Monthly Archives: December 2011

IRS sparks TOI-Mumbai Mirror vs DNA-HT battle

Mumbai Mirror was launched seven years ago to protect The Times of India from the new kids on the block, DNA and Hindustan Times, on its hometurf.

TOI says the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) puts Mirror‘s average issue readership (AIR) at 7.54 lakh copies, ahead of both DNA and HT.

In Mumbai, TOI remained the dominant No. 1 with 15.35 lakh readers, while Mumbai Mirror maintained its No. 2 position with 7.54 lakh readers. The top two newspapers in Mumbai thus continue to be from the Times Group stable.

A front-page announcement in Mirror says:

“According to the latest figures released by IRS, Mumbai Mirror retains its position as the No. 2 English language newspaper in the city, still ahead of the competition and behind only the ever-large presence of The Times of India.”

On the other hand, DNA claims TOI has lost nearly two lakh readers since its 2007 launch.

Not to be left behind, Hindustan Times‘s front-page story too harps on ToI‘s decline.

HT‘s daily readership grew by 35,000 in Mumbai over the previous round while the main rival, The Times of India, lost 53,000 readers, according to the IRS (Q3, 2011) results…. DNA is the third among the three English broadsheet dailies in the city with an AIR of 6.8 lakh.

Hindustan Times is the only newspaper in Mumbai to have increased readership in 12 of the last 13 IRS rounds. In fact, since becoming Mumbai’s No2 English broadsheet in December 2010, HT has added 1.59 lakh readers over the last 4 rounds.”

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Interesting if true: 172 ads over 80 pages costs…

Rajiv Gandhi‘s 2011 birth anniversary: 108 ads across 48 pages in 12 newspapers surveyed by sans serif.

Indira Gandhi‘s 2011 birth anniversary: 64 ads across 32 pages in the same 12 newspapers.

Now, the Union information minister of information and broadcasting has put a figure to the advertising blitz: Rs 7 crore in all; Rs 4.79 crore on Rajiv’s and Rs 2.46 crore on Indira’s.

The I&B ministry’s computation, which obviously includes other non-Delhi and non-English papers, does not take into account the death anniversaries of the two, or the birth and death anniversaries of Jawaharlal Nehru. In all, 393 pages of advertising were published on the six anniversaries, on the pages of 12 newspapers this year.

Last year, on the 19th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in an edit-page article in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that on May 21, 2010, perhaps Rs 60 or 70 crore were spent by the taxpayer — without his and her consent — on praising Rajiv Gandhi. Since the practice has been in place since 2005, the aggregate expenditure to date on this account is probably in excess of Rs 300 crore.”

Image: courtesy Mail Today

Also read: Nehru birthday: 58 ads amounting to 26¼ pages

Nehru death anniversary: 24 ads over 11 pages

Rajiv birthday: 108 ads across 48 pages

Rajiv death anniversary: 69 ads, 41 pages in 12 papers

Indira Gandhi birthday: 64 ads, 32 pages

Times, Express groups get most anniversary ads

6 pages for Ambedkar; 393 pages for The Family

Aroon Purie’s daughter Kalli has a story to tell

PhotoShop™ is a crucial piece of software in the laptops of Indian celebrities—and Botox™ a vital vial in their make-up kit—especially when they have to deal with a newspaper or magazine profile. And brave is the bold-faced name that appears in print with neither weapon having been deftly employed to perform its optical illusions.

India Today founder Aroon Purie‘s elder daughter Kalli Purie shows she is one.

Chief creative officer Kalli, who is in charge of the digital side of the magazine group’s operations and is widely expected to take over the mantle sooner than later, has recounted her “story of weight lost and a life gained” in Confessions of a Serial Dieter, published by the India Today imprint HarperCollins.

And this week’s issue of the weekly newsmagazine carries a spunky three-page excerpt of the Oxford mom-of-two’s journey from “fat to fabulous”; from an “ugly duckling” of 103 kg (in picture, left) to a “beautiful swan” of 59 kg (right) in three years flat (all adjectives courtesy the author).

An accompanying infographic tracks the “fatline” of the pioneering publisher’s daughter at various stages of her life:

Age 4: weight 32 kg, jam toast diet

Age 16: 63 kg, garbage soup diet

Age 24: 59 kg, coconut water diet

Age 35: 103 kg, the panjari ladoo diet

Age 38: weight 59 kg, the champagne diet

Kalli details the 46 diets that made her lose 45 kg, to slip from a size 18 to a size 8, and explains the role love played as an antidote: “Love is a super motivator. I stuck to a (weight-loss) programme because I had a deadline, a loveline.”

Eventually, though, she lays it all at the door of a sparkling white liquid.

My brother-in-law is French. He drinks champagne like the English drink tea. Anytime, anywhere. He would come for tea to the house it would be the standard chai-samosa-jalebi affair. When I asked what he would like to drink he would look uncomfortable for a moment, look at my sister (Koel Purie) for reassurance and when she sighed with resignation, he would say ‘Champagne, please!’ At four in the afternoon!

“For as long as I can remember, our traditional Sunday family lunch has been chicken biryani and parantha, a menu handed down over generations. There have been many aberrations but since the inclusion of a Frenchman in the family, champagne has become an essential addition to the Sunday routine. It is now a family tradition. As a result I have become a champagneholic. And that is the origin of this diet.”

End result: today people often ask Kalli, ‘Hey, where did you leave the rest of you?’

Images: courtesy India Today

Buy the book: Confessions of a Serial Dieter

Watcha video of the book launch: Kalli Purie

Also read: Aroon Purie: Indian papers are in a time warp

‘Rule no.1 of journalism: there are no gods’

An Aroon Purie tribute worthy of emulation

Why Aroon Purie elevated Prabhu Chawla

Rajeev Chandrasekhar picking up Eenadu TV?

For a paper which turns its nose at news about the rest of the media, The Times of India has a strange item on its business page, news of the mobile phone entrepreneur turned member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, evincing some interest in Ramoji Rao‘s Eenadu television chain in Andhra Pradesh.

The ToI report comes a day after a Business Standard report that Network 18 was in the midst of merger talks with Eenadu. There has been plenty of market buzz that Mukesh Ambani‘s Reliance Industries has been more than interested in Eenadu through its subsidiaries and friends like Nimesh Kampani.

For the record, Chandrasekhar already owns news properties in print and television in Malayalam (Asianet News) and Kannada (Suvarna News, Kannada Prabha).

Rajeev Chandrasekhar buying a Malayalam daily?

Rajeev Chandrasekhar eyeing Deccan Herald?

T.S. SATYAN Awards for Photojournalists

The winners of the T.S. SATYAN Memorial Awards for Photojournalism 2011: (Left to right) Yagna, K. Gopinathan, Netra Raju, Bhanu Prakash Chandra, Regret Iyer, M.S. Gopal

sans serif is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural T.S. Satyan Memorial Awards for Photojournalism, instituted by India’s first web-based photosyndication agency, Karnataka Photo News, in association with churumuri.com, in memory of the legendary photojournalist who passed away two Decembers ago.

The awards will be presented by the governor of Karnataka, H.R. Bhardwaj, in Bangalore on Sunday.

Lifetime achievement award: Yagna, ex-Hindu, Udayavani, Mangalore

Best newspaper photojournalist: K. Gopinathan, The Hindu, Bangalore

Best professional photojournalist: Netra Raju, The Times of India, Mysore

Best magazine photojournalist: Bhanu Prakash Chandra, The Week, Bangalore

Best freelance photographer: ‘Regret Iyer, Bangalore

Best online photojournalist: M.S. Gopal, eyeforindia.blogspot.com

Nominations for the awards came from the Karnataka media academy, press club of Bangalore, Karnataka union for working journalists and the photojournalists association of Bangalore. The lifetime achievement award carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a citation; all other prizes carry a cash prize of Rs 5,000 each and a citation.

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Read more about/by the winners

K. GOPINATHAN: Why namma Gopi (almost) cried in January 2008

REGRET IYER: Success is standing up one more time than you fall

M.S. GOPAL: Every pictures tells a story. Babu‘s can fill a tome

M.S. GOPAL: When Chamundi betta relocates to amchi Mumbai

‘The New York Times’ calls Sibal’s Facebook bluff

Indian politicians are long used to happily denying what they said on record (and in front of cameras) without ever having their versions contradicted. Union telecommunications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal is learning the hard way that The New York Times isn’t write-your-pet-hate-newspaper-or-channel-here.

Last Monday, an NYT story which said “Big Brother” Sibal had urged global giants like Google, Facebook to “prescreen” user-content set off an online storm. The Congress party quickly dissociated itself from the minister’s remarks and Sibal was reduced to furiously back-pedalling before chummy TV anchors ever eager to oblige.

On Karan Thapar‘s “Devil’s Advocate” programme on CNN-IBN, Sibal said nobody from his ministry talked to NYT, nor did anybody from NYT talk to his department, and that the piece was based on Congress party sources.

Further, Sibal made heavy weather of a light-hearted comment made by an  NYT reporter at a press conference, even going so far as to suggest that the New York Times somehow wanted to get at him.

New York Times has responded to the charges and said it stands by the original story.

# The article posted on Dec. 5 notes, “Mr. Sibal’s office confirmed that he would meet with Internet service providers Monday but did not provide more information about the content of the meeting.’’ India Ink called three people in his office before posting the article: Mamta Verma and S. Prakash, spokespersons who said they had little information about the issue, and Ranjan Khanna, a secretary who was unavailable.  The article attributes no information to Congress Party personalities.

# The reporter who wrote the article, Heather Timmons, introduced herself to Sibal at a news conference the day after it was published with the phrase “just trying to keep you on your toes.” It was intended as a friendly nod to the fact that he may not have liked the story, but that nothing personal was meant by it.

Image: courtesy Outlook* (disclosures apply)

Read the full article: Our response to Kapil Sibal

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Should Facebook be censored?

Bombay Times, Hindustan Times and plagiarism

Hindustan Times had an ethical malfunction 15 years ago, when its then editor V.N. Narayanan was revealed to have plagiarised over a thousand words of his Sunday column from Bryan Appleyard‘s piece in the Sunday Times of London the previous week. (Narayanan was let go without a formal explanation from the paper as to why a new editor had taken charge.)

Now, The Times of India shines the light on an even wierder case of plagiarism involving HT.

Neha Maheshwari of Bombay Times wrote ‘More than friends’ on the supplement’s television page on December 9. Unbelievable as it may be, ToI says the same piece appeared with the same byline and the same text in the Hindustan Times city supplement HT Cafe on December 11.

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Karthik Srinivasan writes that HT has tendered an “apology”:

 

Image: courtesy Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd

Read the full article: Imitation is the best form of flattery

Also read: How should publications deal with plagiarists?

‘Plagiarists speed up spread of knowledge’

If imitation is the best form of flattery…

The award for the best opening paragraph goes to…

Since flattery is best expressed through imitation—II

Everybody’s is changing the game these days