Monthly Archives: October 2008

Why Indian netas dislike being probed on camera

CNN-IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai on

“Why are so many of our top politicians uncomfortable with the idea of being questioned on television?

“Partly it is a reflection of a feudal and non-transparent political system that doesn’t feel the necessity to explain policy choices in an open forum. Unfortunately, unlike in the United States, television appearances have little connection with political winnability in the Indian context. With caste and family identities defining success in polls, communication skills seem to matter less and less. It is no coincidence that some of the finest public speakers in Indian politics are in the Rajya Sabha and not the Lok Sabha….

“In a way, Indian electoral politics has defined the limits of the power of television. While a spirited television debate can energise a section of the urban middle-class audience, it cannot reach the wider electorate, many of whom would rather be watching their favourite soap than listening to political arguments. Moreover, in a multi-lingual country, it is difficult to create a “national” constituency through a strong television presence.”

Read the full article: Television, for politicians with a vision

Chari, a Hindu lens legend, passes away. RIP.

sans serif records the passing away of K. Narayanachari, the dark room assistant who rose to be the chief photographer of The Hindu in Madras. He was 85 years old.

An obituary in the paper notes:

Acknowledged as one of India’s finest and most productive press photographers, Chari believed that imagination, innovation, and total dedication were the essential qualities of a true professional photographer. Energetic and fiercely competitive, he did not hesitate to elbow his way forward in a crowd.

A pioneer in sports photography, Chari covered 106 Test matches and 15 one-day internationals.

The picture above is one of his most-talked-about action frames of the controversial run-out of left-hander Alvin Kallicharan in the second innings of the fourth Test at Madras on January 15, 1975.

“Umpire Satyaji Rao first turned down the appeal and then reversed his decision. India won the Test comfortably. At the time (when there was no question of TV replays), it was held that Chari’s revealing photograph had the effect of moderating the chagrin in the West Indian camp over the run-out. The picture seemed to suggest that Kallicharan may have been out of his crease when the ball uprooted the stump,” notes The Hindu.

Photograph: courtesy The Hindu

Read the full obituary: Chari, veteran photographer, passes away

The face of future media wars is a-changing

Paul Harris in The Observer, London:

“In future, media wars will not be fought between newspapers, and perhaps not even between newspaper websites. They will be fought between internet brands, blogs, online video sharers, news aggregators, gossip sites and things as yet undreamt of. They will not be fought in one city nor one country, but across the globe. They will not be fought with the buying of a newspaper, but with the click of a mouse, or a button on an iPhone, or a text.”

Read the full article: Murdoch declares war in the last great battle of the barons