Monthly Archives: July 2012

Undercover Story: Indian spies get their own mag

From The Buzz, the gossip column of the Hindustan Times:

“Living life below the radar can be an onerous task particularly for the spouses of Indian Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) spies. To give expression to husbands, wives and children of India’s cloak and dagger operators, R&AW launched its first in-house magazine (aptly named Anamika) last week.

“Led by Neeta Tripathi, wife of R&AW chief Sanjeev Tripathi, and some spouses of spies who would rather remain unnamed, the colourful magazine provides an insight into the world of R&AW with sections based on identification processes such as retina scans, fingerprinting, bar codes and footprints.

“It has a section on the profiles of wives of previous spy masters with children contributing poems, photographs and paintings to the glossy magazine. Plans are afoot to make the magazine a monthly affair with the hope that the government does not bring it under the ambit of the Official Secrets Act. No cover after the cover page.”

Read the full column: The Buzz

Hussain Zaidi: ‘Unlikely mafia killed J. Dey’

He is a crime reporter of note, having authored two best-selling books (Black Friday and Dongri to Dubai), one of which became a hit film, another is in the making.

He has seen his protege Mid-Day crime journalist J. Dey murdered. He has seen his own colleague, Jigna Vora, being picked up for Dey’s murder, allegedly for helping the underworld to bump off Dey (after which his stint as the Bombay editor of the Asian Age came to a sudden end).

S. Hussain Zaidi answers the key question in an interview with India Ink, the India website of the New York Times:

Q: Your friend and colleague Jyotirmoy Dey was shot dead last year and your fellow crime reporters are being investigated in that case.

A: Mr Dey was my favorite prodigy. I taught him crime reporting. In 1995, when he joined The Indian Express, he said he wanted to do crime reporting and in turn he would teach me how to do weight lifting.

When I saw Mr Dey’s dead body on June 11, 2011—I have seen a lot of dead bodies. I have seen dozens of dead bodies,—but J. Dey? He was 6 foot 3 inches, when I used to look at him, such a strong muscular man; I thought he would never die. It was incredible sight to see him dead.

Who killed him is really a mystery, but I don’t think the mafia is behind his killing.

Photograph: courtesy Roli Books

Read the full interview: A conversation with Hussain Zaidi

Also read: Will underworld dons trust such a hot reporter?

Journalist arrested in journalist’s murder case

J: Dey: ‘When eagles are silent, parrots jabber’

Remember, for one day you will be gone too

With bottomline-conscious bean counters and brand managers stomping all over newsrooms these days, rare is the media house that pauses to salute those who are no longer with us.

To its credit, the Indian Express bucks the trend.

On its pages today is an ad for Vijay Pratap Singh, its reporter who was among those killed at a blast outside the residence of a Uttar Pradesh minister in 2010, leaving behind a wife, a five-year-old son and a 10-month-old daughter.

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Alfred D’Cruz: ToI’s first Indian sub-editor

Tarun Sehrwat, 22 and killed in the line of duty

Chari, a lens legend at The Hindu

Harishchandra Lachke: A pioneering cartoonist

T.N. Shanbag: Man who educated Bombay journos

Rajan Bala: cricket writer of cricket writers

Jyoti Sanyal: The language terrorist and teacher

Russy Karanjia: The bulldog of an editor

Sabina Sehgal Saikia: The resident food writer

M.G. Moinuddin: The self-taught newspaper designer

Naresh Chandra Rajkhowa: Journo who broke Dalai Lama story

J. Dey: When eagles are silent, parrots jabber

E. Raghavan: Ex-ET, TOI, Vijaya Karnataka editor

Prakash Kardaley: When god cries when the best arrive

Pratima Puri: India’s first TV news reader passes away

Tejeshwar Singh: A baritone falls silent watching the cacophony

N.S. Jagannathan: Ex-editor of Indian Express

K.M. Mathew: chief of editor of Malayala Manorama

Amita Malik: the ‘first lady of Indian media’

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K.R. Prahlad: In the end, death becomes a one-liner

M.R. Shivanna: A 24×7 journalist is no more

C.P. Chinnappa: A song for an unsung hero

Financial Times takes on The Times of India

The Times of India group’s two-decade long fight with the Financial Times over the use of the FT trademark in India has taken a fresh twist with the Times group announcing the launch of a new edition of a “supplement” titled Financial Times in the Delhi national capital region (NCR).

Launched in the early 1990s in Bangalore, essentially to protect the Economic Times from a foreign player of the size and standing of FT by stymieing its entry, the Times group’s move landed in the courts, where some kind of closure was reached in May this year.

With ToI taking out ads last week for its Financial Times (“Business news now customised for Delhi NCR”), the real Financial Times has hit back with an ad in ToI‘s rival Hindustan Times, that carries a message from its chief executive officer, John Ridding:

“The Financial Times would like to make it clear that the internationally renowned ‘Financial Times‘ newspaper is not in any way associated with the Indian title of the same name, published by Times Publishing House (TPH), part of Bennett, Coleman & Co.”

Curiously, the FT advertisement does not appear in the Indian Express, with which it has entered into a tieup after a breakup with Business Standard.

External reading: An epic battle concludes?

John Elliott: How FT was blocked by India’s media industry

Also read: Thrice bitten, will FT find real love after 20 years?

‘Corporate sector has a strong say on media’

First, he commented on the “abnormally affluent” Shekhar Gupta in his memoirs Beyond the Lines and then he apologised to the Indian Express editor-in-chief at the book’s launch.

In between, Kuldip Nayar also appeared at Idea Exchange, the Express‘ in-house interaction programme, taking questions from the paper’s journalists.

Maneesh Chhibber, assistant editor: What do you think of the standard of journalism today?

Kuldip Nayar: Well, I’m disappointed. In those days at the Express, there was no check on us. We could publish any story. Whether it hurt A, B or whether it rubbed the corporate sector the wrong way, it didn’t matter. Ramnath Goenka knew certain stories going into the paper were wrong. At night, he would call me and say, after seeing the front page, “Kuldip, woh jo galat story Cabinet ki hai na, us aadmi ko pata nahi hai. Par kuch nahi, jaane do.” He never tried to contradict us. I have a feeling that now you have to pull your punches because the corporate sector has a strong say. I do not find any pressure from the government, but I do see pressure from other forces which is reflected by newspapers.

Unni Rajen Shanker, managing editor: I just want to clarify this: at the Express today, any story that is worth printing will go to print just as it used to. It is still the same.

Kuldip Nayar: Thank you.

Read the full interaction: Kuldip Nayar at the Express

Also read: Kuldip Nayar on Shekhar Gupta, N. Ram & Co

Shekhar Gupta on the Indian Express and Reliance Industries

Prabhu Chawla: No one can destroy Ramnath Goenka‘s Express

Fali S. Nariman: “Courage of the 2 o’ clock kind”

 

National Awards for Excellence in Journalism

The press council of India (PCI) headed by Justice Markandey Katju, who has spent the best part of his tenure tutoring the media on upping its quality, invites entries for national awards for excellence in journalism, through a DAVP advertisement laden with typographical mistakes and syntactical errors.

Sreenath Sreenivasan named Columbia CDO

Sreenath Sreenivasan, the Tokyo-born son of former Indian diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan, who freelanced for India Today, Business Today and The Sunday Observer before joining Columbia University on its staff, has been appointed its chief digital officer.

Link via Vishwatma Bhat

Also read: Do journalism schools produce better journos?