Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fabindia, The Times of India and Trishla Jain

Trishla Jain, the artist-daughter of Times of India bossman Samir Jain, has teamed up with the ethnic store Fabindia for “a limited-edition collection of furniture, furnishings, giftware, ceramics, inspired by the young painter’s art”, and TOI and the group‘s business paper, Economic Times, are leaving no stone unturned to let the world know.

On Monday, page 3 of the Delhi Times supplement carried a quarter-page story on the launch of the line; on Wednesday, ET carried a six-column story; and the events section of the city-specific “Advertorial, Entertainment Promotional Feature” are replete with announcements of Kaleidoscopic Eyes.

Getting_Light_Headed

The ET report notes helpfully:

William Bissell, managing director of Fabinida, chanced upon the work of Trishla Jain, 28, at a Delhi art gallery.

“I saw the exuberance and joyous spiritedness in her work which I thought was great fun and Trishla also wanted to make her work accessible to lots of people,” said Bissell, whose father John Bissell founded Fabindia in 1960.

“Jain, a Stanford University graduate and a self-taught artist who started painting at the age of seven, said she had always wanted to create everyday objects inspired by her art. “Fabindia has greatly expanded the technical and aesthetic possibilities of my art. These art objects give my work a utilitarian aspect as well as allow me to reach a larger public.”

Also read: Power of the press belongs to those who own one

9 lessons a ‘terror-suspect’ journo learnt in jail

Deccan Herald journalist Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui has walked out of the central jail in Bangalore a free man, six months after being named by the city’s police in an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba plot to target two Kannada journalists and the publisher of the newspaper they were earlier employed in.

Siddiqui had been accused of being the “mastermind” of a gang of 15 in August last year to kill editor Vishweshwar Bhat, columnist Pratap Simha and publisher Vijay Sankeshwar, allegedly for their “right-wing leanings“. The journalists were with Vijaya Karnataka of The Times of India group, before they joined Rajeev Chandrasekhar‘s Kannada Prabha.

The national investigation agency (NIA), which investigated the case, didn’t name Siddiqui in its chargesheet on February 20 following which a special court trying the case ordered his release on February 23.

On Monday night, Siddiqui walked out of jail and on Tuesday, he addressed a press conference.

Reporting for the Indian Express, Johnson T.A. writes:

About six months ago, when he appeared in court for the first time after being named by the Bangalore Police, Siddiqui, 26, still had the glint of youthful exuberance in his eyes.

But now, the first thing that comes to mind on seeing Siddiqui after his release from prison on Monday, is the disappearance of that enthusiasm from his face. Gone is the glint in his eyes, and in its place is a serious, sad man.

Even so, Siddiqui, whose thesis suggestion for his PG diploma in mass communication—‘Media coverage of terrorism suspects’—was struck down by his supervisor pulled no punches in describing his own ordeal before his colleagues, compatriots and competitors.

***
siddiqui

Deccan Herald journalist Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui with a relative at a press conference at the Press Club of Bangalore on Tuesday, 26 February

# “The media has forgotten the ‘A’ in the ABC of Journalism [Accuracy-Brevity-Clarity].”

# “I always thought the police, media and society at large do not treat terror suspects fairly. That thinking has been reinforced by my experience.”

# “Security agencies are not sensitive towards the poor and weaker sections of society. If you look at the way the entire operation was carried out by the police and reported by the media, this insensitivity is clear.”

# According to the [Bangalore] police and the media, I am the mastermind. If I am the mastermind, why are the others still in jail? I hope they too will get justice.”

# “The media and the police need to be more sensitive toward the downtrodden, Dalits and Muslims. The way the media and the police behaved raises basic questions about their attitude toward Muslims.

# “Muslims are often cast by the media and police in stereotypes. There is an institutional bias which manifests in such cases. This is not just about me; it is about hundreds like me who are in jails [across the country] on terror charges. Muslims are not terrorists.”

# “If I was not a Muslim the police wouldn’t have picked me…. They first arrest people, then find evidence against them. What happened on August 29, 2012 was no arrest but downright kidnapping. A bunch of strong men barged into our house and forcefully took us away in their vehicles. This even as we were pleading and asking why we were being taken out.”

# “They kept interrogating me as if I was the mastermind and kept saying that I’d be in for seven years for sure. Everyone knows that jail is no fun place. For the first 30 days we were cramped in a small room. The confinement itself was torture.  They did not inform our families. They did not tell us what we were being arrested for. They made us sign 30-40 blank sheets of paper. One of these papers was used to create fake, back-dated arrest intimation.”

# “Some fair play is still possible in the system. Though justice was delayed, it wasn’t denied in my case.”

Siddiqui, who is still on Deccan Herald‘s roster, says he wants to go back to journalism, for that is his passion, but wants to spend time with his family first.

Two other journalists—Jigna Vora of The Asian Age and S.M.A. Kazmi—have been arrested in recent times on terror charges. They are both out on bail.

Photograph: Journalist Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui at a press conference in Bangalore on 26 February 2013 (courtesy Md. Asad/ The Times of India)

Also read: Bangalore journo in plot to kill editor, columnist?

Anti-minority bias behind foiled bid on journos?

L’affaire Mohammed Haneef

The poll straws, they are a-blowin’ in DD News

To predict the meteorological weather, you have Mausam Bhavan. To predict the political weather, you have Doordarshan.

Before every general election, the government happily dips into the pockets of taxpayers and pumps in crores of rupees to revamp the supposedly “autonomous” broadcast behemoth.

And so it is in the year of the lord, 2013.

Under the new information and broadcasting minister Manish Tiwari, new appointments have been made to DD News, just as Ravi Shankar Prasad had in the NDA regime before the the 2004 elections. There are expensive advertisements in the newspapers announcing its shows; there is even a Twitter account.

How Business World got its fortnightly look

new-look-pu

Business World is out in a new avatar with a new periodicity.

In the first issue of the relaunched magazine, Fortune India art director Nilanjan Das and deputy art director Sanjay Piplani explain how they came up with the new design for the ABP group’s original business magazine.

The Grid: We live in an integrated world. We access content across media, platforms and screens. So we reassessed the grid — the intersecting lines that form the structure of a layout — to make the magazine a visual as well as literary delight, while maintaining fluidity across pages. Now, there is more white space, and images come out stronger and sharper.

The Fonts: A magazine’s character largely depends on typography. So we scoured 300 fonts to find the ones that were smart and elegant, so essential for a business publication. We selected 25 — 15 serif and 10 sans-serif fonts. Mixing and matching them on page, we cherry-picked three sans-serif and two serif fonts. And, we tried to challenge traditional styles of section heads and drop caps by making them bigger and bolder.

The Palette: Business persons are a dynamic herd. So should the media they engage with. There should be myriad colours; in all hues and tints. BW’s colour palette offers just that — a wide range of bright, warm, cool and elegant shades. We assembled the new palette with the intention of giving the pages a fresh, distinctive and powerful look, vis-à-vis our peers.

Indian journalist ‘applies’ to be the next Pope

In the latest issue of Open magazine, its editor Manu Joseph sends in an application to be the 112th Pope, now that the 111th has put in his papers.

To

The Roman Curia, The Holy See, Rome

Reverends,

In the aftermath of the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI due to his advanced age and fear of delirium, which is reasonable taking into account the fact that when he was believed to be mentally fit he had said that condoms spread AIDS, as you seek a Supreme Pontiff of sound mind from an eminent pool of sixty-to-seventy-year-old virgins, kindly consider this application for the job of Pope from me, Manu Joseph I, a member of the laity.

I am aware that you do not seek applications, but I apply because the Church is in a precarious state and it has to consider extraordinary solutions.

My CV, which is enclosed, may appear unremarkable at first glance, even pointless when the marital status is noted, but if observed carefully the applicant has merit.

For instance, the Church is surely wise enough to know that men in long faithful tropical marriages are indeed somewhat acquainted with celibacy. Also, I am a young male, though not so young that I will lead cardinals to sin; and, once on Indian national television I was accused of misogyny; and, through my writings and one Facebook post, I believe I have relentlessly advertised the Son of God though in the form of an endearing sub-culture, actually to be honest, in the form of a liquor found in Kerala, which is named Jesus Christ because after you drink it, you will rise only on the third day. But more important than all this is that I am a novelist, which none of the former Popes have been, even though Christianity has emerged from the Great Story.

If his application is accepted, Pope Manohar could be the last to oversee the exercise of the Petrine ministry.

The 12th century clairvoyant St Malachy said there would be only 112 Popes and that during the tenure of the 112th, Rome—and the Church—would be wiped out.

In St Malachy’s own words:

“The City of Seven Hills shall be destroyed and the dreadful Judge shall judge the people.”

Read the full application: I am the man

The Afzal Guru front page Kashmiris didn’t see

Front_page_of_a_Srinagar-based_daily._police_seized_all_the_copies_of_the_newspaper

The front-page of the English daily newspaper, Kashmir Reader, on February 10, the day after the Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, was suddenly hanged in Delhi.

This newspaper, like all others in the valley didn’t see the light of day because of a “gag” on the media, which the State’s chief minister Omar Abdullah denies was ever imposed.

However, the Daily Exclesior reports:

“The publishers of the Kashmir Images, Chattan and Kashmir Reader had said that Police seized their newspapers on Sunday while the printer and publisher of Greater Kashmir had said that police had asked them not to publish the newspaper. This forced the newspapers to suspend their publications. The Government also didn’t issue any curfew passes to the media that curbed the movement of journalists.”

Express journo who broke Agusta Westland scam

After chasing the Agusta Westland scam for several months, the Indian Express has an explosive story on its front page today, that points fingers at the former air chief marshal, S.P. Tyagi.

express

The paper’s defence correspondent Manu Pubby explains all in this YouTube, even as the scion of the Express group, Anant Goenka, posts his kudos.

Also read: Journo who broke Dalai Lama story passes away

Reporter who broke fake encounter deaths story

Man behind the ‘most important story of our time’

‘Businessworld’ to go fortnightly from weekly

image_gallery

What goes around, comes around. Fourteen years after it went weekly, India’s second oldest business magazine, Businessworld from the Anand Bazaar Patrika group, is reverting to a fortnightly.

In a note to readers in the last issue of its weekly avatar, editor Prosenjit Datta explains why:

In 1999, when we had turned weekly, there was a very clear need to do so.

Twitter did not exist, and the Internet contained largely static content when it came to news. There was just one business news channel and it focused mostly on stocks. Most of the newspapers concentrated on news, and not analysis.

There was a great need for a business newsweekly…. a weekly publication that could analyse in detail the implications of the events taking place.

Over time though, the world changed and so did BW’s core content. As the Internet matured, and more dedicated business channels were born, they took over the primary role of disseminating news…. News became an increasingly small portion of what BW offered.

Now we are carrying those changes to the next logical step. We are stepping out of the news genre to focus entirely on issues, events and trends that will affect your business and the economy in the future.

Link via N.M. Upadhyay

Read the full note: Dear Readers

Also read: ‘Business journalists deserve credit for reforms’

RSS chief Bhagwat ‘notice’ to news TV channels

Bhagwat_0_0_0_0_0

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: The prickly republic has been pricked again.

Rajiv Tuli, a “citizen of Bharat” residing in west Delhi and a follower of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has sent off a “notice” to eight national TV news channels for broadcasting “potentially defamatory content” on the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat earlier this year.

After the Delhi gangrape victim’s death, Bhagwat had first been quoted as saying that rapes took place in India, not Bharat. Then, on January 6, he was quoted by TV stations as saying that marriage was sacrosanct; not a contract which could be revoked or severed at any time.

It is on the latter, during which Bhagwat was also reported to have said “Women should be housewives, men should be breadwinners,” that Tuli, a lawyer, has accused TV news channels of “false, erroneous and malicious reporting ” as a result of which his client had to face a “hellish” situation.

It is not known if newspapers which ran Bhagwat’s quote have heard from Shri Tuli.

The operative paragraphs of Tuli’s notice reads:

Your channel was conscious of the power and impact of the audio-visual medium and the phenomenal reach of their news channels, and to cause incalculable harm your channel has reported as if the Sangh pramukh has said “Women should be housewives, men should be breadwinners”, for Bharatiya marriage, which he never said as is evident from full speech delivered on 6 January 2013, at Indore.

“RSS respects every woman as equal to other and marriage as a sacrament and a permanent bond. You have mischievously twisted the facts and the news reports are not only distorted but are highly defamatory. This is a deliberate attempt to lower the image of the Swayamsevak in public.

“By virtue of this broadcast, you have not ensured impartiality and objectivity in reporting or neutrality. It has occurred to arouse passions to endanger the national security and tranquillity. The ethics and broadcasting standards have been violated by you and the reporting has been done unfairly to tarnish the image of the swayamsevaks and RSS….

“When you comment on a person’s views you ought to project it in the totality of the entire gamut of ideas presented by the speaker. On the contrary your conduct has been one of gross irresponsibility and misuse of the freedom of the press and you have let loose an attack on Mohanji Bhagwat who is held in high esteem by crores of Bharatiyas.

“You did it with the ulterior motive to tarnish the image of the RSS and crores of swayamsevaks in and out of Bharat.

“Your conduct is intentional, motivated, and with view to scandalise and malign the person and the organisation. You mischievously and maliciously, broadcast a false, distorted version of the speech and rushed to insensible conclusions and let loose through your channel reaching the general populace of the country and the world at large.

“You are fully aware that law laid down by the hon’ble Supreme Court is binding under Article 141 of the Constitution. In the case of S. Khushboo vs Kanniammal reported in AIR 2010 SC 3196 the Hon’ble Supreme Court reflected as under…

“It is therefore not only desirable but imperative that electronic and news media should also pay a positive role in presenting to general public as to what actually transpires during the course of hearing and it should not be published in such a manner so as to get unnecessary publicity of its own paper or news channel. Such a tendency should be stopped as without knowing the reference in context of which questions were put forth by the Court, the same were misquoted which raised unnecessary hue and cry.”

The notice contends that the news channels, without due care and attention, had caused “grave injury to the reputation of my client as also the reputation of all other swayamsevaks”.

“After the dissemination of your highly false, distorted and malicious news, my client had to face a “hellish” situation”. He was put to shame and embarrassment even at the hands of his friends and persons acquainted with him….

“Therefore, you are called upon to broadcast a sincere apology on your channel several times prominently, for such mischievous, scandalous and defamatory content… and further take action against the person(s) responsible for unfair, unethical broadcasting.”

In recent months, a number of politicians have taken legal sometimes against other politicians (Nitin Gadkari vs Digvijay singh, or Smriti Irani vs Sanjay Nirupam) but mostly against media (Salman Khurshid vs Aaj Tak, Mukesh Ambani vs everybody)

Also read: Mukesh Ambani ‘sues’ TV channels on Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal taunts Mukesh Ambani on TV ‘sue’ threat

What an NYT writer learnt by reading an IT issue

4-india-today-blog480

Tyler Cowen, a New York Times contributor, has pored through the 37th anniversary issue of India Today*, and writes about what he learned by reading “every last word” published by the magazine.

“The most striking feature of a late December issue of India Today is its aspirational tone and near-relentless gloss and promotional fervor. An article about the ‘Indians of Tomorrow’ describes them as ‘Dreamers and Doers’….

5. There is much more talk about the relations across the generations than you would find in a comparable Western magazine….

12. Ashok Mitra opines that “The Left is the only hope for the country, the rest are all scum.” This quote is pulled out for display, which struck me as odd for such a culturally conservative magazine….

“I fear that a more consistently mainstream editor eventually will make this periodical much less interesting, so in the meantime I am glad that the editor is the daughter of the owner.”

* Disclosures apply

Read the full column: What I learned from reading every word of IT