothered, so busy they were covering Sanjay Dutt.

There wasn’t even a mention of this martyr on any channel, while Dutt was being covered like there was nothing else happening in the world.

I was very upset and felt very guilty.

I told the gentleman that we would send a cameraman and get pictures of the cremation and do a story on it. That night, after we had done the story, I requested this gentleman and come and talk about his friend.

When I started my programme, and asked the producer whether the person had come, he said, ‘She is here.’

I told him I was expecting a gentleman, not a lady.

The producer replied, “Colonel Vasanth’s wife has come.”

Subhashini Vasanth had witnessed the last rites of her husband barely four hours back, yet she came to our studio.

Nothing has ever moved me as much as what she said that day.

She spoke about her family and her husband’s martyrdom, making me realise that journalism can sometimes lose its way and that we have an obligation to our viewers that goes beyond the narrow perspective of covering a movie star.

Since then, the way we cover the armed forces, internal security, issues relating to Pakistan is far more detailed than any other channel. That incident shaped the work that we do now.

* Disclosures apply

Photograph: courtesy Apoorva Salkade/ Outlook

Forget Ram Rajya, there is a new Ravana in town

24 October 2012

On the last day of Dasara, Vijayadashmi—the day Lord Rama is rumoured to have defeated the demon-king Ravana, in newspaper parlance—The Times of India‘s chief illustrator Neelabh Banerjee presents a new ten-headed monster–from corrupt cops to cricket officials to doctors to businessmen to bureaucrats to politicians—to slay (Click to view a larger image).

Also read: The newspaper cartoon that offended Christians

Why ToI right to use The Last Supper image?

The Mail Today cartoon that’s offending Israelis

The Mail Today cartoon that’s offending Aussies

‘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

There’s nothing like a bad deal at TimesDeal

4 October 2012

Last Friday, business pages of The Times of India carried single-column item on the supposedly “accidental” travails of Times Deal,  when a promo code being tested internally was reportedly leaked. The report quoted Satyan Gajwani, the newly appointed CEO of Times internet limited and son-in-law of the group’s bossman, Samir Jain.

Today, TOI‘s business page has a two-column “follow-up“.

Images: courtesy The Times of India

The curious case of Karan Thapar & a flyover-II

21 August 2012

After 17 articles on the City pages of The Times of India, Delhi, the 14 owners and residents on Palam Marg—including the media baron Aroon Purie and the TV anchor Karan Thapar—respond to the allegation that they objected to the expansion of a flyover becasue it threatened to eat into the service road in front of their mansions.

Image: courtesy The Times of India

Also read: The curious case of Karan Thapar & a flyover-I

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