Monthly Archives: April 2010

When it’s all in the family, it is all in the family

The latest issue of the Indian edition of Forbes, “the capitalist tool“, has a four-page story on the war of the brothers in the boardroom of The Hindu over the proposed retirement norms for directors.

The article reveals that “for several weeks now,” two of the brothers in The Hindu triumvirateeditor N. Ravi and senior managing director N. Murali—have not been in speaking terms with their eldest brother, editor-in-chief N. Ram, despite living in the same neighbourhood.

The piece also quotes Murali’s daughter Kanta Murali, a Princeton University student and one of the signatories to a letter by the children of the brothers to all shareholders which preceded the outbreak of the third phase of infighting in September last year.

“I am completely disgusted by the happenings to the say the least. It’s obviously disappointing on a personal level since the changes affect my father but I am more concerned about the effect of this infighting on the 3,500-plus non-family employees, whose contributions and loyalty have long been abused by the family as a whole, as well as the impact of recent events on the future and credibility of the 132-year-old newspaper.”

The full Forbes article—‘The Hindu‘ epic of Mahabharata—will be up on its website on April 29.

Infographic: courtesy Forbes

Also read: Indian Express vs The Hindu. N. Ram vs N. Ravi

Not just about the brothers, it’s the children too

Now, it’s Malini Parthasarathy vs The Stalinists

Express declares ceasefire, brothers declare war

Kuldip Nayar: N. Ram is stalling Malini Parthasarathy‘s ascent


Look, who is also in the IPL racket? An editor!

In his story on the burgeoning scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shantanu Guha-Ray, the business editor of Tehelka magazine, casually reveals how “the editor of a major Indian media house whose son had recently come under the radar of corporate intelligence bodies, is also trying to get into the IPL franchise racket.”

Image: courtesy Tehelka

Read the full story: The Indian Premier Leak

How Congress regime stepped in to help Tehelka

The Indian Express has got hold of 82 pieces of correspondence between prime minister Manmohan Singh and the president of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government came to power in May 2004, using the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

One of the first letters between the head of the government and the head of the party, published in today’s Express, deals with Tehelka, the trail-blazing e-zine, which was hounded out of operation by the previous BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after its Operation Westend sting, before it morphed into a weekly magazine.

Read the entire article: Respected Soniaji

Image: courtesy The Indian Express

Also read: ‘Media is now part of the conspiracy of silence’

Tehelka promoters vindicated by official papers

The Tehelka man behind the biggest story of our times

Gandhian activism, fiery journalism & cocktails

Everybody loves a good affair between celebs

The cross-border love affair between Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has gobbled up more space and time than most issues bedevilling the two nations.

Outlook cartoonist Sandeep Adhwaryu looks at the priorities of the media in the two countries in The Sunday Guardian.

‘Perhaps, it is time for missionary journalists’

In a week in which the Hindustan Times front-paged the story of children eating silica-laced mud not far from Allahabad, and 76 soldiers were ambushed by Maoists in poverty-stricken Dantewada, the former Sunday magazine and India Today correspondent Madhu Jain laments the loss of “missionary journalism” in her DNA column.

“The words of my boss still rankle, decades later. ‘Look, forget all this missionary journalism. Nobody likes to read about poverty.’

“There was a major drought going on that summer in Rajasthan. I had just returned to Delhi after over a week in the remotest corners of the state—barely a stone’s throw from the Pakistan border— on the trail of famine deaths.

“The government of the day was almost going blue in the face denying famine deaths. But I had found several such incidents, mostly children who had died after successive years of malnutrition — heart-rending stories, each one of them. Yet, nobody seemed interested. My story didn’t make the cover….

“Poverty is also not a sexy issue for the media — most of the time that is. These days they are mired in the hullabaloo over Sania-and-Shoaib. They are obsessed by the IPL, Indian billionaires, the clichés of India Shining. And, of course, the Page 3 syndrome and the most trivial of pursuits of the inhabitants of Bollywood.”

Read the full article: A call for missionary journalism

‘A thoroughly decent man, one of the finest ever’

In The Daily Telegraph, London, Dean Nelson reports the plight of the BBC’s “Voice of India”, Sir Mark Tully, “who has come under extraordinary attack in a thinly disguised novel which portrays him as a heartless philanderer and supporter of fanatics.”

“The book is clearly modelled on my career, even down to the name of the main character,” Sir Mark is quoted as saying. “That character’s journalism is abysmal, and his views on Hindutva and Hinduism do not in any way reflect mine. I would disagree with them profoundly.”

John Eliot, the former Fortune correspondent and a long-standing friend of Sir Mark’s, said the book is an “outrageous misrepresentation” of his life and work.

“Mark Tully is well-known as a thoroughly decent gentleman and one of the finest journalists ever posted to India. This is a badly-written book which should never have passed a lawyer or a publisher. It totally misrepresents his personal life and his work.”

The Telegraph says the suspected author, veteran French correspondent Francois Gautier, had issued a statement denying he had written the book.

The Indian Express quotes Gautier as saying:

“I have never hidden behind a pseudonym to say what I think. I have been one of the rare western journalists to defend Hindus. I have done it openly, in my own name, with dedication and courage and that has cost me a lot.”

The Daily Telegraph: Former BBC correspondent attacked in novel

The Indian Express: An irritant foreign body

Also read: Has Twitter found Mark Tully‘s character assassin?

How a newspaper’s prank exposed websites

Mrinal Pande, the chairperson of the Prasar Bharati Corporation and former editor of the Hindi daily, Hindustan, throws light on an April 1 prank by a Hindi newspaper (click on the image for a larger frame).

Newspaper facsimile: courtesy The Indian Express

Also read: How a giant pig fooled American media

The classic April fool prank played by The Guardian