Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

‘UFO’ sends South Indian papers into a tizzy

19 June 2013

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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

Could this happen on Indian TV some day?—II

24 March 2012

More Pakistani mayhem, this time from Express TV, circa 2010.

Also read: Could this happen on Indin TV some day?

Is the media manufacturing middle-class dissent?

21 August 2011

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: The media coverage of the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement, like the movement itself, is a story in two parts—and both show the perils of the watchdog becoming the lapdog in diametrically opposite ways.

In Act I, Scene I enacted at Jantar Mantar in April, sections of the Delhi media unabashedly played along with the establishment in a “crude and disgusting character assassination”, discrediting civil society members in an attempt to strangulate the joint Lokpal drafting panel, without  showing any remorse.

In Act II, three scenes of which have been enacted in the past week at Tihar Jail, Chhatrasaal Stadium and now the Ramlila Grounds, there has been no need to invoke Armani and Jimmy Choo, after the government’s spectacular cock-ups at the hands of high-IQ, Harvard-educated lawyers who recite nursery-school rhymes to wah-wahs from unquestioning interviews.

On the contrary, it can be argued that the pendulum has swung to the other end this time round.

The Times of India and Times Now, both market leaders in number termshave made no attempt to hide where their sympathies lie in this “Arnab Spring”, when the urban, articulate, newspaper-reading, TV-watching, high-earning, high-spending, apolitical, ahistorical, post-liberalised, pissed-off-like-mad middle-class gets worked up.

When the market leaders go down that road, the others are left with no option but to follow suit.

Obviously neither extreme can be the media’s default position. However, unlike last time when there was little if not no criticism of the “orchestrated campaign of calumny, slander and insinuation“, at least two well known media figures  have found the courage to question this kind of wide-eyed, gee-whiz reporting.

Sashi Kumar, the founder of India’s first regional satellite channel Asianet and the brain behind the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), in Outlook*:

“In the race for eyeballs, a section of the media—some TV channels in particular—give the impression of sprinting ahead of the story and dragging it along behind them. What defies imagination, even as it stretches journalistic credibility, is that the messengers become the lead players, directing the route the story will take, conjuring up twists and turns where there are none, and keeping the illusion of news-in-the-making breathlessly alive….

“The relationship between such media and their essentially middle class consumers is becoming uncomfortably incestuous. When respondents cluster around a camera for a vox pop, they are not so much required to offer their independent view on an issue as add to the chorus of opinion orchestrated by the channel. A photo op masquerades as a movement. Dissident voices get short shrift. It is more like a recruitment drive than a professional journalistic exercise to seek and purvey news.

“Increasingly, the channel’s role seems to be to trigger and promote a form of direct democracy by the middle class. Politics and politicians are routinely debunked; even representative democracy doesn’t seem to make the grade.”

NDTV group editor and star anchor Barkha Dutt too strikes a similar note in the Hindustan Times:

“Critics of the Hazare campaign have questioned the media narrative as well, accusing wall-to-wall TV coverage of holding up a permanent oxygen mask to the protests. It’s even been pointed out that Noam Chomsky’s scathing commentary on the mass media -‘Manufacturing Consent’ would be re-written in TV studios today as Manufacturing Dissent.

“But again, if the TV coverage of the protests is overdone, it only proves that the UPA’s perennial disdain for the media — and the diffidence of its top leaders — has given its opponents the upper hand in the information battle. There is something so telling about the fact that 74-year-old Anna Hazare made effective use of the social media by releasing a YouTube message from inside jail and the PM of India’s oldest political party is still to give his first interview to an Indian journalist.”

*Disclosures apply

Photograph: Besides temporary studios set up by almost all the news channels, nearly a dozen Jimmy Jib cameras (swinging cameras on cranes) hover over the heads of those assembled at Anna Hazare‘s fast at the Ramlila grounds in New Delhi on Friday.

Also read: The ex-Zee News journo on Anna Hazare team

Ex-Star News, ToI journos on Anna Hazare team

Without you, where would we in the media be?

3 June 2011

In 2006, Time magazine declared that the person of the year was you, yes, you—a smart way of acknowledging the rise of Wikipedia, YouTube, MySpace and other crowd-sourced media avenues in the internet era.

In 2011,  Web18, the internet arm of Raghav Bahl‘s Network18, which has launched a heavily promoted website called First Post—an assemblage of quirky blogs, edited by R. Jagannathan, the former executive editor of DNA—does ditto.

The Times of India, Indiatimes.com and IPL-4

10 May 2011

Not so long ago, a much-feared Indian publisher who shall go unnamed wanted the broadband expansion in India to be slowed down because, well, it would woo readers away from his newspaper to the world wide web.

Well, the times, they are a-changing.

Last month, Indiatimes.com, the internet arm of The Times of India group, bagged the global internet, mobile and audio rights for season 4 of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and the happy coverage of the happy event, and its happy fallout, is a standout example of the perils of cross-media ownership.

Here’s a brief timeline of how the IPL-Indiatimes partnership has been covered on the pages of The Times of India and The Economic Times.

***

March 22: TIL-Nimbus bag IPL media rights

“Our convergent media approach across the web and mobile, coupled with the strength of the entire Times Group, will take brand IPL to the next level for audiences across the globe,” said Times Internet Limited CEO Rishi Khiani.

April 6: IPL advertising rates hit record highs

“Several traditional brands, who would earlier consider advertising only on television, are now keen to also launch their online campaigns. The primary drivers are innovation and interactivity, possible through this medium. Advertisers will get an opportunity to do better targeted campaigns and reach out to a younger demographic of office-goers,” he said.

April 9: IPL4 live streaming huge hit on Indiatimes

Live streaming of the inaugural IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings on Friday turned out to be a big hit on the net. The Indiatimes site, where this edition of the IPL is being hosted, had as many as 500,000 unique visitors, a healthy jump from last year…. “The first day was an enormous success,” said Rishi Khiani, CEO Indiatimes. “We had nearly 100% uptime which was a great feat given the amount of traffic.”

April 12: Indiatimes partners with YouTube to globally distribute IPL matches

Under the terms of the agreement, Google will be a non-exclusive partner for IPL content for two years. Both Google and Indiatimes will seek to capitalize upon individual brand strengths and collaborate on monetization efforts both in India and rest of world markets.

April 15: IPL web audience continues to grow through joint distribution

Times Internet CEO Rishi Khiani said the online audience for IPL was experiencing rapid growth compared to the previous edition of the 20-20 league. “We used the first 2 days of the season to iron out all of the kinks in getting the experience to work perfectly for everyone. But from the beginning, the audience growth has been trending higher, with every next day having more visitors than the day before it. On Wednesday we had over one million visits.”

April 19: Online viewership of IPL rises 62%

“We foresee a bright future for online screening of IPL matches in coming years,” said Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet. “A common misconception is that people only watch online from the office. But our stats show that night games have almost as much consumption as day games. The experience allows you to do much more online, including watching highlights of previous matches, and viewers like that,” he added.

April 28: Watching IPL more fun online than on television?

Indiatimes CEO Rishi Khiani said: “We routinely receive one comment per second during a match, which can spike up to three comments per second during exciting periods. Indians are passionate about cricket and love talking about it, and what better way to do so than online? You can catch up with old friends, make new ones, share stats and trivia, get involved in debates – and do all this without missing a single ball.”

Also read: IPL scorecard: Different scores for different folks

How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling?

The Times of India and the Commonwealth Games

Look, who’s in the IPL racket? An editor!

Is India right in barring foreign journalists?

7 November 2009

The Great Wall between India and China is not made of bricks and mortar; it is made of freedom and liberty. Any debate, any discussion, anywhere, on the superpowers-to-be is sealed, signed and delivered by the roaring presence of those essential ingredients in plentiful on our soil, and the utter lack of it in our great neighbour.

China notoriously detests dissent—and democracy.

It bars foreign media from freely moving inside its boundaries; Tibet is off-limits to them as is Tiananmen Square. BBC was famously taken off Rupert Murdoch‘s Star Network at the behest of the comrades. Google and Yahoo effortlessly dance to the tunes of the Chinese dictators. Chinese citizens routinely can’t log into YouTube, Facebook and other media. And so on.

But has difference between “us” and “them” been erased by the Congress-led UPA government?

In barring foreign journalists from going to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh to report the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama‘s week-long visit to the northeastern State which China off and on claims as its own, has the Manmohan Singh government thumbed its  nose at India’s great democratic traditions?

Has India missed a trick in showing its inviolable sovereignty before a global audience? In behaving much like China would, has the Congress-led regime obliterated the difference between democracy and dictatorship? Or was the government right given the war-mongering that has recently been on display?

Also read: Media freedom is what separates India and China

Censorship in the name of ‘the national interest’?

Understanding the Susan Boyle phenomenon

30 April 2009

One hundred million views on YouTube later, Richard Gizbert, host of Al Jazeera‘s media show Listening Post, declares that the Susan Boyle phenomenon was “no car crash, but no accident either.”

Also read: The 10 craziest things about Susan Boylemania

An all-expenses-paid African safari with NYT

25 January 2009

For the third year in a row, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is offering journalism students an all-expenses-paid vacation to travel with him to Africa to bring “fresh eyes” on the problems and solutions of global poverty. And to bring back stories that will appeal to younger readers.

“This won’t be a day on the beach. But it will be memorable and maybe even life-changing. And together we might shine a light on the world’s forgotten problems,” says Kristof, who played a stellar role in bringing the disgrace of Darfur to the world’s attention.

To apply you need to submit an essay to winatrip@nytimes.com or post a response to his YouTube video. The deadline for applications is February 13. The trip will be between a week and ten days in April or May.

To learn more about how to apply visit Kristof’s blog: nytimes.com/ontheground

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