Monthly Archives: July 2010

Yet, they won’t print pix of dead US soldiers

The cover of the 9 August 2010 issue of Time magazine. For a change, all four editions—US, Europe, Asia and South Pacific—have the same cover story.

Time‘s choice is doubtless provocative, one reason journalism exists.

Yet, such eagerness and such a desire to provoke isn’t visible on home turf, where a quixotic self-censorship kicks into play each time news organisations ponder the possibility of printing the pictures of US marines killed in the line of duty or the bodies of victims of 11 September 2001 attack on New York City.

Photo portfolio: The Big Picture


If the writing is on the wall, it is Newsworthy

You can wrap fish (or bajji or bhujia) with newspapers. You can swat a fly or a mosquito. You can even make an improvised weapon with it.

Well, how about covering your wall with it, as Lori Weitzner says we can do?

When nothing’s sacred, everything’s suspect

In the cynicism that now envelopes modern Indian journalism, even the Ramnath Goenka awards for excellence in journalism awarded by the Indian Express are not beyond ideologically motivated barbs.

This letter to the editor of The Pioneer was published by the right-wing daily on Wednesday, 28 July, and it leaves no room for doubt about the writer’s (or the paper’s) political persuasion.

Doubtful excellence

This refers to awards for excellence in journalism that have now become fashionable.

When the ethics of journalism have reached rock bottom, do such awards make any sense?

It seems that fabrication and sensationalism have become the motto of this new age ournalism. The reporting style of Jason Blair (sic) of The New York Times is a good case in point here. The media tends to sit in judgement and tries to wrongly mplicate a particular organisation or a person, especially in cases of communal violence.

Like in the Jhabua nun’s rape in 1998, Hindu organisations were initially blamed for the incident, which turned out to be false later.

Similarly, in the Sohrabuddin `fake’ encounter case and related events, a section of people is of the view that some information, as it suits the designs of the powers that be, is being withheld from the public. It is unfair that fake encounter cases that happened during the Congress regime are not being talked about at all.

Sunil Kumar, New Delhi

Also read: The K-word, the G-word, the P-word and the A-word

How Chandan Mitra has his halwa and hogs it too

The best editor The Pioneer never had?

Why (perhaps) the BJP sent Chandan Mitra to Rajya Sabha

The newspaper cartoon that offended Christians

On Sunday, The Times of India carried this 8-column illustration by Neelabh to highlight the travails of R.K. Laxman‘s common man at a time of galloping food prices.

Titled “The Lost Supper” and bearing a likeness to Leonardo da Vinci‘s Last Supper, the illustration conveyed the helplessness of the aam admi at the hands of politicians.

On Wednesday, the paper carried the following apology.


An illustration resembling The Last Supper, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the paper, has hurt the sentiments of a number of our readers. We sincerely apologise for the anguish it has inadvertantly caused. This paper is truly respectful of all faiths. It is one of the cornerstones of our editorial philosophy.

Also read: Cartoon that’s offending Israelis

Cartoon that’s offending Aussies

External reading: The size of the serving at The Last Supper

Prabha Dutt fellowship for women journalists

The Sanskriti Foundation in collaboration with the Prabha Dutt memorial foundation is inviting applications from Indian women journalists in the 25-40 age group for the Prabha Dutt fellowship for excellence in journalist, in memory of the pioneering Hindustan Times journalist.

The fellowship covering a period of 10 months offers Rs 100,000 for women journalists to pursue a research project or a book in English, Hindi or a regional language.

Mail a CV with a short synopsis of 250-300 words of the project proposal with the names of two referees. The last date for receipt of applications is 31 August 2010.

For further information, write to Sanskriti Pratisthan, C-11, Qutub institutional area, New Delhi 110016.


Yes, Arnab Goswami is TV journalist of the year

The full list of the winners of the Ramnath Goenka excellence in journalism awards for 2008-09.

Print journalist of the year: Siddharth Varadarajan of The Hindu

Broadcast journalist of the year: Arnab Goswami of Times Now

After presenting the awards, the President of India, Pratibha Patil, outlined “crisis of content and triumph of the trivial” as the two challenges facing journalism.

“…On the one hand, newspapers have to offer readers much more than what were the headlines on the TV screens yesterday. On the other hand, television channels have to constantly find ways of filling up 24 hours. Sometimes, this can lead to a crisis of content. Issues can be trivialised while trivial issues can become headlines.”


Image and photograph: courtesy The Indian Express