Daily Archives: 1 May 2007

What makes an award-winning photograph

CNN-IBN has just announced the winners of its Rising India photography contest for citizen journalists. And this picture, by O.P. Soni from Indore, has been adjudged by Raghu Rai as the best of the nearly 5,000 entries, because it encapsulates “fun and humour and modernity”.

View the video: Winners of Rising India photo contest


Is a newspaper more powerful than a minister?

MATHIHALLI MADAN MOHAN asks from Hubli: Is a media house more powerful than a minister in the State government of Karnataka? Seemingly so, going by what happened in Hubli in two recent instances last week.

A couple of days ago, Samyukta Karnataka, the flagship Kannada newspaper from the Loka Shikshana Trust, Hubli, had organised the platinum jubilee, the invitees to which looked virtually like a political Who’s Who of the State.

Arch political rivals momentarily sunk their differences, stood shoulder to shoulder to the pop of the camera flashes, and happily participated in the celebrations of the paper, which enjoys lot of credibility in Northern Karnataka even today.

There was the Janata Dal (S) patriarch, H.D. Deve Gowda with his son Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, along with couple of ministers belonging to the party. The BJP contingent was led by deputy chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, the state party president D.V. Sadananda Gowda, and a couple of party ministers.

The entire Congress was in attendance, from Dharam Singh to Mallikarjun Kharge to H K Patil, down to the last minion whose name had been mentioned in the invitation.

The attendance at the Samyukta Karnataka fete was to full to the extent that if the government wanted it, it could have organised an all-party meet on any of the ticklish issue, or could have gone in for the meeting of the coordination committee of the coalition.

In sharp contrast was the occasion of the wedding of the son  of Basavaraj Horatti, the minister for primary and secondary education, whose ability to put both his feet in the mouth has landed him in controversy after controversy, on April 29.

Kumaraswamy was there but Deve Gowda was not, despite the fact that Horatti, by default, has been the tallest of the JD(S) leaders from the Bombay-Karnataka area. Yediyurappa and a couple of ministers popped in, but the party president was conspicuous by his absence.

The Congress almost completely ignored the minister’s function. Only H.K. Patil was present, and probably because he hails from the same area and shares the common electorate with Horatti for their continued presence in Karnataka Legislative Council.

Neither Dharam Singh nor Kharge turned up. Although, of course, the entire paraphernalia of the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, which is headed by Horatti, was at the beck and call to keep their boss in good humour.

Still, the divergent demographics of the two functions left the question hanging: is a media house more powerful than a politician?

Cross-posted on churumuri

Death isn’t the great leveller on the obit page

Last week, when the master cellist Mstislav Rostropovich passed into netherworld, Bobby Pickett, the creator of Monster Mash, the dumbest song Elvis Presley ever heard, also bid goodbye to the world. The Daily Telegraph, London, carried a large, magisterial obituary of the former on its obit page, but also accommodated a pithy obit of the latter on the same page. Is that a good example of balance? On the other hand, merely because a master had passed, could the paper have ignored a man whom more people had probably heard?

Read the full story here: Death is not the great leveller

Your freedom ends where my nose begins

If a song causes 80 per cent of its listeners to commit suicide, should the song be banned or does the song writer still reserve the right of expression? It’s an interesting variant of the theory that freedom of expression doesn’t mean we are free to run into a crowded movie hall and shout “fire”, and Dilbert creator Scott Adams asks it. Ditto and likewise, “every time the media makes a big deal about a high profile suicide there’s a 100% chance it inspires additional suicide.”

Read the full article: Define “free” speech

And don’t miss the comments

What the stars foretell for you this month

It’s the beginning of a new month, and Michael Lomas has the May astrology for writers on the citizen journalism site, Oh My News. But can he really be saying this of the Star Sign of the Zodiac?

Now look here, let’s be serious about your affliction this month and do something about it. Go here to learn about your shyness and how to become more confident. By June you could have stopped stuttering and not be blushing every time you meet someone. Well, maybe by July.

Read all the predictions here: May astrology for writers