Posts Tagged ‘TV9’

TV9 reporters ‘stung’ by their own operation

12 March 2014

tv9_d_k_shiTwo reporters of the 24×7 Kannada news channel TV9 have landed in jail after being arrested by Bangalore police following a “sting” operation in which they were reportedly trying to entrap a powerful and controversial Congress minister by offering him a bribe with secret cameras, went awry.

Deccan Herald reports that the police are also on the lookout for the channel’s Bangalore head, Mahendra Mishra.

The reporters—Shreyas, 28, and Shwetha, 24, both carrying identity cards of News9, the Bangalore-centric English TV channel operated by TV9—approached energy minister D.K. Shiva Kumar in a manner reminiscent of Operation Westend, which felled BJP president Bangaru Laxman over a decade ago.

The reporters claimed to be representing a fictitious London-based solar power based company called EnerGo.

After they had established initial contact, the reporters were invited by the minister to his residence on Sunday. At that meeting, the minister expressed his helplessness citing the model code of conduct but directed them to meet his officers.

According to Deccan Herald, at the third meeting on Monday, the duo allegedly offered the minister Rs five lakh in cash and asked him to accept the money. The minister grew suspicious and called up the police who rushed to his house. They found hidden cameras on frisking the two journalists and arrested them.

Addressing a press conference, the minister—a close aide of former chief minister S.M. Krishna—said that the duo had earlier met him with request to approve a file.

“I contacted the officials of the department, and learnt that no such file is pending with the department. I grew suspicious about the motive of these people. The two reporters, who came to meet me at 9 am, again came to my house at 3.30 pm. As I had suspicion about their activities, I had requested policemen to be present in disguise. When they tried to offer money, I asked the policemen to take them into custody.”

Following the arrest of its journalists, TV9 has conducted a relentless campaign through its channels, with the simple proposition: “Is it wrong to conduct sting operations?”, also the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has clearly stipulated guidelines for its members.

In 2011, the then power minister of Karnataka, Shobha Karandlaje of the BJP, had a duo arrested for nearly identical reasons, but they weren’t reporters.

For the record, D.K. Shiva Kumar’s inclusion in the Congress ministry has been a hot-button issue and activists have questioned his inclusion despite the cloud of corruption charges hanging over his head.

Also, for the record, TV9—whose tagline reads “For a better society”—has been relentless in its coverage of the corruption of Shiva Kumar, including his alleged links with the underworld. The minister has previously been known to have a keen interest in launching his own TV channel to temper the torrent of criticism.

‘Anchoring news is easier than acting in a movie’

29 October 2013

20131028-111447-PM.jpg

A number of male news journalists (Sashi Kumar, Prakash Belawadi, Dibang, Ravi Belagere) have slapped on greasepaint for roles in front of the camera in recent times.

At least one Telugu anchor (Udaya Bhanu) has starred in an item number.

Now, Sheethal Shetty, the peppy newsreader and presenter on the Kannada news channel TV9, is featuring in a lead role in a “Sandalwood” movie titled Ulidavaru Kandante (Kannada for, as viewed by survivors/witnesses).

ulidavarukandante-2

Shetty who has a sizeable following on Facebook, plays the role of a journalist who convinces her boss to do a story involving her childhood friends who are upto no good.

She talks to That’s Kannada.com on the difference between her two worlds.

“Anchoring is easier than acting. Everything is “live” in a news environment—the bulletins, breaking news. You adapt to the developing situation and generally find your way. In a movie, on the other hand you have to do just what the director says. We need to meld ourselves with the role….

“I used to spend 10-11 hours a day in a news studio. Food, sleep were secondary. I used to wonder what was the road ahead. I wouldn’t get time for anything. Now having stepped out, I want to learn some music and pay some attention to my health and fitness. I have even started a blog to do some writing.”

Shetty is the second TV9 Kannada anchor to step into cinema. Ranganath Bharadwaj had preceded her before he returned to news at Suvarna News 24×7.

Also read: Prakash Belawadi: Bangalore reporter who became ‘RAW agent’

For Sashi Kumar, acting is second string in bow

Karnataka gets an acting chief minister in Ravi Belagere

When a magazine editor marries a starlet, it’s news

Journalists vs journalist in Bangalore free-for-all

11 April 2012

The page one story in 'Kannada Prabha' on Tuesday, in which a journalist claims to have broken a story before a Bangalore tabloid editor who is claiming credit for it.

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: A veritable dogfight has broken out in Bangalore between a 24×7 Kannada news channel owned by the MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and the owner-editor of a weekly Kannada newspaper.

On the surface, the dispute is over credits for a recently released Kannada film.

But, deep down, the spat has served as a platform for some unabashed shadow-boxing between two leading Kannada journalists that has already seen plenty of bile being spilled on the tabloid editor’s parentage, his sexual exploits and financial dealings, not to mention his journalistic vocabulary and targets.

And everybody from film folk to co-journalists have been happily indulging in a slugfest that has also become a TRP battle between the two leading Kannada news channels.

***

When the Kannada film “Bheema Teeradalli” opened last Friday, Ravi Belagere, the editor of the popular Hi! Bangalore  tabloid popped up on the No.1 Kannada news channel TV9.

He claimed it was he who had unearthed the story of Chandappa Harijan, on whom the film had allegedly been based, but he had neither been consulted by the film makers nor acknowledged in the credits or compensated for it.

All through the TV9 show, the film’s producer, director and actor hemmed and hawwed on where they had suddenly found the inspiration for the film while Belagere, a regular face on Ramoji Rao’s ETV, tore into them.

***

The moment the two-hour TV9 show ended on Saturday, the scene of action shifted to Suvarna News 24×7, Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s news channel whose editor-in-chief is Vishweshwar Bhat and whose friendship with Ravi Belagere has seen better times.

(Belagere used to write a weekly column for Vijaya Karnataka edited by Bhat and Bhat played a guest role in a film produced by Belagere that didn’t quite see the light of day.)

Ravi Belagere (centre), editor of Hi! Bangalore, with Suvarna News and Kannada Prabha editor-in-chief, Vishweshwar Bhat (left), in happier times

***

For months, the two Bangalore journalist-friends turned foes had been at each other throats, more in private than in public. It’s been open season since the film row broke.

On one night on Suvarna News, Pratap Simha, the news editor of Kannada Prabha (a Kannada daily owned by Chandrasekhar and edited by Bhat) and who had been the attacked in a cover story in Belagere’s publication earlier, threw a series of challenges to the tabloid editor.

On another night, the publisher of a competing tabloid pulled out love letters allegedly written by Belagere. A telephone caller, who claimed he was a police inspector, called Belagere “loafer” and “420” on-air.

***

Ravi Belagere again reappeared on TV9 to explain the many photographs and videos he had shot to prove his “intellectual property rights” over the disputed film, but the film’s key men had parked themselves in the Suvarna studios.

In between, Kannada Prabha jumped in to the action.

On page one on Tuesday, it led with the account of another journalist T.K. Malagonda, who claimed he had written about Chandappa Harijan long before Belagere, and that he had provided all the information and photographs to him and that he had not been acknowledged for his effort—the very claim Belagere was making.

On Tuesday night, Suvarna News went one step further. As the two-hour show went on, a crawler ran on TV screens: “If who have been harassed by Ravi Belagere, please dial 080-40977111.”

A long and famous friendship, it seemed, had come to an end.

How Kannada TV channels hit back at lawyers

3 March 2012

After the free-for-all in the Bangalore courts on Friday, in which lawyers took the law into their own hands, clobbering reporters, stoning OB vans, etc, all the 24×7 Kannada news channels—TV9, Suvarna News, Udaya News, Janashri, Samaya, Public TV, News 24—blacked out their screens for two minutes at 8 pm and ran a uniform message registering their protest.

The message read:

“We strongly protest the violence unleashed on journalists by lawyers.”

Photograph: courtesy Vishwatma Bhat

Porngate: How BJP MLA blacked out TV, papers

9 February 2012

A battle royale has broken out between the two leading Kannada news channels over who broke the porn video scandal, involving ministers in the BJP’s “gateway to the south”, Karnataka.

Market leader TV9 ran a news item on its 9 pm primetime news show on Wednesday, complete with a visual of its head honcho, Mahendra Mishra. The news item contained an interview with its cameraman in the legislature who caught the ministers prying into their cellphones and who then sent off an SMS to the reporter, Laxman Hoogar.

Not to be outdone, the Rajeev Chandrasekhar owned Suvarna News claimed it was the first with the story. All evening it ran news of the scandal with mnemonics and a “super” shouting “Naave First” (we were first). Its news item had one of the errant ministers referring to a Suvarna News reporter by name, which the channel played in a loop as to validate its claim.

All this breast-beating comes a day ahead of the launch of another news channel, Public TV, to be edited by former Suvarna News head, H.R. Ranganath.

More importantly, The Times of India reports that one of the three ministers caught with his pants down, Laxman Savadi, ensured that visuals of his watching the porn visuals was blacked out in his constituency, Athani, by ordering that electricity be cut off.

No newspaper of any language reached the town as most bundles were booked and purchased by his supporters en route.

Image: courtesy The Times of India

Also read: One more claimant for 2G spectrum scam

Everybody loves (to claim credit for) an expose

Times Now. Times Now. Times Now. Times Now.

LGBTs want a public apology from TV9 chief

4 March 2011

TV9, one of India’s most watched news networks—miles ahead of all its English majors—with a presence in Telugu, Kannada, Marthi, Gujarati and Malayalam, is in trouble once again.

The channel’s racy, often breathless, coverage of news often borders on the scurrilous. Now LGBTs—lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals—have hit back on a recent TV9 “sting” operation in Hyderabad, and demanded an apology from the network head, Ravi Prakash.

***

Dear Mr Prakash

Last week your station, TV9, aired an inflammatory program that has had a life-shattering impact on many of the people whose voices and faces were filmed, without their consent, in the report titled “Gay Culture Rampant in Hyderabad”.

Please submit a public apology for the damage caused by this broadcast, and publicly commit to never re-airing this program, or any similarly derogatory and anti-gay or anti-trans programming on TV9.

In your own words, you have said that TV9 should be, “a news channel that would be fiercely independent and bring the best professional practices to Telugu journalism.”

The recently aired program falls far short of those standards, and TV9’s reputation as a fair and balanced news source is at risk as a result of the fall out from this offensive, and deeply unprofessional program.

Please use your role as CEO of the network to ensure that the network regains its footing as a respectable news source, and regains the respect and trust of its viewers.

Link via Shobha S.V.

External reading: TV9: enough is enough

Also read: Will even 90 cases bring some sense into TV9?

For a few TV rating points more, a life was lost

21 August 2010

Mail Today, the tabloid newspaper owned by the India Today group (which also owns the Hindi TV channel Aaj Tak), reports that two TV journalists have been arrested named in Ahmedabad for coaxing a man to immolate himself outside a police station in front of their cameras.

The journalists—Mayur Raval and Kamlesh Raval—belonging to TV9 Gujarat and a local cable company GTPL, reportedly urged Kalpesh Mistry, 29, to set himself on fire to protest his harassment by police over a property dispute. Mistry suffered 90 per cent burns and later died in hospital.

An eye witness to the incident says the journalists were busy shooting the immolation instead of helping the victim. “They told me not to bother about it as it was all a drama,” the tea vendor reportedly told the police.

Police have booked a a case of abetment of suicide under section 306 of the Indian penal code against the two journalists. Protests by journalists organisations decrying threats to the freedom of the press are awaited.

Facsimile: courtesy Mail Today

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gets gag order on Agni, TV9

8 July 2010

The following is the full text of the press release issued by “India’s future Nobel laureate“, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar‘s art of living (AoL) foundation on an injunction order obtained by it against sections of the media in Bangalore following the recent spurt of news:

“On behalf of Vyakti Vikas Kendra (VVKI), India, and the Art of Living foundation, we  would like to inform all  concerned that considering our case and request, the court of honourable 22nd additional district and sessions judge, Bangalore City, was pleased to grant an ad-interim prohibitory injunction in original suit no. 4583/2010 instituted on our behalf by virtue of which prohibiting the defendants Shridhar alias Agni Shridhar, M.S. Ravindra, Sayyed Aman alias Bachan, Rajshekar Hathgundhi, Manjunath Adde alias Adde of Agni tabloid, M. Krishnappa, Paul Fernandes, Shankar alias Mavalli Shankar of Karnataka dalit sangharsha samiti and M/s TV9 Karnataka and News-9 satellite television channels from indulging in any nature of writing, publishing in press media,  audio visual media or in any form any derogatory or defamatory material , article, speech against the Art of Living foundation or VVKI and its founder, his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, till further order . The case next stands posted on 9th Aug 2010.”

Also read: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar threatens to sue tabloid

From the scriptures into your drawing room

31 December 2009

24×7 news television took another small leap at the cremation of the Kannada movie star Vishnuvardhan in Bangalore on Wednesday, 30 December 2009.

Priests conducting the final rites of the devout star chanted vedic hymns into the microphones of the Kannada news channels which were broadcasting the ceremony live.

Video grab: courtesy TV9

Rajan Bala, a stellar cricket writer, is no more

9 October 2009

KPN photo

sans serif records with deep regret the passing away of the veteran cricket writer Rajan Bala in Bangalore this morning. He was 63 years old, and is survived by his wife and two sons.

Mr Bala, a former cricket correspondent of Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Indian Express and The Asian Age, had suffered a cardiac arrest two weeks ago while doing a television show for News9 in Bangalore and slipped into a coma.

Rest in peace.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: For Rajan Bala as he awaits The Great Umpire

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,523 other followers

%d bloggers like this: