When it launched its Madras edition three years ago, the 173-year-old Times of India did what its chief competitor, the 132-year-old Hindu wouldn’t be caught dead doing.
Which is, associate its masthead with a “mass” gaana song—Naaka mukka—from a Tamil movie.
Now, to launch its Madurai edition, ToI goes one step (and several dappan kootu beats) further, even as its chief competitor hurtles from court to high court to supreme court, seeking answers for such a fundamental question as, who should run the newspaper: owner or outsider?
(For the musically inclined, the singer in the ToI video is Chinna Ponnu, who recently starred with Kailash Kher in the Indian version of Coke Studio)
Link via Shobha Sarada Viswanathan
Also read: Any number will do in game of numbers
In 2006, Time magazine declared that the person of the year was you, yes, you—a smart way of acknowledging the rise of Wikipedia, YouTube, MySpace and other crowd-sourced media avenues in the internet era.
In 2011, Web18, the internet arm of Raghav Bahl‘s Network18, which has launched a heavily promoted website called First Post—an assemblage of quirky blogs, edited by R. Jagannathan, the former executive editor of DNA—does ditto.
The Supreme Court has lifted a five-year ban on the airing of the infamous Amar Singh CD which, along with the Niira Radia tapes, must be made required listening in journalism schools for the unvarnished view it offers of how politicians, industrialists, bureaucrats, film stars, celebrities, middlemen and journalists operate.
Among the two-dozen conversations on the Amar Singh CD—fondly referred to in media circles as “Amar Singh ki amar kahaniyan“—is one involving Prabhu Chawla, the former editor of India Today and currently the editorial director of The New Indian Express.
The conversation is centred on a press conference Amar Singh is threatening to call to tell the world about how an Aaj Tak reporter (Prachi Jawadekar Wagh, now with NDTV) sneaked into a hospital ward in Bombay, where the film star Amitabh Bachchan was recuperating and allegedly invaded his privacy. Chawla’s call to the then Samajawadi Party leader is aimed at stalling the press meet.
For the record, Chawla also figures in the Niira Radia tapes, and Chawla himself has put up the transcript of his conversation with the lobbyist on his website to set the record straight.
Also read: ‘TV is dishing out cheap opinion’
Indian publishers are relentlessly cutting expenditure. Meanwhile, The Economist “newspaper”—one of the few profitable publications even during the downturn—unveils its maiden television campaign in India.
View another Economist TVC here
Link via Chetan Krishnaswamy
Also read: If it catches your eye, surely the ad’s working?
Funny joke from a balding journalist-blogger*
How to get from point B to point A in Chicago
In July 2007, two employees of the Reuters news agency were among several killed in Iraq when US military forces opened fire on them. Saeed Chmagh, 40, a driver with the agency with a wife and four children, and Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, a war photographer, were among those killed.
The US military claimed the victims died in battle between US forces and insurgents, and that the conduct of the pilots and guncrew was “in accordance with laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement”. Reuters filed for the video of the attack to be made public under the US’s Freedom of Information Act.
The full video, shot from the primary helicopters, is now up on wikileaks and it is blood-curdling for the casualness with which civilians are hunted down. James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine calls the video the “most damaging documentation of abuse since Abu-Ghraib”.
“As you watch, imagine the reaction in the US if the people on the ground had been Americans and the people on the machine guns had been Iraqi, Russian, Chinese, or any other nationality.”
From 2003-2009, a total of 139 journalists have been killed in Iraq in the line of duty.
Visit the site: www.collateralmurder.com
The editor of Newsweek Russia, Mikhail Fishman, has been surreptitiously filmed snorting what appears to be a line of cocaine and sitting on a sofa next to a woman wearing only a t-shirt, in what is being described as a “honeytrap” laid by Kremlin to ensnare critics.
The video has surfaced on YouTube (the operative portion after 3 minutes). Fishman is quoted by The Sunday Times, London, as saying the KGB style tactic was a signal to independent journalists to keep a low profile.
Read The Times article: Honeytrap ensnares enemies of Kremlin
Read The Daily Beast article: Russia’s amazing drugs and hookers scandal
A television promo for the next Amitabh Bachchan starrer Rann, a movie “about the highly competitive world of television news reporting in India“.
Directed by the maverick Ram Gopal Varma, Rann is reportedly an insider’s account of how TRP-thirsty news channels manipulate and sensationalise stories.
“I am going to expose the media in this film and that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Varma says. “A lot of times democracy is controlled by forces that are not always visible to us.”
Bachchan plays a media Vijay Harsh Vardhan who is forced to compromise on his principles for the sake of ratings. Rann hits the screens later this month.
Also read: Look, who wants to be a journo (after rebirth)
Sting camera that Amitabh Bachchan didn’t see