Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy birthday to a very young photojournalist

imageasp2The acclaimed photojournalist T.S. Satyan, turns 85 years young today, 18 December 2008.

sans serif joins the world in wishing him a very happy birthday, and many more.


Tasveer, the art gallery, is marking the occasion with an exhibition entitled “A Long Exposure”, which feature a collection of Satyan’s photographs, from December 19 to 31 at Sua House, No. 26/1, Kasturba Road, Bangalore. It will be open to the public from 11am to 6 pm.


T.S. Satyan on sans serif:

‘Sadly, lensmen are just a cog, never a wheel’

‘What a picture can teach us on ends and means’

The elements of photography


‘TV coverage heightened public outrage’

The sociologist, Dipankar Gupta, in Mail Today:

“Though there are many who would find fault with the way the electronic media covered the bloodshed in Bombay, it is also a fact that they heightened citizen anger against politicians of all hues. When the ordinary viewer saw the vulnerability of the unprotected citizen against the Z-level security of politicians, there was good reason for boiling anger.

“None of this could have been captured but for the TV cameras.

“There were many false steps and much hyperventilation. But notwithstanding some crass showmanship, the unintended consequence of the bumbling, over-eager camera crew and their anchors generated a strong sense of citizenship outside religion and rank. This, indeed, is commendable.

“TV channels may not have had this laudable end as their overt intention. They may have been solely driven by rating considerations. But the unintended consequence of camera, uncertain lights and grim action turned out to be good for democracy and for secularism. If only bureaucrats and the security top brass got as much flak as the politicians did, then the job of the media would have been complete.”

Photographers’ Collective to push child rights

PRESS RELEASE: The non-governmental organisation CRY (Child Relief and You) has formed a Photographers’ Collective to bring to light the issues of child rights and invites photojournalists to join in the endeavour.

A panel of eminent photographers will select 25 applicants from Bombay, Poona and Goa to kickstart the proceedings.

The objectives of the Photographers’ Collective are:

# To create a pool of photography enthusiasts who will use photography to highlight child rights;

# To document child rights’ issues in any one area or on any one issue;

# To create photo essays and photo documentaries to mobilize people for child rights.

Participants will participate in a workshop on child rights and photography conducted by a resource person sourced by CRY; work with a collective of like-minded photography enthusiasts;  document any one child rights issue along with the group;  participate in online sharing of photographs and feedback;  innovate ways to broadbase the initiative and work with each other to ensure that this becomes a sustainable programme.

Participants can expect to be anchored and mentored by resource persons who are professional photographers and attend at least one workshop on how one can use photography for child rights. An online forum will also be established to share photos, critiques, comments, issue updates and shooting experiences.

Selected photographs will be used in CRY communication material. If photo essays/ features emerge, plans for dissemination will be evolved by CRY to maximize impact.

If you want to be part of this initiative, email an application form to

‘A kiss from the widows & orphans killed in Iraq’

An Iraqi journalist threw a pair of shoes at US President George W. Bush at a media conference he was about to address with Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Associated Press reports that “the president was not hurt in the incident”.

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog,” the reporter, later identified as television correspondent Muntadar al-Zeidi, yelled in Arabic. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

“So what if the guy threw a shoe at me?” Bush said, comparing the action to political protests in the United States. “It’s a size 10.”

Video: courtesy The Associated Press

‘Do terrorists sit around watching television?’

Did the non-stop television coverage of the terror attack on Bombay reveal operational details of the commando operations, endanger the lives of hostages, intrude into the personal lives of victims and relatives, etc?

In today’s Indian Express, the founder of India TV, Rajat Sharma, claims he tried an interesting experiment last Saturday. He invited a former army chief to address the staff  “to understand, from a decorated war hero, whether news channels went overboard in their coverage”, and what precautions, if any, producers, reporters and camerapersons should have taken while showing “live” action.

Writes Sharma:

“To my surprise, the former army chief was emphatic: “News channels did nothing wrong. Your coverage didn’t do any harm whatsoever to the commandos! I’ve handled action as a major, then as a full colonel, and finally as an army commander in anti-terrorist operations, and there’s nothing I could make out from the news channel about the strategy of our commandos.

“Frankly, I expected him to echo what some have been saying—how terrorists got valuable clues on the commando plan by watching our channels. But sample what he said: “Do you think that terrorists holed up in a hotel facing commando fire had time to watch TV?”

“A young reporter persisted. He reminded the general of the “widespread belief” that the terrorists were being briefed on their Blackberrys by their bosses, watching our news channels. Promptly came the angry reply. “Anyone suggesting this must be mad. (Even) I could not get an idea about the action plan. Who has the time to look at TV and Blackberrys when you are in the midst of gunfire?”

Read the full article here: Reality, not television

Read Barkha Dutt’s defence: ‘The media is not the message. The viewer is king’

Also read: ‘NDTV: Navy chief’s comment is defamatory’

Three words that cheered up Reuters journo

mishraSourav Mishra, the Reuters journalist who was reported dead in the shootout at Leopold Cafe in Bombay on November 26, has survived to tell the tale:

“I heard what seemed like a blast and something hit me hard on my back. I panicked and ran out through the nearest door. Out on the road, I touched the wound and found it was bleeding profusely. I could hardly move my right hand.

“I shouted for help but no one paid any heed. Tried to move ahead but couldn’t and fell down. As I lay there, I felt someone grab hold of me and help me to my feet.

“The Good Samaritan hurried me towards a nearby cinema where we clambered into a taxi and rushed to the hospital. I could still hear the gunfire in the street and my companion told me there was some sort of gang war going on.

“The doctors at the hospital were reluctant to admit me but the stranger beside me begged them to take me in. As I removed my shirt and pressed against the wound, a copper-coated bullet fell out. The woman treating me smiled and uttered the three words I’d been waiting to hear : ‘You will survive’.”

Photograph: courtesy Facebook

Read the full article ‘Dead’ journalist recalls 26/11 nightmare