Monthly Archives: August 2010

‘Better to be over-fair than not give full picture’

Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Cure, Geeta Anand, in an interview with Meher Marfatia in Housecalls magazine:

Q: Are there are any rules for rookie reporters coming wide-eyed into the field?

A: I’d dvise young journalists to write the truth as it is, not like a movie screenplay. Never lie about your article’s intention… or be tempted by the slightest embellishments to it. There’s no shying away from saying what you have to, but not before loads of research. Go first to the ‘other’ side while starting a story. Better to be over-fair than not give the full picture. Stick with balance, nothing in life is black or white anyway.

Photograph: courtesy


The award for the best opening para goes to…

It takes a certain skill for the same sports reporter to write the same opening paragraph for the same event (national sports awards) for the same newspaper three years in a row.

Saji Chacko manages to do it with aplomb for Mail Today year after year.

Link via Chiranjeev R.

Also read: If imitation is the best form of flattery…

The light goes out of Selvan Shiv Kumar. RIP.

sans serif records with a heavy heart the passing away of photojournalist Selvan Shiv Kumar in Bangalore today. He was in his early 40s and had been ailing for some time. He is survived by his wife and son.

Shiv Kumar had worked in The Times of India, Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times and DNA in Bangalore, Delhi and Bhopal, covering the hunt for Veerappan and the manhunt of Rajiv Gandhi‘s killers among other assignments.

In July 1997, Shiv became the first Indian photojournalist to be selected for the Reuters Foundation Willy Vicoy fellowship for the fall term at the University of Missouri, USA. As photo editor of the newly launched Bangalore edition of DNA in 2008, Shiva was responsible for a five-days-a-week picture page.

He was photo editor of Bangalore Mirror at the time of his demise.

Last active on his Twitter account in May, one of his tweets reads:

“Photojournalism has lost its sheen of spontaneous pictures to the present day of posing and the subject looking into the camera.”

Read his profile: Light Stalkers

Visit his blog:

View some of his pictures: Flickr

What’s in a name when it’s all about a soundbyte

The veteran sports writer Nirmal Shekar in The Hindu:

A well known sportsman told me four or five years ago that a young television reporter chased him for half an hour after a practice session for an ‘interview.’ Finally, she got lucky and the sportsman obliged.

“OK, shoot,” he said.

“No sir, just give me a quote,” said the reporter, sticking the microphone perilously close to his lips.

The clever young man said something trite and insignificant but did manage to put a smile on the reporter’s face.

The parting shot from the reporter: “Sir, can I please have your name?”

Read the full article: Bathing in the banal

Also read: The arrival of a TV anchor foretold

Paprazzi picture of Bollywood babe sans makeup

Look, what I got my wife on our wedding day

Stranger things have happened to journalists, of course. But for R. Uday Kumar (seated, right), a reporter with The Times of India in Mysore, it all happened on the same day, 22 August 2010.

Uday tied the knot to K. Nitya Darshini on Sunday morning.

Mid-way through the nuptials, Uday rushed out of the marriage hall, in his wedding attire, with newly wed wife in tow.

Reason: Uday, who recently won the best reporter award instituted by the Mysore district journalists’ association (for his report on a family that lives at a cremation ground), had to pick up his prize from the governor of Karnataka, H.R. Bharadwaj, who garlanded the just-married couple to the visible delight of MDJA functionaries.

Photograph: Pragathi Gopalakrishna

For a few TV rating points more, a life was lost

Mail Today, the tabloid newspaper owned by the India Today group (which also owns the Hindi TV channel Aaj Tak), reports that two TV journalists have been arrested named in Ahmedabad for coaxing a man to immolate himself outside a police station in front of their cameras.

The journalists—Mayur Raval and Kamlesh Raval—belonging to TV9 Gujarat and a local cable company GTPL, reportedly urged Kalpesh Mistry, 29, to set himself on fire to protest his harassment by police over a property dispute. Mistry suffered 90 per cent burns and later died in hospital.

An eye witness to the incident says the journalists were busy shooting the immolation instead of helping the victim. “They told me not to bother about it as it was all a drama,” the tea vendor reportedly told the police.

Police have booked a a case of abetment of suicide under section 306 of the Indian penal code against the two journalists. Protests by journalists organisations decrying threats to the freedom of the press are awaited.

Facsimile: courtesy Mail Today