After bundling The Speaking Tree with The Times of India, the country’s biggest newspaper group has unveiled a new product that comes bundled with The Economic Times: ET Wealth.
The 48-page personal finance newspaper, in a Berliner format a la Bombay Mirror, is issued with ET on Mondays. It will be supplied free in the first two weeks, but will be prized at Rs 5 each week after that.
In other words, the onus is on the subscriber to let the hawker/ vendor know if she does not want ET Wealth with his paper every Monday. Or else, the monthly ET bill surreptitiously swells by Rs 20 or 25.
Edited by former Business Today editor Rohit Saran, ET Wealth skirts with the non-existent ethical lakshman rekha from issue no. 1.
The only advertiser in the launch issue is Nirmal Jain-owned private wealth management firm, India Infoline.
There are six strip ads, eight quarter-page ads, nine half-page ads, and three full-page ads, all of IIFL, without disclosing even once that IIFL is a Times Private Treaties partner. Which means that the Times group is invested in the advertising company that is selling its wares to readers.
Also, the real estate pages in ET Wealth have been compiled with magicbricks.com, again without revealing that the online realty firm is a Times of India property.
Journalistic tongues in Delhi have wagged unabashedly after finding the voices of Vir Sanghvi, Barkha Dutt and Prabhu Chawla in the Niira Radia tapes in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, but the first big piece of action seems to have come from Tamil Nadu in the deep south.
The residence of A. Kamaraj, the associate editor of the Tamil bi-weekly Nakkheeran that shot to fame during the reign of the forest brigand Veerappan, has been raided in Madras’s tony Besant Nagar locality.
Kamaraj is said to be a close friend of A. Raja, the disgraced telecom minister who is alleged to be at the centre of the Rs 173,000 crore scam.
Kamaraj first hit the headlines in 1993 after he accused the English newsweekly India Today of infringing on its copyright, by carrying an interview with Veerappan, which had actually been conducted by its correspondent Shiva Subramaniam. That interview appeared in IT with the joint byline of Raj Chengappa, now editor of The Tribune in Chandigarh.
Kamaraj has often found himself in the middle of defamation cases.
In 2003, his house raided was in a prevention of terrorism act (POTA) case for supporting banned pro-LTTE groups.
Ironically, last year, Kamraj, along with his editor R.R. Gopal, had been sentenced to two years in jail in a defamation case involving then Union minister A. Raja.